Warren, Linda, and Todd Buzzerd’s love affair with the Cacapon River began two generations and many years ago when Warren’s grandfather, Simeon Strother Buzzerd camped and fished along the Cacapon for two weeks every summer with his wife Addie and four children. It was a primitive vacation for the small town newspaper owner of The Morgan Messenger, but the experience bonded the family not only to the river, but to each other. The newspaper is now being run by a fourth generation of the Buzzerd clan.
Simeon’s sons, Lewis and James, both born near the turn of the last century, quickly developed a passion for hunting, fishing, and the natural wonders of the Cacapon River Valley. Each bought properties along the river and it is Lewis’s land that is now placed into a conservation easement with the Cacapon and Lost Rivers Land Trust.
As a boy, Lewis Buzzerd found a way to spend more time on the river by working for river bottom farmer Charlie Allen. A fourteen mile walk from his home in Berkeley Springs, the Allen farm provided Lewis with both an agricultural education and an opportunity for plenty of fishing. Charlie and Lewis became good friends and when Charlie died, Lewis and his wife Ivy purchased a 240 acre section of the Charlie Allen farm. Although Lewis and brother Jim worked in the newspaper office, Lewis spent every possible moment at his “camp” on the Cacapon. Lewis’s love of words and books was surpassed only by his love of the Cacapon River.
Lewis Buzzerd’s greatest wish was that his land remain a place where the only changes would be the seasons and the memories they bring: memories of deer hunting and grouse drumming, bird songs and spring peepers, fishing holes and fish fries, and fawns in ferns and eagles in the sky. Lewis’s nephew J. Warren Buzzerd not only shares his love of the written word, but his love and wonder of the natural world. Preserving this land in its present state was the greatest tribute the Buzzerd family could give to Uncle Lewis.
But the Buzzerds aren’t only giving back — they are giving forward — to a blended family of children, eight grandchildren, one great grandchild, and many more generations to come. They host numerous family events and help the grandchildren take ownership of the land by giving their names to the scenic knolls, trails, roads and hollows that grace this peninsula surrounded by the Cacapon River.
People will only conserve what they love, and they will only love what they understand. Uncle Lewis’s dream is now a reality. Thanks to Warren, Linda, and Todd, Buzzerds for many generations to come will have the opportunity to love and appreciate the wonders of the beautiful Cacapon River.
These stories — humorous or infamous — bond these folks to the land and to each other, conserving friendship and a piece of paradise forever.