by Lydia Woolever
Published February 16 in Baltimore Magazine
Excerpt: On an ordinary weekend in downtown Easton, the brick sidewalks are mostly empty, save for the occasional local out for a stroll or a handful of tourists taking in the iconic Colonial architecture of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. With only 16,000 residents, it’s the second-biggest town on the peninsula, a quaint yet popular stopover for folks from Baltimore and Washington, D.C., on their way to Ocean City.
But on a Saturday afternoon this past August, a commotion could easily be heard from several blocks away as some hundred people gathered at the Talbot County Courthouse. Wearing masks and holding signs, their voices carried as they answered a call of “Whose courthouse?” with a unified “Our courthouse!” from a grassy lawn in front of the looming government building, built in 1794.
Four days earlier, the Talbot County Council had convened inside the South Wing, sitting along a dark wooden bench separated by plexiglass dividers beneath the official seal of “Tempus Praeteritum Et Futurum,” or “Times, Past and Future,” as they voted on an issue that had grown increasingly urgent as months wore on. Earlier in the summer, after a thousand protestors rallied outside on Washington Street following the police killing of George Floyd, calls for Black Lives Matter quickly dovetailed with a demand to remove the “Talbot Boys.”