Wednesday, September 13, 2006
The rapidly changing face of Civil War country
Thanks Joni Mitchell...
One of the things that I like best about Antietam is the way the battlefield remains in context with the surrounding countryside. Its often difficult to tell where the park ends and private property begins, the land remains as rural and agricultural as it was in 1862. Unlike our sister park to the North, where historic ground butts right up to a motel, tee shirt shop, or ghost tour franchise, at Antietam there are few of these jarring moments at the meeting places between "then" and "now".
But just over the hill, Boonsboro way, they are marching closer. Like big,goofy, ungainly floats in search of a parade, these gigantic monuments to conspicuous consumption are making their way toward us, a foot, an acre at a time.
All over Washington County's countryside you see them rising up. Big, ridiculously big, single family dwellings, the wannabe country estates of beltway refugees, seeking the very country life that these big ugly developments are destroying by acres every single day.
Like farmland devouring machines with palladian windows they gobble up the landscape. Here comes the neighborhood!
You don't know what you've got 'til its gone.