Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Rouse and Ruination


Welcome to another episode of Other Peoples’ Tweets. I’ve been hanging onto this one since August.

Rouse quietly, literally stole,valuable, beautiful farmland in Maryland for pennies on the dollar, decades ago to build planned 'city' of Columbia MD. Rouse ruined the countryside of Howard County MD. Farmers would never have sold their land had they known.

In case you’ve ever wondered how long some people can hold a grudge, well, now you know.

I’ve often lamented the rigidity of some of Columbia’s earliest residents when it comes to changes in the present day. But clearly there are at least some folks out there who are still mad that Columbia even exists at all.  

We could have been beautiful farmland and stayed beautiful farmland. At least, I think that’s what that tweet suggests. Would that be better? I guess it depends on who you are. Did the planned city of Columbia bring gifts that were worth having? Or did it destroy something irreplaceable?

Essentially, someone from out of town - - with a whole lot of money - - came to build his concepts and ideals on a grand scale. Was it a beautiful, aspirational mission? Or a whole lot of playing around in someone else’s sandbox?

Even people who love living in Columbia have varying opinions on this. Some are filled with the innate goodness of Columbia ideals. Some think it’s quaint and almost halfway believable. Some like it but think it needs work. Some just like it here and don’t know any of the history at all.

Let’s use our imaginations for a moment. If Rouse had never planted his flag here, what would Howard County look like today? What do you think the “natural” evolution of this area would have looked like? (I put the word natural in quotation marks because there will always be human intervention in one way or another.)

I’d love to hear your ideas.

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