September 30th, 2014

Who Was Augustine Herman and Why is There a Highway Named for Him?

AHHaving lived in Cecil County for nearly 20 years, I’ve often wondered who Augustine Herman was and why he had such an impact on the region. A school, a river, and numerous developments in the south county area bear the name of his estate, and Augustine Herman Highway (Route 213) is a major thoroughfare connecting north and south ends of the county.

It turns out this Czech merchant has a fascinating history: he was an explorer, statesman, mapmaker, and land baron who established the Bohemia Manor plantation in Cecil County in 1661.

Herman was born in the eastern European region of Bohemia (now called the Czech Republic).  He later settled in the Netherlands and eventually sailed to the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam (present-day New York City.)

In 1659 New Amsterdam’s governor sent Herman to the Eastern Shore of Maryland to gather information on a border dispute that was occurring between Maryland and Dutch settlements along the Delaware Bay.

Maryland must have appealed to Herman as he returned in 1660. He made a deal with Cecil Calvert, Second Lord Baltimore that he would draw an accurate map of the colony (Herman was trained as a surveyor and was skilled in sketching and drawing) in exchange for ownership of land on the Eastern Shore.

Augustine Herman received 6,000 acres of land for his map. He named the property “Bohemia Manor” after his homeland. In addition to the land grant, he was also named a naturalized citizen, the first of the colony. Along with holding many county offices, Herman spent years charting the colony and eventually drew what was then the most accurate map of the Chesapeake Bay. Many people living in England first learned what Maryland looked like from Augustine Herman’s map.

If you are interested in learning more about the life of Augustine Herman, the Cecilton Branch Library is hosting a program on October 21 at 6:30 pm.  To register, stop by any branch, call, or register online.


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September 22nd, 2014

Have You Heard About Hoopla?

hooplaHave you heard?

Cecil County Public Library has launched Hoopla – an exciting new digital resource for movies, music and audiobooks!

With Hoopla, Cecil County Public Library gives you free access to:

- 8 checkouts per month – movies, TV, music and eAudiobooks

- No holds lists and no fines

- Unlimited viewing or listening during your checkout period (once checkout time has expired, item will automatically disappear from your computer or device)

- Over 100,000 titles with new selections added weekly — new, popular, classic and educational titles

- Hoopla carries approximately 80% of albums listed on Billboard magazine’s top 100 lists, often on the day the album is released (try it before you buy it!)

- Easy to use – just have your library card number and PIN handy

Our staff has been trying it out – and they’ve fallen head-over-heels for Hoopla!  Here’s what one dedicated staff user has to say:

CCPL: What do you think about Hoopla?

LY: My family doesn’t just love books, movies and music – we consume them! My husband and I always have audiobooks in our cars, and we all have eBooks and eAudiobooks downloaded to our devices.  We watch tons of digital movies and television. Hoopla is great – on the go and it’s free!

CCPL: How do you use Hoopla?

LY: We use all of Hoopla’s products – music, movies/television, and eAudiobooks.

CCPL: Where do you use it?

LY: Everywhere! We access our Hoopla materials in our cars, the house, the doctor’s office, at football practice – and even on a family camping trip!

CCPL: Why do you love it?

LY: Hoopla is SO easy to use! Forget having to go through a bunch of steps to get to the media you want. Just register, browse, then checkout.  You can even do temporary downloads if you don’t want to use up your data by streaming! They’ve thought of everything.

For more information and to try Hoopla for yourself, click here or visit any Cecil County Public Library Branch location.

We would love to hear from you! How do you Hoopla?


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