Title: Accomack County: Book Review
Author: Staff Writer
Publisher: Delmarva Quarterly
Date: Autumn 2009
Curtis Badger combines forces with his son, Tom, to complete a masterful visual history of Accomack County, published by Arcadia Publishing. And like most books in the Images of America series there's something in "Accomack County" for everyone: natural disaster pics, crime photography, and pictures of beach lovers from years gone by.
The Badgers' sharp prose is an added treat to the rich collection of images inside the slim volume. One is reminded of the photographs from the '20s how much of the Eastern Shore was zigzagged with dirt roads and traveled by horse drawn carriages.
The images of hog killing during World War II, the Ash Wednesday storm, the winter of 1977 when the creeks froze and the ice built up around Parramore Island Coast Guard Station, and the now vanished barrel-making are some of the highlights the Badgers have dug up.
One of the best is of stern barrel-chested hunters lined up outside a private bunting club that once made its home on the barrier islands. President Grover Cleveland is among them, eager to pluck the plentiful waterfowl from the air as a musician might pluck notes from an instrument.
In days of green tourism, and diminishing interest in the ways of watermen and farmers, "Accomack
County" reminds us that once there were no other options than to till the earth and live off the waters and land about us.
We found our pleasure more in natural settings rather than in electronics and entertainments, and "as long as we take care of [the land and the sea] we will be okay."
Title: Badger, son collaborate on pictorial history of Accomack
Author: Staff Writer
Publisher: Delmarva Now
Tom Badger and his father, Curtis Badger, share an interest in photography and Eastern Shore history. Curtis Badger is the author of more than 30 books, mainly about the natural landscape of the Atlantic Coast. He was also the author of the very popular "Pictorial History of the Eastern Shore."
Now Badger has collaborated with his son to produce "Accomack County" in the Images of America series by Arcadia Publishing. With more than 200 vintage black and white images, "Accomack County" offers a pictorial history revolving around two essential elements -- the land and the sea.
Public wharves in Accomack County were once located on many creeks where farmers would bring crops for market. Then, in 1884 the railroad came through. The railroad created new towns and it meant the demise of the numerous public wharves. Today, most of these old gathering places exist only as names on a map and perhaps a collection of twisted pilings at the water's edge, the last tangible evidence of a time in our history long past.
Highlights of "Acco-mack County" include the storm of 1933 and the Ash Wednesday storm of 1962, the agricultural boom during the early 1900s, waterfront towns when they were busy centers of commerce and institutions such as the Keller and Tasley fairs. Several photographs are aerial images and provide a bird's eye view of towns and other locations as they appeared decades ago.
"The photograph is the most literal and accessible medium there is when it comes to describing how people lived and what places looked like 50 or 100 years ago," said Tom Badger. "You can talk about how important farming was in the glory days of the Eastern Shore Produce Exchange, but when you look at photographs of box cars loaded with barrels of potatoes, or when you see pictures of horse carts lined up for the strawberry auction, it gives history a sense of immediacy you rarely find in the written word."
Both Tom and Curtis are themselves photographers of note. Tom graduated in 2008 from Hampden-Sydney College and spent three months traveling the country taking pictures. The project resulted in a one-man exhibition at the Stage Door Gallery in Cape Charles. Tom and Curtis had a father-and-son exhibition of the photography at the gallery in 2007.
"Accomack County," a softbound volume, sells for $21.99 and is available at local bookstores or through Arcadia Publish-ing at 888-313-2665 or www.arcadiapublishing .com
The authors will have a book signing at The Book Bin at Four Corner Plaza in Onley on Saturday, Aug. 22, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.