Glimpses of a Vanishing Eastern Shore Book
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Glimpses of a Vanishing Eastern Shore Book

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"Every generation creates a new version of what the world around us will look like. What one century builds, another century changes or moves or tears down to do its own new thing."

So explains Kirk Mariner as he opens this picture book of sites and landscapes that no longer exist on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

Photographs reaching back more than a century reveal a time that seems far removed yet a place vaguely familiar when people traveled by buggy and railroad, and even the smallest town had its boarding house. It was a day when the nearby country store was stocked with virtually everything, and a trip to the mill to grind corn was a routine part of life. The fire was an ever-present threat – many of the structures pictured here were its victims – and even fine homes sat starkly on their ground unrelieved by the modern notion of surrounding shrubs and landscaping. The camera was still enough of a novelty that if a picture-taker trained his upon the local hotel or store, people turned to it and stood dutifully still. And since this is the Eastern Shore of Virginia, the landscape includes lighthouses and steamships, lifesaving stations and beachfront, and other evidence of the nearness of the ocean and bay.

Here are many photographs are never before seen outside of family albums and local collections. The ever-present postcard is the source of many of the images, all of which Mariner places in context and tells their story.

In his classic Off 13: The Eastern Shore of Virginia Guidebook, Mariner has taken his readers to every corner of Virginia’s Eastern Shore to show them what there is to see. Now with his usual careful research and good story-telling, he invites them to step back a hundred years, and see the Shore that once was, but is no more.