Despite my knowledge of the state, I needed to research that particular area, specifically during the war. I learned that Maryland is comprised of five regions: Capital, Southern, Western, Eastern Shore, and Central, and I will be sharing about one each month through the end of the year. I hope you enjoy the journey.
The Capital Region is located – you guessed it – outside Washington, DC, our nation’s capital and contains three counties: Frederick, Montgomery, and Prince George’s (PG as it’s known to locals). The area’s history spans three centuries, evidenced by the fact that Maryland donated land from Montgomery and Prince George’s counties to be used for the new capital city. Dotted by farms during the early days, the region is now famous for its high-tech industries and research centers in the fields of telecommunications, electronics, computers, health, and medicine.
Montgomery County, where I spent my high school and college years was founded in 1776 by English, Scottish, and Irish settlers, and was named for General Richard Montgomery, a Revolutionary War hero. Because of its proximity to Washington, DC, there are quite a few government agencies in the county including the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Institute of Health, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In addition, the 150-year-old National Library of Medicine, the large medical library in the world, is in Bethesda. Bordered by the Potomac River, the county lies completely within the Piedmont Plateau and is made up of gently rolling hills throughout its 591 square miles.
The 184.5-mile-long Chesapeake & Ohio Canal (C&O) runs alongside the Potomac and operated as a means of transportation and transport from 1831-1924. The tow-path (the dirt and stone lane built for canal mules to walk beside the water as they “towed” the boats through the waterway is now a heavily traveled hiking trail. And even in this age of advanced technology, you can grab a ride on White’s Ferry, the only ferry remaining on the Potomac.
Prince George’s County is an interesting dichotomy of agriculture and technology where you can visit
the National Colonial Farm Museum, Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, and Goddard Space Flight Center. Because PG County is close to Washington, DC, it is also home to several federal facilities such as Joint Base Andrews (formerly Andrews Air Force Base) and the U.S. Census Bureau. Named for Prince George of Denmark (husband of England’s Princess Anne) and founded in 1696, the county is filled with history.
|Courtesy of nasa.gov|
The county lies in the Atlantic coastal plain and is a mixture of rolling hills and valleys, but the terrain varies widely by location within the county. The Patuxent River forms the eastern border. Areas close to the capital tend to be characterized by suburban neighborhoods, while areas further out are more rural. Piscataway Park in Accokeek preserves many acres of woodland and wetlands along the Potomac River opposite Mount Vernon, Virginia (yes, George Washington’s Mount Vernon). Many well-known athletes, entertainers, and actors hail from PG county, but the most infamous is Mary Surratt, who was charged with conspiring to assassinate President Lincoln and was the first woman hanged by the federal government.
Dinah Simpkins has no chance of making a good marriage in Baltimore. Her outlaw brothers and her father’s gambling addiction have ruined the family’s reputation. Then the Westward Home and Hearts Matrimonial Agency provides an opportunity for a fresh start. After Dinah arrives in Nebraska, she discovers her brothers played a part in the death of her prospective groom’s first wife.
As a former Pinkerton detective Nathan Childs knows when someone is lying. The bride sent by the matrimonial agency may be beautiful, but she’s definitely hiding something, and he has no intention of marrying her until he uncovers the truth. But an easier solution may be to send her packing. Then his young daughter goes missing. He and Dinah must put aside their mutual hurt and mistrust to find her.
Purchase Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B08DBKTJC1