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Seashore Chronicles

Three Centuries of the Virginia Barrier Island
Foreword by William Warner. Brooks M. Barnes and Barry R. Truitt, eds.

BUY Paper · 368 pp. · 6.13 × 9.25 · ISBN 9780813918792 · $30.00 · Oct 1997

ASSATEAGUE, Chincoteague, Parramore, Smith's, Hog, Wallop's: The names of Virginia's isolated barrier islands evoke their beauty and wildness, their dynamic ecology. Drawing chapters from the writings of novelists, naturalists, journalists, and outdoorsmen, Seashore Chronicles presents the history of these slender, constantly shifting landforms from the 1650s to the present. Robert E. Lee surveys the agricultural potential of Smith's Island, and a young Howard Pyle describes the Chincoteague pony penning. William Warner provides an impressionistic foreword and noted writer Tom Horton adds a contemporary chapter on the islands' survival. Eastern Shore residents Brooks Miles Barnes and Barry R. Truitt have compiled a cyclical story of economic settlement, of destruction and conservation, for those who have visited the islands many times as well as for those who have not yet experienced their alluring vitality.


Seashore Chronicles offers an introduction to the Virginia Barrier Islands in the best tradition—through stories, narratives that offer insights into the nature of a landscape and the human community that arises within it. The blend of history, personal accounts, and natural history, and the range and diversity of voices make this book a pleasure to read.

Jennifer Ackerman, author of Notes from the Shore

A thoroughly enjoyable book.... And, in its own unique way, reading it is akin to taking a walk on the beach.... There are delightful surprises to be found on the next page and in the next chapter.

Will Molineux, Newport News Daily Press

A must-have for anyone interested in the Eastern Shore, barrier islands anywhere, nature, fishing, history, ecology and, perhaps most importantly, the fragility of our nation's eastern door.

Bob Hutchinson, Norfolk Virginian-Pilot

About the Author(s): 

Brooks Miles Barnes is Librarian at the Eastern Shore Public Library. Barry R. Truitt is Director of Science and Stewardship at the Nature Conservancy's Virginia Coast Reserve.

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