Bay-dwellers know the joys of exploring tidal pools and salt marshes, uncovering century-old pottery fragments, glass Rumford Baking Powder bottles, and arrowheads. We inhale the potent, sulfur smell of the marsh with a sense of pride and nostalgia. We crave the oozing of cool, gritty, detritus-packed mud between our toes. We find pause in aimless wanderings along eroding shorelines and beaches.
When I lived on the Chesapeake Bay (a place that we at Orvis love), proggin’ at low tide was my definition of a perfect Sunday afternoon. And Holland Island made the perfect setting.
The unforgiving landscape was rich in natural history and packed with ecological treasures. There, I would discover leftover pieces of a once thriving fishing community, and witness climate change at work. There, I would rediscover my purest sense of curiosity.
For years, this island featured one surviving, man-made structure—a Victorian home that stood alone as its owner worked tirelessly to save it. Birds lined the rooftop, and a distinct sadness haunted the abandoned landscape around it.
The home’s presence arrested and captivated all who saw it, including artist Lynn Tomlinson. She used an innovative clay-painting technique, photography, and stop-motion animation to tell the beautiful and haunting story of the house, which finally collapsed into the bay in 2010. Enjoy.