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The Disappearing Islands of the Chesapeake

William B. Cronin

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Scientists estimate that, until 1900, the water level of the Chesapeake Bay rose at the rate of three feet every thousand years. Alarmingly enough, the bay rose by one foot in the twentieth century alone, and for evidence of this dramatic change one need only observe the effects of rising water on the islands of the Chesapeake Bay, which slowly are slipping from sight.

A retired oceanographer who first conducted research on the bay in the 1950s, William B. Cronin here supplies a survey of the changing fortunes of these forty-odd islands, from Garrett in the north to Gwynn and James islands to...

Scientists estimate that, until 1900, the water level of the Chesapeake Bay rose at the rate of three feet every thousand years. Alarmingly enough, the bay rose by one foot in the twentieth century alone, and for evidence of this dramatic change one need only observe the effects of rising water on the islands of the Chesapeake Bay, which slowly are slipping from sight.

A retired oceanographer who first conducted research on the bay in the 1950s, William B. Cronin here supplies a survey of the changing fortunes of these forty-odd islands, from Garrett in the north to Gwynn and James islands to the south. Cronin's historical and scientific tour outlines their erosion, their loss of marshland, and the rich if changing human experience they have supported for generations. He draws on imagery that includes the work of celebrated local photographer A. Aubrey Bodine, colonial and state records, newspaper pieces, and his own personal and professional experience.

Historic nautical charts, compared to current data from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, leave no doubt of the crisis many of the islands face. On one, Holland, rising water in the late 1910s forced townspeople to move their houses by barge to the mainland. On another, Barren, a sizable hunting lodge housed guests as late as the 1970s but by 1985 had become a wreck beneath the water. An appendix documents the many small islands that have dropped entirely from view since the seventeenth century.

Reviews

Reviews

A formidable research effort, Disappearing Islands of the Chesapeake makes for hours of escapist perusal by armchair mariners.

I guarantee you will not lose interest as he isle-hops... touching more than 40 in all—and all disappearing.

Cronin tells an engaging story that's richly underscored by an abundance of vintage maps and archival photographs.

This is very probably the definitive book about the Chesapeake Bay Islands, especially those that are gone with the erosion.

Time, tide, storms and resulting erosion are the enemies... making Cronin's book a valuable resource for future generations.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
8.5
x
11
Pages
200
ISBN
9780801874352
Illustration Description
150 halftones
Table of Contents

Preface
A Note on the Photography of A. Aubrey Bodine
A Note on References and Abbreviations
Introduction
The Upper Bay
Garrett Island
Maids Island
Fishing Battery
Spesutie Island
Pooles Island
Hart and Miller

Preface
A Note on the Photography of A. Aubrey Bodine
A Note on References and Abbreviations
Introduction
The Upper Bay
Garrett Island
Maids Island
Fishing Battery
Spesutie Island
Pooles Island
Hart and Miller Islands
Fort Carroll
Gibson Island
Dobbins Island
St. Helena Island
Eastern Neck Island
Cacaway Island
Kent Island
Bodkin Island
Parsons Island
Poplar Island
Wye Island
Bruffs Island
The Middle Bay
Tilghman Island
James Island
Taylor's Island
Hoopers Island
Barren Island
Bloodsworth Island
Holland Island
Great and Little Fox Islands
Watts Island
Deal and Little Deal Islands
Solomons Island
Broomes Island
Janes Island
The Lower Bay
Smith Island
Tangier Island
Tippety Wichety Island
St. Georges Island
Cobb Island
Gwynn's Island
St. Clement's Island
Jamestown Island
Vanished Islands of Note
Spry's Island
Three Sisters Islands
Sharps Island
Appendix: Lost Islands
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

William B. Cronin

William B. Cronin spent his career with the Johns Hopkins Chesapeake Bay Institute, over the years contributing many articles to Chesapeake Bay Magazine.