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Family Roots Run Deep Along The Severn River In Storybook Linstead

Judy Tacyn
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February 6, 2018

If it were possible to combine Tom Sawyer’s river adventures with a quintessential Norman Rockwell neighborhood setting, the outcome just might be a lazy summer scene on the Severn River in the idyllic Linstead neighborhood of Severna Park. With water views from three sides — Yantz Creek, Sullivan’s Cove and the Severn River — 62 of the 154 single-family houses are waterfront.

Linstead offers a lot of community activities all year, including bull roasts, crab feasts, Wednesday evening sailboat races, summer camp, a swim team and a diving team, to name a few. There are magnificent paths throughout the neighborhood that take trekers to various esoteric common areas to enjoy nature. There is a community beach and pier, boat ramp, pavilion, fire pit and playground. Linstead has an annual float entry in the Severna Park Fourth of July Parade.

 

Tom Codd
Lifelong Resident

Tom Codd’s parents grew up in Linstead in the 1920s; his father’s home was 4 Riggs Avenue. Tom’s grandfather was “Old Doc Codd,” who operated a pharmacy, general store and soda fountain there in the 1920s, ‘30s and ‘40s. After Doc Codd died, Cliff Dawson acquired Doc Codd’s business and moved it to the current location of Dawson’s Liquors.

“My mom grew up about a half-block away in a house that was situated on the property where Garry’s Grill is now located. My parents used to tell me that when they were kids, they would often walk, after school, from Old Doc Codd’s pharmacy down to Severna Park’s community beach and then make their way along the beach to what is now Linstead,” said Tom. “Back then, it was an apple orchard and Boy Scout camp, Camp Linstead.”

Tom’s parents would take a picnic lunch over to a certain spot on a hill overlooking the Severn River and just sit there and enjoy the scenery. The community of Linstead hadn’t yet come into existence.

“Years later, after my mom and dad married, and after the community of Linstead was first subdivided and developed, they bought a lot right where they used to have their picnics and built their house on it,” said Tom. “They lived there until they passed away. My wife and I now live in that house. It’s a wonderful, magical place.”

Like many people who grew up in Linstead, one of Tom’s daughters and her husband and children have moved back to Linstead into Tom’s old house, which is across the street from where Tom and his wife now live.

“Linstead is a lovely place like no other. It is more or less on a peninsula surrounded by water on three sides. It has gentle hills and a canopy of mature trees, at least where our house is,” said Tom. “Each house is architecturally one of a kind. The wind is always blowing off the river.”

Tom also appreciates the cross section of interesting people that inhabit the neighborhood, a number of whom are second- or third-generation Linsteaders.

“Severna Park is a special place. It is like a real life ‘Leave It To Beaver’ town. And Linstead is the greatest neighborhood within this special town,” said Tom. “You really couldn’t ask for anything more.”

 

Jill McKay
Resident Since 1950

“My parents built a house in Linstead in 1950. I grew up in Linstead and moved back here after living in two other places and realizing what an amazing childhood I had,” said Jill McKay. “Like several people here, we have grown up here, gotten married and come here back to raise our children.”

McKay’s children attended Severna Park Elementary, where her family appreciated the great teachers and small, private atmosphere.

“Most people have to go on vacation to experience the feeling of Linstead in the summer,” said McKay. “It is a place that, as you drive down the road, you know everyone in your community. The community events and spending time at the main beach really help you get close to your neighbors.”

 

Rachel Tschantre
Resident Since 1953

Rachel Tschantre (née Holt) moved to Linstead with her parents in 1953. “Homes were pretty sparse at that time, but soon, many families with children were moving into the neighborhood,” she said.

In 1955, Rachel married Ken Tschantre. As a military family, they moved often before returning to Linstead in 1968. Ken retired from the military in 1971. His service took the family to many places, but their hearts remained in Linstead.

The Tschantres have two daughters and one son, six grandchildren and one great-grandson, many of whom live in the area or nearby, marking four generations of family with ties to Severna Park.

“It’s just the greatest little place in the world,” said Rachel. “We wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

Comments

Posted 12/31/1969 07:00 PM

What a great place to live. I miss the wild assortment of trees we had, reaching out over the winding roads. Swim team in the summers, sea nettles in the fall ;-)mosquitoes in between. I used to use a distant neighbor's tree to tell me if it was worth taking my sailboat out. If the top of their tree was swaying enough, we had at least 15kts of wind at the beach. Real seat-of-the-pants weather forecasting. Or really, "currentcasting" since their was no predictability to it. Fishing and crabbing off the pier were always productive and it felt good to come home with enough crabs to have a mini-feast with the family. What will the world come to once newspapers stop being used? We'll all be *buying* butcher paper like weirdos!

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