Not­ting­ham Lots farm com­pletely con­served with fi­nal do­na­tion

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By BRAD KRONER bkro­ner@ches­

RIS­ING SUN — The Brown Farm on the Not­ting­ham Lots, an in­te­gral part of Ce­cil County’s early his­tory, has now been com­pletely con­served af­ter a 2-acre prop­erty was do­nated to the Ce­cil Land Trust (CLT), a non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion that works to pro­tect farms, forests and water re­sources in Ce­cil County.

In 2008, the ma­jor­ity of the his­toric farm prop­erty was con­served through a grant from the State of Mary­land’s Ru­ral Legacy Pro­gram by C.W. Brown, a farmer and de­scen­dant of the area’s orig­i­nal Quaker set­tlers.

“C.W. Brown was an out­stand­ing farmer and con­ser­va­tion­ist,” said Bill Kilby, a dairy farmer and pres­i­dent of the CLT board of di­rec­tors. “The Brown fam­ily farm, on Lombard Road, was at the cen­ter of proac­tive farm­ing tech­niques and sus­tain­able prac­tices.”

In June, Brown’s daugh­ter Judi do­nated a 2-acre prop­erty, thus al­low­ing for the en­tire prop­erty to be con­served.

The land will be trans­ferred from Brown to David K. Stoltz­fus, who will con­tinue to cul­ti­vate the prop­erty as part of the Stoltz­fus farm. This con­ser­va­tion elim­i­nates the prop­erty’s po­ten­tial for de­vel­op­ment, pre­serv­ing the ru­ral char­ac­ter for gen­er­a­tions.

“CLT thanks Judi and the Stoltz­fus fam­i­lies for their con­tin­ued sup­port of CLT’s con­ser­va­tion ef­forts in the his­toric Not­ting­ham Lots,” said Jeremy Roth­well, a CLT board mem­ber who was in­stru­men­tal in se­cur­ing the do­na­tion.

“Hav­ing a num­ber of pre­served farms in my area gave me the con­fi­dence to build my op­er­a­tion to in­clude a green­house and a new dairy,” ex­plained Enos Stoltz­fus, who now farms part of what was Brown’s farm. “This will be a farm­ing com­mu­nity for gen­er­a­tions.”

The area’s his­tor­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance stems from a land dis­pute be­tween the found- ers of Mary­land and Penn­syl­va­nia.

Wil­liam Penn, an English real es­tate en­trepreneur who founded Penn­syl­va­nia, sent James and Wil­liam Brown to the Not­ting­ham Lots in 1701 to se­cure the land for agri­cul­tural and po­lit­i­cal gain.

The goal was to find fer­tile land that also served the po­lit­i­cal goal of ex­tend­ing the south­ern border of Penn’s prop­erty into Mary­land, which was orig­i­nally gifted to Lord Bal­ti­more. The Not­ting­ham Lots were the cen­ter of the land dis­pute.

Ap­prox­i­mately 18,000 acres were split into 37 lots of about 500 acres each, which were given to Quaker set­tlers.

While Penn hoped the ac­qui­si­tion would be in­cluded in Penn­syl­va­nia, that would not be the case. In 1767, the Ma­son-Dixon sur­vey left most of the Not­ting­ham Lots on the Mary­land side.

Nonethe­less, the move was a boon for agri­cul­tural pur­suits, as the land was fer­tile enough for a com­mu­nity of farm­ers.

“It turns out that as a po­lit­i­cal strat­egy, the Not­ting­ham Lots con­cept was not suc­cess­ful, but the Brown broth­ers did find fer­tile ground and the farm­ing com­mu­nity that fol­lowed can still be seen to­day,” Kilby said. “CLT is hon­ored to have been able to work with C.W. Brown to pro­tect this his­tor­i­cally im­por­tant farm with a Ru­ral Legacy ease­ment in 2008, and grate­ful to Judi Brown for the do­na­tion of this re­cent ease­ment to pro­tect the farm’s re­main­ing lot.”


Judi Brown’s re­cent do­na­tion of a con­ser­va­tion ease­ment ex­tin­guishes the de­vel­op­ment po­ten­tial on the re­main­ing 2-acre lot of the farm pro­tected by her fa­ther, C.W. Brown, in 2008.


The Brown farm on Not­ting­ham Lots is now com­pletely con­served, thanks to a re­cent do­na­tion.


The Not­ting­ham Lots sign mark­ing the area on Tele­graph Road.

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