The last house standing on Holland Island, an eroding sliver of land in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay, has been claimed by the water.
The two-story frame structure, abandoned and badly damaged by Tropical Storm Isabel in 2003, has been teetering on the brink of collapse for some time. High winds over the weekend apparently did it in. The picture here was taken by Shawn Ridgley, an educator at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Karen Noonan Center in southern Dorchester County.
Tip of the Sun visor to former colleague Tom Pelton, now with the Bay Foundation, who first reported this on the foundation's Bay Daily blog.
Once occupied by 2-300 people and more than 60 homes, the island had been eaten away so badly by storms and the bay's rising sea level that it was abandoned in the early 20th century. It was used as a hunting preserve and a campsite by countless kayakers and boaters in ensuing decades. An Eastern Shore minister and former waterman bought the island in the 1990s, and set up a foundation intent on preserving it - but ultimately couldn't muster enough resources or help.
For more on this vanishing slice of bay geography and history, go here and here.
(Photo by Shawn Ridgley, Chesapeake Bay Foundation)