Apple of My Eye: Lead Pesticide Use in 1920s Orchards

Over the Christmas holiday, I unearthed a small journal with a heavily damaged tooled vegetable-tanned leather cover. Within were pre-printed dated pages with intermittent journal entries by my great-grandfather Hugh Ross Stephens, the Orchardist (according to the 1940 census) at … Continue reading

Vanishing History: Recording African-American Burial Grounds

On a Sunday afternoon in 1992, I was collecting fallen autumn leaves along Chapel Road outside Havre de Grace, Maryland where my grandparents lived. I no longer remember what the leaves were for. My boyfriend lifted me on his shoulders … Continue reading

Gardening and Memory

Among the Bowmans, the garden is part of the family. Any Sunday dinner was ended with “a walk to the garden,” a trip to check on the vegetables’ progress. I laughingly continued this tradition in my 450 sq. foot Manhattan … Continue reading

Transit Tuesday: The Walking City

Colleagues of mine were up from DC this week for the Alliance for Response NYC program “Community-Based Recovery After Superstorm Sandy” (see the post here). One of them exclaimed “this is New York! look at everyone walking along the streets!” … Continue reading

Transportation Tuesday: Two Loves Collide – Historic Preservation, Transportation, and the Susquehanna River Bridge

Sorry for the pun. Since I was a little girl, driving into Havre de Grace meant curving around the high stone embankment to the right and passing under the hulking iron bridge that carries the Pennsylvania Railroad over the Susquehanna: … Continue reading

What’s Left Behind: A Harford County, Maryland Probate Inventory

Both of my great great great grandparents died in 1857, leaving my fifteen year old great great grandfather  (at right) an orphan. Interestingly, he never appears in the census until after his marriage in 1880 when he was nearly forty … Continue reading

It’s the Fourth of July

I like July 4th. I’ve met people who don’t, but I can’t identify. I grew up attending the east coast’s largest July 4th parade in Havre de Grace, Maryland. It’s a time I associate with classic cars, waving men and … Continue reading

Eighteenth Century Maryland Beer

I was looking for some family members using the American Antiquarian Society’s America’s Historical Newspapers database, and found this advertisement for Rock Run Beer. Lower Ferry was located between Havre de Grace and Perryville, Maryland. Rock Run beer was likely … Continue reading

Crossing the Susquehanna

I was compiling a list of objects with a Maryland theme from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection for the fun of it. My mother’s family has been rooted along the lower Susquehanna and Chesapeake Bay for nearly 400 years. … Continue reading