Preserving Kent’s Biggest Farm

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In the 1920s Louisa Duemling’s father began buying land for what would become the largest farm in Kent County — 2894 acres along 9.2 miles of the Chesapeake Bay and reaching inland along Churn, Tims and Worton Creeks and Still Pond.

He came from Wilmington for the hunting. She came for weekends, vacations and family gatherings, as did her children, and her grandchildren. “I came all my life,” she says.

Now she’s taken steps to ensure that the land she grew up loving will never change, by donating the conservation easement of Andelot Farm to the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy and to Maryland Environmental Trust.

“Because it’s beautiful,” she says, when asked why she did it.

“It means it can never be developed. I don’t want it developed, my family doesn’t want it developed. It’s important to do for the future.”

The Duemling gift is the largest conservation easement that the Maryland Environmental Trust has recorded in its 42-year history.  The property includes 1,087 acres of forest, 1,692 acres of tilled land and 50 acres of freshwater ponds.

Located partially within the Sassafras Rural Legacy Focus Area and adjoining the 632-acre Copeland Biddle easement, the farm’s size and location made it a high-priority conservation project.

“Mrs. Duemling’s exceptional gift is all the more appreciated because time is running out,” said Elizabeth Buxton, director of Maryland Environmental Trust. “Experts predict that within 10 to 20 years, our state will be so developed that significant easements, of the size and environmental value of Andelot Farm, will no longer be possible.”

Mrs. Duemling said her father started buying land in Kent County in the late 1920s and added to his holdings after World War II. “He just used it for hunting and he was into progressive agriculture,” she says.

“There are very few open spaces like it in Maryland at this time. We are just thrilled that we were able to do this.”

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Letters to Editor

  1. Heidi Usilton Anthony says:

    This is wonderful news to bring in the New Year! Thank goodness there are people with so much care and devotion to the world around them like Mrs. Duemling.

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