Coming Soon To An Exurban County Near You

It is possible to move three, four, or even five counties out from the District of Columbia and still feel the effects of growth in the national capital region, even though Unger, W.Va. is not generally considered a suburb of Washington.
June 30, 2006, 5am PDT | David Gest
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"Twenty-two years ago, burned-out Washington lawyer George Farnham hauled his 1955 jukebox around Sleepy Creek Mountain and moved into an old farmhouse here where he found peace and understanding and got into collectibles."

"Here, his ponytail turned gray. Here, he erected four huge fiberglass statues in his back yard -- Muffler Man, a 26-foot-tall beach boy in sunglasses, Santa Claus and a monstrous grocery clerk called Big John. And here, he fit right in with the other eccentrics who had come to escape the madness across the mountain."

"Then, one day recently, Farnham discovered something scary. Test holes were being drilled in a field across from his house. And he knew: All that he had fled years before had found him once again. A housing development was coming to paradise."

"In protest, they've erected multicolored outhouses along county roads and the main streets of the county seat, Berkeley Springs. They've called for a moratorium on big development. One weekend this month, they rallied before Farnham's backyard titans to repeat the mantra, 'Keep Morgan County Rural. Keep Morgan County Green.'"

Thanks to C. P. Zilliacus

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Published on Monday, June 26, 2006 in The Washington Post
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