RiverArts Salon: Olivia Wood, the Poplar Grove Project

RiverArts Salons

A RiverArts Salon, is a (virtual) place to learn something new, share ideas, explore interesting topics, see and be seen, and have fun.

Tuesdays from 5 - 5:45, on Zoom

The Poplar Grove Project

On a peninsula in Queen Anne's County lies Poplar Grove, a 400 year old former plantation on a remote site outside of Centreville. The property is still in the hands of a family whose ancestors were granted the site by Lord Baltimore in 1669.

In 2008, Washington College Professor and Director of the Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience Adam Goodheart and his students discovered a trove of papers there: documents from the mundane to the extraordinary, dating back to the 17th century. Papers that had lain unread for generations were stashed in attics and outbuildings in a crumbling, mouse-eaten jumble.

Olivia Wood, who grew up on a farm adjacent to Poplar Grove, is one of the 11th generation of her family to live on the land that was part of the 1669 land grant. In 2008, as an intern at the Maryland State Archives, she was part of the team that excavated, organized, interpreted, and archived the Poplar Grove papers.

She joins the RiverArts Salon to tell the story of the Poplar Grove Project and lead a discussion on questions of legacy, history, and how future historians will perform their work.

Today, she lives in Washington, DC where she has worked in the art museum world since 2011, most recently in the Exhibition Office of the National Gallery of Art. She studied art history at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee.

For some background on Poplar Grove and the archive project, follow these links:

Click here to read as Starr Center for the American Experience Director Adam Goodheart sets the stage. 

Click here to read a post written by Olivia during project.

Another post by Adam Goodheart about the letters between two siblings that Olivia worked on most, funny because the teenage sentiment is timeless!

NPR coverage

A contemporaneous article by Simon Kelly’s in the Queen Anne's County Record Observer 

Click here for My Darling Alice, a book by local author Mary Wood based on "Letters and Legends from an Eastern Shore Farm 1837-1935" and set on Poplar Grove and its environs.

Registration Info

Use the form below to register for the Salon discussion. Zoom link sent Tuesday afternoon, August 25, 2020.


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