I have been reading the newspapers and have been somewhat shocked at those who have argued that allowing food trucks at Fountain Park (formerly Market Square) is somehow incompatible with the historic nature of downtown Chestertown.
I have attached a photograph of a page of the 1860 Maryland Code–Maryland’s first true codification of the code going back through even Colonial statutes. Because of time constraints, I am not going to park myself at the Maryland Archives, but I thought going back to 1860 might suffice…
According to one history of the town I read, “Arabers” selling food from horse-drawn wagons were a presence in Fountain Park/Market Square up through the 1960s…the horse fountain there is one reminder–
May I suggest that if food trucks are being given “new special advantages,” we encourage horse-drawn food sales instead? Obviously, horses were the only horse-power in 1860…(although not in 1960).
Yes, I know I am being a bit tongue-in-cheek, but I suspect that arguments about the peculiarities of downtown Chestertown’s historic nature and the virtues of the mix of goods and services offered would have more force if substantiated by the historic record…
When I look through pictures of all the opportunities and amenities this town used to possess (and many of the pictures predate my birth by several decades), I am saddened by attempts today, often in the name of historic preservation, to restrain entrepreneurship in quite an ahistorical manner.
From a lover of Chestertown’s history.