At its peak in the early 1900s, Holland Island was a thriving community. It had nearly 70 structures including homes and shops, a school, post office, several general stores, and a church. The island also had it’s own doctor, a community center, and even a baseball team that would travel by boat for away games.
Fast forward to today, and all we had left is a SINGLE Victorian home remaining from this era. It has braved the elements and tried to fight erosion on Holland Island in Chesapeake Bay for over a century. Despite owners best efforts to save the house and protect the island, the waters would overcome both and erase them permanently from this world.
What happened to Holland Island?
➥ The early days of Holland Island. Looks like your typical 1900s neighbourhood right? Wrong!
➥ Holland Island had a thriving waterfront community, with plenty of fisherman.
The Problem begins: The islands in Chesapeake Bay consist of mud and silt instead of rock; this made Holland Island susceptible to shoreline erosion from crashing waves.
This combined with the melting polar cap has seen the Earth’s oceans rise, speeding up the erosion. Holland Island started to noticeably lose shoreline in 1914. The residents tried desperately to save their island by importing stones to build walls and in some cases sinking boats in an attempt to slow the erosion, but all attempts failed.
This forced residents of Holland to tear down their homes and relocate to the mainland. Some would stay and take their chances, but a tropical storm in 1918 was the final straw for the last family.
➥ The last house on Holland Island begins its descent into the dark depths.
➥ By 1995, the only residents on Holland Island were nesting birds.
➥ Final nail in the coffin: In 2003, Hurricane Isabel hits Holland Island. Its walls collapse.
➥ Time is such a cruel mistress…
➥ R.I.P: In 2012 the last home on Holland Island was finally claimed by the ocean. All we have left are the photographs and memories of a time gone by.