Holland Island: Lost Atlantis of the Chesapeake



"A Triumph! Writer Ann Foley has done it again. She has made the reader feel like family as she pieces together the history of Holland's Island. With help from historian P. Smith Rue, Foley introduces numerous personalities who, over the centuries, gave life and character to a vanished community. Mysteries are revealed and stories told in the best book yet about this ghost island in the Chesapeake Bay."

—Brice N. Stump, Author,

Working Skipjacks of Deal Island



Generations of boaters marveled when a tall, weather-worn house seemed to rise from the depths of the Chesapeake Bay, growing on the horizon, as from some returning Atlantis.

Ancient myth depicted an earthly paradise sunk beneath the waves— a description any Holland Islander would have recognized. This white-framed survivor capturing boaters' imaginations was no apparition, but a relic of nineteenth century life on Holland Island.

Here is the true story of people who lived and loved in this once-upon-a-time community—their laughter, labors, and the ultimate loss of a civilization they expected would withstand any assault the Chesapeake could throw against them.

To tell their story, writer A. M. Foley collaborated with P. Smith Rue, an island aficionado who collected photos and clippings on many islands over the years.



"Friends, your personal library of Delmarva Lore will be much richer and more intriguing to your children if it includes Ann Foley’s work. These are personal accounts of real people, the kind of history that would be lost if not for this . . ."

—Charles Paparella, WBOC-TV


"This book is fantastic. One of the Chesapeake Bay's most haunting stories: an island town, slowly swallowed by the waves."                         

                                                                                             David Fahrenthold

                                                                                             Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, The Washington Post


"OHHH, did you ever tell it well! The writing was so smooth, I could see everything. It all came alive before my eyes."

—Arline Chase, Publisher & Author

"Ann Foley and P. Smith Rue have done a masterful job working with local stories, legends, and church records to produce their book Holland Island. While the island has slowly disappeared from the Chesapeake seascape, Ms. Foley and Mr. Rue collected  the annals of a community that will preserve the culture and events for generations to come."

—Terry L. White, Author, Runaway Hearts

"Having spent many years in Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod, and winters in Key West, my trip to Hollands Island, thru your book, turned pages back in my life and urged me forward thru your pages to a time gone by. The stories reflect such a resilience and true community of its people. A simpler temperament of the soul with a more valued appreciation of time. What a wonderful read from a gifted storyteller."

—John Twomey, Cork, Republic of Ireland

"One need not go far into the Prologue of A. M. Foley’s latest book before feeling drawn inexorably into another time and world. Living on the Eastern Shore only a short time, I felt no nostalgia for personal memories, yet the honest, unadorned, masterful way of the author is compelling. Now I realize I watched a pageant of life: its loving, its struggles, its rewards, its defeats, and its aftermath—the likes of which I never thought about. I now feel a greater kinship and understanding of Eastern Shore people among whom I settled."

—Jerry Sciortino, Author, For the Want of a Musket