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Historic Buildings & Museums

Traverse 300 years of architecture
Architecture that reflects the prosperity, poverty and perseverance against the natural elements. It is common to see architecture that spans from very early Colonial through late Victorian periods. While most homes are private, there are many others open to the public throughout the year.

This is a great area to see Georgian, Greek Revival, Federal, Victorian, and the Eastern Shore's own: big house, little house, collonade, kitchen, that is sometimes affectionately known as a "telescope house." One home open to the public is the Teackle Mansion located in Princess Anne. It is an outstanding example of neoclassic architecture, build between 1802-1805 with later additions in 1818-1819. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is one of the grandest brick homes in the area. Another location in Salisbury is Pemberton Hall, built in 7141 by Issac Handy. This ancient gem stands fully restored to its eighteenth century appearance. It is the only original eighteenth century plantation house open to the public on Maryland's Lower Eastern Shore. Pemberton Hall is unique in its completeness.

Historic churches abound.
Represented are Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Wesleyan, Baptist, Methodist and Catholic. All have a story to tell. A respective walk among their graveyards uncovers area settlement dates and local dominant families. Imagine the people who passed through those church doors: white, black, Revolutionary War heros, returned Confederates, fishermen, prominent politicians and the ordinary citizen, all sharing a common ground in faith.

Visit the Old Presbyterian Church built at Rehobeth in Somerset County. Built in 1705, it is the oldest continuously active Presbyterian church in America today. The church retains its original walls and an unusual "kicked eave." A lobby tape recorder informs visitors of the church's history. Located nearby is the burned out remains of an old 18th century Episcopal church. Outside Berlin is the New Bethel Methodist church, a gothic revival structure with tripartite sanctuary windows filled with colored glass. Begun in 1855, it is one of the oldest black churches in Worcester County, with several founders being freedmen. Stop to see the Episcopalian Green Hill Church overlooking the Wicomico River. The church was built in 1733 and located in Quantico in Wicomico County. It is one of the 30 original Anglican parishes in the Province of Maryland.

 

Museums
Don't forget to include visits to museums while visiting on the Lower Eastern Shore. These museums and centers are a wealth of information and give you a glimpse into what life was like here in different times. The Delmarva Discovery Center located in Pocomoke is a hands-on interactive living museum delighting children and adults. There you can walk through a reproduction of a steamboat, climb into a beaver hut or maybe even feed the fish in the aquarium. Birding takes high priority around here, whether it be the enjoyment of birdwatching, hunting or decoy carving. When in Salisbury you must see the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art. Here an extensive collection of various hand carved birds and decoys from all over the world is displayed in throughout this beautiful 12,000 square foot facility. Family friendly, so make sure you check out the workshops offered for both kids and adults during the year.
While in Ocean City walk down the boardwalk to the historic Ocean City Life Saving Station Museum. This once housed the surfmen charged with rescuing shipwrecked mariners from sea. Feeling a bit more adventuresome? Drive down to Crisfield and take a boat trip out to Smith Island and visit the Smith Island Visitor's & Cultural Center.

There's lots more to see and do! Check out these great links for more wonderful museums to explore throughout Wicomico, Worcester and Somerset County:
http://www.worcestermuseums.org
http://www.wicomicotourism.org/historical
http://www.visitsomerset.com/pages/heritage_culture.html

 

Bike or drive the back roads
Explore and search out old churches on the islands. Take Rt. 363 to Deal Island and drive past the old red bank that closed after the 1929 stock market crash. Find St. John's Church on your left. It was here during the war of 1812, that Rev. Joshua Thomas, the famous "Parson of the Islands," held camp meetings for Tangier and Smith Island families. All cemeteries have a story to tell. They hold both family tragedy along with interesting epitaphs.

Walk among the beautiful Victorian homes of "Newtown" in Salisbury. Several are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Need maps or Walking Tours? Contact the organizations below.

 

Need more info? Visit these tourism web sites:

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