Holland Island Is A Great Place To Vacation If You Love Isolation
These days, it’s hard to really get away from it all. We’re constantly tuned in to something or another, even if it’s a meditation audio or an e-book on how to do a digital detox.
So if you’re really, really looking for some isolation and “me time”, consider Holland Island. Also known as Holland Windmill Island, or Windmill Holland Island, this unique spot in Maryland has eroded to the point of looking very, very sad. In fact, you can’t really visit it, but you could take a boat out there and park beside it and feel very isolated.
So what’s up with Holland Island? Can you actually visit it? And how did it get so… small?
It Wasn’t Always So Tiny
Holland Island is a quickly eroding, marshy island in the Chesapeake Bay, Dorchester County, Maryland. An abandoned fishing town, the island was once home to watermen and farmers. Since then, it was abandoned because of its deteriorating land.
At one point, around 1910, the island community had 70 homes, stores, and many other buildings. In addition to its own post office, it also had a two-room school with two teachers, a church, a community centre, a doctor, and even a baseball team.
The inhabitants there mostly survived off of dredging for oysters, crabbing, and fishing. The fleet to do this were impressive! It included 41 skipjacks, 10 schooners, and 36 bugeyes. They even built some of the ships on the island!
Forced To Abandon Their Island, Most Left
In 1914, the wind and tide began to take a serious toll on the west side of the island. Unfortunately, this is where most of the homes were located. Because of this, a lot of the residents had to move to the mainland. A lot of the people who had houses there actually disassembled their houses, and tools them over to more solid ground, namely Crisfield.
It all became too hard, and the last family left the island in 1918 when a storm damaged the island’s church. The erosion happened quickly, and attempts to protect the island by building stone walls didn’t really work.
The Last Remaining House On Holland Island
A man named Stephen White, a minister, took care of the island for years after, and also formed the Holland Island Preservation Foundation. Mr. White sold the island in 2010, and a few months later, the last remaining house on Holland Island collapsed.
The fall of the house that was built in 1888 marked the end of an era. They dismantled the lighthouse, and replaced it with an automatic light.
Can You Visit The Island Today?
There’s not much left of Holland Island. In fact, the state of Maryland loses around 260 acred of tidal shoreline each year. This results in a loss of public and private property, historic and cultural spots, beaches for recreation, and even active farmland.
By 2012, the island had completely eroded, so you can go by and spot some wreckage… however there will be no more visits to Holland Island.