THE FIRST TIME I visited Oxford, Maryland, in 2004, I wrote that the place was like “a fly trapped in amber with a fistful of sawdust.” Walking through the town’s streets felt like strolling through some of the coolest pages in the history, the 33-foot cedar chase boat that Morris and Stanley Rosenfeld used to photograph America’s Cup yachts in the Golden Age of Yachting. Today, the yard is run by Ronnie Cutts and Eddie Cutts Jr., keeping the family legacy—and the boatbuilding legacy—alive as Oxford gentrifies into a more tourism-friendly place. ¶ “Instead of a true, honest-to-God working waterfront, now you have flowerbed competitions in the middle of town, festivals here, festivals there,” Cutts Jr. says. “It’s a fun little town with ice cream and good restaurants and all that kind of stuff. The boatbuilding and the marinas are all thriving and doing well.” ¶ To visiting cruisers, he says, the place feels upgraded from 15 years ago. ¶ “Everybody here is fierce about the place not changing too much,” he says. “I don’t think there will ever be a McDonald’s in the middle of Oxford. It’s a cool little town. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

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