A new title, Edge Effects: The Border-Name Place, by Dr. Robert D. Temple focuses on border towns. The author provides a fascinating and entertaining look at more than eighty north American border towns in Edge Effects. With an adventurer’s heart and a historian’s keen eye, Temple explores life on the edge and how these places have made their place in history. One of the chapters examines Cecil County’s own little border village, Sylmar. In 1902, Sylmar, which is located on the state line northeast of Rising Sun, a population of 50 people, as well as an undertaker (W. N. Brown), a blacksmith (Amos Whiteman), auctioneer (S. H. Dowland), a general store (Kimble S. Howard, and a number of other interests.
Other border villages examined in our region include, Pen Mar, Marydel, Delmar and Mardela Springs. The author talks about finding these 80-s0me places, the adventure in exploring them, by highway, four-wheel-drive, boots, and kayak, and in encountering memorable locals: historians, farmers, waitresses, cops, forest rangers, railroaders, and ne’er-do-wells. But even
more, he says, these places lead us to investigate concepts of borders, boundaries, frontiers, margins, and marginality, as well as survey lines, battle lines, picket lines, and color lines. Edge Effects reveals how edges shape local history-and our lives. With an outstanding chapter on Sylmar, it’s a title I’ve ordered for my personal library.