Por­tion of Fair Hill prop­erty ded­i­cated to hon­orary ranger

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By CH­ERYL MATTIX

cmat­tix@ce­cil­whig.com

— A por­tion of the Fair Hill Nat­u­ral Re­sources Man­age­ment Area was re­cently ded­i­cated in honor of Wil­liam “Howard” Skin­ner in recog­ni­tion of his life­long com­mit­ment to the prop­erty.

Sev­eral Mary­land Park Rangers joined mem­bers of Skin­ner’s fam­ily in the Oct. 21 cer­e­mony to ded­i­cate the “Hon­orary Ranger Wil­liam ‘Howard’ Skin­ner Area.”

Fair Hill Park Man­ager Rachel Temby said the newly ded­i­cated Skin­ner area

FAIR HILL

lies east of Ap­ple­ton Road and west of Lit­tle Egypt Road and in­cludes the area where Skin­ner lived since he was 3 years old.

Skin­ner, who grew up on the prop­erty, worked for years for Wil­liam duPont when the prop­erty was still known as Fox­catcher Farms. DuPont, who died in 1965, be­gan ac­quir­ing ad­di­tional land for fox hunt­ing un­til he had about 5,600 acres in the north­east­ern corner of Ce­cil County. He even­tu­ally gave that land to the state of Mary­land to be used for equine ac­tiv­i­ties.

Skin­ner con­tin­ued to work on the prop­erty af­ter the state took it over, help­ing pre­pare for big events like the Scot­tish Games and the Fair Hill Races. He passed away at the age of 86 in 2013.

Temby said Skin­ner was the first vol­un­teer in Mary­land to be named an “Hon­orary Park Ranger,” a ti­tle he loved.

Mary­land Board of Pub­lic Works ap­proved the des­ig­na­tion in June, but the cer­e­mony, in­clud­ing the in­stal­la­tion of a new sign, didn’t take place un­til Oct. 21 with Skin­ner’s chil­dren in at­ten­dance.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF DNR

Wil­liam “Howard” Skin­ner’s chil­dren Deb­bie Blyskal, John Skin­ner and Bill Skin­ner at­tend the ded­i­ca­tion cer­e­mony at Fair Hill last month.

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