ELKTON — Ten Cecil County families are being highlighted in a photography exhibit beginning March 4 at the Cecil County Arts Council.
The exhibit, titled “Agrarian Community, Nottingham Lots,” features Adam Jacono, assistant professor of Visual Communications at Cecil College, in conjunction with Cecil Land Trust and Historical Society of Cecil County.
“The concept came from the Land Trust,” Jacono said. He and CLT President Bill Kilby were talking about stewardship of these lands that have been farmed for generations. “This is the first installment.”
The opening reception is March 4 from 5 until 8 p.m. at the Arts Council gallery, 135 East Main St. in Elkton.
The first installment focuses on 10 families still living on the original Nottingham Lots.
“This was William Penn’s lands,” Jacono said, referring to the major colonial landholder. Along with current photos, Jacono said old photos, maps, contracts and blue prints will be on display. The Lots’ history began in 1701 when George Talbot, Surveyor General of Maryland, was given 34,000 acres for payment of services. Soon thereafter, Talbot was sent back to England to face murder charges, never to return to the land he had dubbed “Susquehanna Manor.” Due to the uncertainty of its ownership, Penn stepped in and granted 18,000 acres of Susquehanna Manor to fellow Quakers, dedicating 40 acres in perpetuity to the religious order.
The Nottingham Lots ranged from 37 up to 500-acre parcels, most of which are in Cecil County. Maryland State Highway Administration has four historical markers erected in the Rising Sun area offering a thumbnail of the history.
“The point is to show, with a mix of words and pictures, how the agrarian community of the Nottingham Lots, has sustained itself for over 300 years,” Kilby said. “We tried to get a cross section women and men.”
Among the properties to be profiled is Kilby Creamery on Strohmaier Lane in Rising Sun.
“The Kilby family goes back to 1713,” Kilby said of his connection to the land off Hopewell Road. Nottingham Lots also includes Brick Meeting House, West Nottingham Presbyterian and Calvert Village on which was once Cecil County Agricultural High School. It’s now the home of Calvert Elementary School.
“There’s been a school on that Quaker site since 1730,” Kilby said.
The display will be at CCAC through March. From there it will move to Cecil County Public Library.
“Then it will be on permanent display at the Cecil County Farm Museum (and Regional Agricultural Center),” Kilby said.
You can see the images and biographies online as well at https://www.adamjacono.com/an-agrarian-community-the-nottingham-lots/.