Tangier island, Virginia. Tangier Island sits in the Chesapeake Bay about 6 miles below the Maryland line. It is is 6.5 miles long and 1.5 miles wide. First settled in 1686, the island at times had over 1,200 residents. Its people speak a unique dialect of American English, hypothesized to be nearly unchanged since the days of its first occupation by English colonists. Each of the original surnames and several of the present surnames on the island originated in the British Isles, particularly in Scotland, and the accent has a distinctly Celtic flavor, similar to those in Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and Cornwall, four of the six Celtic nations.
Tangier Island lies in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay and is 92 miles (148km) southeast of Washington, DC. This small piece of land is barely above sea level and its 500 residents are fighting for its survival.
Erosion and rising sea levels have resulted in most of the younger members of this tightly knit community looking for opportunities elsewhere…
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