Ward Bros. name on library is something to get behind

Ward Home 11-27-2013To the residents of Crisfield: I know by now that many of you have seen the recent letter published (in the Crisfield-Somerset County Times Nov. 5), that was penned by Tommy Linton, the grandson of Lem Ward, concerning the destruction of the Ward Homestead in November last.

I wanted to reiterate the real frustration that is felt about this disturbing incident beyond the city limits of your beautiful town. The demolition of the Ward home is a sad loss to all in the decoy community nationwide. Ward decoys are known and appreciated across the country as some of the finest creations in this only art form indigenous to the United States. Can you imagine tearing down Picassos home because it needed a new roof or the local historical society did not want to care for it any longer?

The blatant disregard for maintaining this historical property by the Crisfield Heritage Foundation is appalling and obviously cannot be rectified to anyone’s satisfaction at this point. We, in the decoy community, feel cheated that no one (even the family) was ever contacted, in advance of the home’s destruction, to provide assistance (manpower or financial) to avoid this unnecessary outcome.

At this point, with the homestead gone, I believe it only appropriate that some honor be directed towards two of Crisfield’s finest sons to show them the appreciation for what they contributed to the fabric and heritage of your town and this naturalized art form. I now see that the topic has been raised to name the, soon to be constructed, Somerset County Library as the Ward Brothers Memorial Library. A most fitting tribute.

I also understand that the Library association is asking for the sum of $500,000 for such an honor to be bestowed on the Brothers. As a public building, I for one, don’t think that a “Memorial” should got to the highest bidder and that such an honor should be granted to the deserving, rather than the local with the deepest pockets.

I would encourage the town of Crisfield, the County and the Library association to seek sponsorship for their new facility through other means and bestow this deserving honor on two of you most respected and beloved sons by naming your new public building the Ward Brothers Memorial Library. It is something all town and country residents could be, and should be, proud of.

I would also encourage the readers to weigh in on this topic to let your elected officials understand your feelings on this proposed tribute to the Wards and your thoughts on the current plan to “memorialize a tribute” by naming the newest public building after the highest bidder.

— Mr. McLoughlin lives in West Chester, Pa.

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