Signs of the Times

16 Sep

Back in the late 1600s, until just after the American Revolution, Joppa Towne was a thriving seaport and the county seat. When the harbor silted up and malaria became a serious problem the people moved away. Both the church and the town were abandoned. In the early 1960s a developer bought up the farm land and established a planned community here. In doing the title search, he discovered the Episcopal Diocese had been deeded several acres in perpetuity by George II. We were not inclined to give it up, so the developer had to revamp his plans.  The diocese reestablished the parish, which is called Resurrection, as it has come full circle.

HistoricJoppaSignThis sign was originally out on the main highway, and remained there until about ten years ago, when some sort of landscaping was done. The highway department took it down and was going to trash it, until the church asked if it could be saved.

The Squire and I went up to the  country court house to see about having it replaced along the highway. The original spot was gone, so it would have to be in a new place. This is where the fun started.

We asked about getting a permit or something to set the sign, and the man was astounded. “You mean you want to do it legally?”  “Well, yes. We’re a church so we thought it would be nice to do it right.”

We needed to go to room 302 or something. That lady told us we had the wrong place and sent us to room 130. They sent us to the basement. And so it went. We went to half a dozen places, and ended up back where we started. Along the way we were told we needed to file a plat of the area. I pointed out that there was a shopping center right there. “Why can’t you pull that plat?” We don’t have one. “Did you toss it, or did they do all that work without one?” Hmmm.

In the end we gave it up as a bad deal, and the sign ended up on the church property. We didn’t need permission to do that.

Now, the Vestry wants to move it back to the highway. We are way off the beaten track, and the sign would help direct people to the area.  The Squire and I are not offering to help.

2 Responses to “Signs of the Times”

  1. tiggerlyss September 16, 2018 at 8:10 pm #

    Really?!? They want to move the sign? You all do those great celebrations of the old times! I am amazed; that sign is wonderful. But I am pretty sure that it has been on the property for longer than ten years. I remember it being there since the kids and I began attending which was around 1999-2000.

    • thisendoftheswamp September 16, 2018 at 9:51 pm #

      They just figured if the sign was back on Rt.40 it would attract attention to the site. Of course, reading it at 50 mph is another matter. As I said, they can do anything they want. Just don’t ask us to help!
      come to think of it, this was before cell phones and unlimited long distance. One of the people they suggested we call was in another office. They wouldn’t let us use the County Office phone, so we had to make a long distance call – from a payphone! Pfft.

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