Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Chesapeake Journal: Still Pond

map of Still Pond area: Alexrk2
Who are Mary J. Clark Howard, Anne Baker Maxwell and Lillie Derrigan Kelley? They were three women who voted in the Municipal elections of l908 in the sleepy town of Still Pond. These three voted 12 years before the passage of the nineteenth amendment guaranteeing women suffrage. In l908 the voters of Still Pond had passed an ordinance guaranteeing voting rights to all tax payers over 21. Imagine Cape Cod before it became a popular resort. You'd have the same wood houses with their weathered shingles lined along the main streets just like you see in towns like Still Pond. All that’s missing are the throngs. When you visit the farming country along the Eastern Shore of Maryland which runs right down to the shore, you can feel the way life once was when farming and fishing were the major industries in places like the Eastern End of Long Island, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket and before tourism became the major industry. You expect demonstrations and marches in urban centers where change tends to foment, but what's so extraordinary is to find intimations of one of the most significant changes in the history of humans rights brewing in a town whose very name betokens a world where nothing seems to change at all; it's truly astonishing to find evidence of a revolutionary activity in such an otherwise placid environment. Well Betterton (population 345), the resort on the Sassafras River in the upper part of the Chesapeake Bay, is right down the road from Still Pond. Perhaps that says something?

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