• Volume 1
  • Volume II
  • Volume III
  • Volume IV
  • Volume V
  • Volume VI

Volume V: The Rural Issue

In our fifth volume, we explore what rural character means to the residents of Southern Maryland, particularly St. Mary's County, in the face of a rapidly changing landscape. Despite its wide use, we found that 'rural character' often held very different meanings across our community. Though ultimately grounded in the physical landscape, rural character also includes economic and social relationships. Our land is not simply earth, it is the setting of the social and cultural practices that define us. 


Introduction: The Rural Imagination

Beginning to Define Rural, by Julia A. King



A Certaine Countrey Not Yet Cultivated and Planted

The Dutch Embassy to Maryland, 1659: Augustine Herrman's Journey through the Wilderness, by Anne Grulich

Possessing the Land: Becoming Rural in Colonial Maryland, by Martin E. Sullivan

Deep History: A Geological-Paleoenvironmental Analysis of the Sediments in St. John’s Pond, St. Mary’s City, by John C. Kraft and Grace S. Brush



After the Buyout: The Crops of 2005

A Farmer’s Story, told by James Walter Neal

I Had Enough of It, told by Philip Scriber

This is a Farming Community—You Only Carry Basics, told by John Thomas Cecil

The Impact of Rural Free Delivery, by Mary I. Lempert

Change Begins at Home: Rural Electrification and the Household Economy

Education in Rural Southern Maryland, told by Rev. James Caldwell and Elvare Gaskin

Meditations on ‘Rural’: The Art of Colby Caldwell, by Susan M. Glasser



Tobacco Barns: Bellwethers of Change, by Teresa Wilson

The Social Impact of Military Growth in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, 1940-1995, by Louis E. Hicks and Curt Raney

We’re Not from Here: Developing Community in the Culture of Naval Contractors, by Meghan F. Quinn

Going to Charge People to Walk through a Corn Field, told by Leonard T. (Tommy) Bowles, Jr

Preserving Rural Land and Other Forms of Open Space: Transferable Development Rights, by Holly Chase

Farming is a Business, told by James “Bubby” Norris

Preserving Rural Character: Benefits and Costs, by Joan Poor and Rina Brule

Winter Chatter, by Dana Christianson 

 A Community Store, told by Dan Raley



Coda: From Rural Production to Rural Consumption, by Julia A. King

Volume I: St. George's Island

Available for purchase at St. Mary's College of Maryland

The SlackWater Center

St. Mary’s College of Maryland, 1998-2013

Header image courtesy of The Calvert Marine Museum