Roll #58: The Underground

Updated: Jul 15, 2020

Maryland is oddly positioned both geographically and politically. It's not quite the South, nor the North and during the Civil War, it found itself torn on matters of civil and individual rights.

While Maryland called itself a "Free State," there was little rush to validate that claim. During a time when antislavery measures were progressing rapidly elsewhere in the country, Maryland dragged its feet. It wasn't until 1864, more than a year after the Emancipation Proclamation, that Maryland began to act. This dragging of feet resulted in a minor triumph as the 13th Amendment to the constitution, which abolished slavery, was passed only a few months later.

As a result of this delayed action, slaves taking the matter of freedom into their own hands escaped from or through Maryland, en route to truly free states. Because of this, Maryland, especially its Eastern Shore, has a very rich history related to the Underground Railroad. While the drive to the Eastern Shore is a bit too far from home for my liking (at the moment), there are some very interesting sites closer to home. So, I made the 15 min drive down to Sandy Spring and checked out the "Underground Railroad Experience."

Before making it to the trails you'll notice well-preserved stone homes surrounded by floral splendor.

The land surrounding the homes and their gardens is a compilation of dense forest and sweeping grass fields, polka-dotted with tiny yellow flowers. The horses that usually roam and graze these pastures are cooped up in large, adjacent stable.

Even at midday the trail is dark. During the summer, overhead foliage blocks most light. One can only image the weaker light of the moon and stars would result in a pitch-black experience at night. Great for escaping or travelling unnoticed.

It's a journey into the unknown but even the unknown is a welcome destination for those escaping the prison of slavery.

As my weekend and roll continued I made my way west to Harpers Ferry and east to Annapolis. Two very different destinations with very different photo opportunities.

Harpers Ferry presented beautifully abandoned and overgrown relics.

Sweeping vistas and shady groves.

Annapolis is more of a mixture. Old and new.

New mirrors and old signage.

Old trees and new bricks.

The past and the present holding hands as they walk into the future.

Camera: Canon Sure Shot Supreme

Film: Kodak Pro Image 100

When: May 2020

Where: Maryland and West Virginia

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