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Tracking Economic and Social Change in Two Eastern Shore Towns


Somerset County, the southernmost county on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, was founded in 1666.

It’s motto for centuries has been Semper Eadem, Latin for “Always the same.”

A lot has indeed stayed the same, but even at the bottom tip of Maryland, the normal processes of time and struggles to bring about change intentionally…have had effects also.  


Almost two decades ago, in 1996, Meredith Ramsay, a retired faculty member of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, wrote an analysis of some of those effects of time and some of those struggles. It chronicled the history of Somerset County, especially in the two incorporated towns, landlocked Princess Anne in the north and Crisfield on the Bay in the south.    

It was titled, “Community, Culture and Economic Development: Continuity and Change in Two Small Southern Towns.” 

This month, the second edition of the book was released in paperback with updates of more changes in the county over the past 18 years. 

Dr. Ramsay joins Sheilah in the studio.

In the second part of the interview, we are joined on the line from the studios of Delmarva Public Radio in Salisbury by Dr. Kirkland Hall, Chairman of the Democratic Central Committee in Somerset County and an instructor in the Exercise Science Department at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Craig Mathies, pastor and Somerset County Commissioner who represents District 1 of Somerset County, joins Dr. Hall on the line. 

Dr. Hall and Commissioner Mathies were involved in some of the changes that are discussed in the interview.
More from our guests

Dr. Ramsay on 'prison-based gerrymandering' in Somerset County, Commissioner Mathies' election and she answers whether the changes in Somerset County's electoral patterns are here to stay.
Dr. Ramsay on the founding of Somerset County.
Dr. Hall and Commissioner Mathies discuss their first meeting with Dr. Ramsay, and Commissioner Mathies' perspective on the impact of the book.

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Jamyla Krempel is WYPR's digital content director and the executive producer of Wavelength: Baltimore's Public Radio Journey. She collaborates with reporters, program and podcast hosts to create content for WYPR’s online platforms.