There are a lot of good reasons why the Spy Newspapers will be launching a Centreville Spy this summer but perhaps the most important of which is that the Spy has always had a soft spot for Centreville.
While it may now be the essential highway midpoint for the entire Mid-Shore, this community has stayed in my memory as a place where some of the region’s most talented figures in public affairs, the arts, and regional history have all called home.
It is the home of two of the region’s most innovative private schools, one of the best-ranked public high schools on the Eastern Shore, and the main campus of the highly-valued Chesapeake College.
It is also the base of such outstanding artists as photographer Anne Nielson, environmental artists Howard and Mary McCoy, award-winning novelist Christopher Tilghman, landscape painter Nancy Hammond, furniture craftsman Ridgely Kelly, historian and former athlete Mary Margaret Revell Goodwin, and undoubtedly the most beautiful county courthouse on the Eastern Shore.
The addition of Centreville will also give this educated-driven news portal a presence in one of the Eastern Shore’s fastest-growing counties. Over the next few decades, Queen Anne’s County will be the first on the Delmarva to face unprecedented challenges from a Bay Bridge expansion that will eventually impact the entire Mid-Shore. QAC is also on the frontline on such critical issues as ecological resilience and rising sea levels. We also see significant challenges and opportunities for Centreville as it grows and develops.
Given the essential environmental role that Queen Anne’s County will play in this century, the Centreville Spy will dedicated to the late great conservationist Howard Wood. The product of Harvard College and its distinguished law school, Howard made the remarkable decision to return to Centreville to practice law in the early 1940s rather than a lucrative career as a Wall Street attorney. And while his law practice found success, it was Wood’s early role in Queen Anne’s County conservation protection as one of the founders of the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, the Chester River Association (now ShoreRivers), and Queen Anne’s Conservation Association that surely gave him the most satisfaction. We recently asked Spy contributor Maria Wood to profile her grandfather for the Centreville Spy’s first edition here.
To help with the launching of the Centreville Spy, I am so pleased to say that the popular Queen Anne’s County author and historian Brent Lewis will be joining our distinguished list of contributors. Brent has three nonfiction books, including his most recent Stardust by the Bushel: Hollywood on the Chesapeake Bay’s Eastern Shore. His first novel, Bloody Point 1976, won an Honorable Mention Award at the 2015 Hollywood Book Festival.
The Spy has started a modest fundraising campaign of $20,000 to cover the initial costs of startup and support the Centreville Spy in its first year of operation. I am very grateful to the Arthur H. Kudner, Jr. Fund for its leadership commitment to this goal, which will match personal donations made to the Mid-Shore Community Foundation’s Centreville Spy Fund. I do hope that those Spy readers who live or work in the greater Centreville community will participate in getting the new Spy up and going. Donations can be made here.
Speaking of writers, I’m pleased to welcome David Reel as a weekly commentator for the Spy. With a lifetime of political activism (he recently was the chair of the Republican Central Committee of Talbot County) and a successful public relations career, David’s right-of-center political point of view matches well with the Eastern Shore’s consistently long history of conservatism. Whether one agrees or disagrees with David’s opinions, I think our readers will grow to look forward to and respect his thoughtful commentaries.
Once again, speaking on behalf of our Spy writers and editors, a heartfelt thanks for our reader support and Spies like you.
Publisher and Executive Editor