Cecil Soil, a local magazine, received the Ernest A. Howard award from the Historical Society of Cecil County. This prestigious recognition honors individuals who have made a significant contribution to the preservation of the county’s historic resources, while facing huge challenges in trying to protect the built environment, save scarce relics, or record folkways. Each and every page of the local publication, completely filled with unique content, captures the area’s history, culture and the arts in a way that no other serial does, Historical Society president Pauala Newton remarked. In its premiere issue nearly 5 years ago, the publisher said the magazine, which was written by and about the people of the area was “a grass-root forum established to honor and promote the people and businesses.”
Ed had a vision about publishing a magazine for the “gentle people of Cecil County” in 2003. Struggling to bring his idea to readers, he had challenges that had to be overcome in a time when start-up publications were under pressure. He had to obtain quality local editorial matter to fill pages, get advertising to support the enterprise, make sure circulation was good, and arrange all the back-shop affairs. Somehow at Back Porch Publications, (the name of his holding company), Ed and his wife, Carol, a team of two, overcame many start-up obstacles, at a time when print publications were disappearing.
As Cecil County changes in the first decade of a new century, it is important that our residents, new and old, know about the heritage of the place that is their home. In the short five years, since the premier issue hit the streets, the community has embraced this homegrown periodical, its editorial material focused solely on the county. It is also valued for its website, (www.cecilsoil.com) which received over 255,000 hits in January 2009. Six times a year residents look forward to the arrival of Cecil Soil at their doorsteps, Paula Newton observed. “We thank Ed for his efforts and we look forward to a continued partnership that records time’s passage at the head of the Chesapeake. We also thank Ed for being a strong supporter of the Society.”