Wye History Project Invites Local Participation

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Wye Angus cattle herd manager Jim Reid (left) and then assistant manager J.R. “Dick” Whaley, both now deceased, discuss the Wye herd in 1966.

The Aspen Institute at Wye River is launching an exciting project to document the evolution of its property and surrounding communities along the Wye River in Queen Anne’s County and is inviting those with a connection to the property to participate. A key focus will be the people who have lived, worked, and played there. Research will span the estate’s early years as the William Paca family’s 18th-century weekend home, Arthur Houghton, Jr.’s 20th century ownership, the creation of the Wye Institute Camp at Wye Woods, changes to the properties and donations of the land and Wye Angus cattle herd to the University of Maryland and the Institute. The project will showcase the estate’s impact in world affairs, nationally, and in Maryland.

The project will preserve the voices, faces, and landscapes that have made Wye the fascinating property it is today.  This account of daily routines and singular events will serve as a lasting archive and a living resource for the future, and will also help to demystify questions surrounding the property that help developed over the years.

Judy Price, Manager of the Institute’s Wye River campus, commented “The Aspen Institute is excited to be undertaking this project which we hope will illuminate vital aspects of the property’s history through the stories of the many individuals who have had some relationship with this significant site on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.”

If you have lived, worked, summered, or otherwise spent time at the Institute’s Wye River property, or can suggest others who have, you could be part of this living oral historical record. For more information or to share photographs or related materials, schedule an interview and tell your story, please contact Charlene Costello at 410-820-5374 or email charlene.costello@ aspeninstitute.org.

The Wye History Project is being supported with funding from the Aspen Institute, the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and donations from local businesses and individuals.

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is located in Washington, D.C; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.

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