Nottingham Lots farm completely conserved with final donation
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.