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Small Towns on the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland

Town of Snow Hill - Green Street - Worcester County MD

Lower Shore Small Towns

Small towns dapple the landscape of the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland.  Many still retain the charm of past centuries, and family names can be traced back 12+ generations.

Due to the Chesapeake Bay flanking the Lower Shore's west side, the Atlantic Ocean flanking its east side, and the numerous rivers and creeks winding throughout the center sections;  the Lower Eastern Shore became a center of commerce with the waterways being the avenue of commuting.

There are fourteen municipalities in the Lower Shore's three counties of Wicomico, Worcester and Somerset.  Many of these rest on a navigable waterway.  In the mid-nineteenth century, the Railroad complimented waterway travel and prosperity on the Lower Shore grew due to the ability to export agricultural goods and seafood.  Shortly thereafter many factories and canneries that canned local farm goods grew up in these towns due to the ease of export via the water and railroad.

The largest port in the State of Maryland is Baltimore - but the second largest is in the City of Salisbury in Wicomico County on the Lower Shore.

Today - what has changed?

As transportation technology changed and other agricultural markets grew throughout the US, the towns on the Lower thrived less and many of the native families moved to areas where more population meant more opportunity.

The seafood industry - primarily crabs, oysters and fish has shrunk with the changing of the eco-system in the Chesapeake Bay, the Coastal Bays and the local rivers.  Seafood, however is still a popular export for the Lower Shore.  The Agricultural industry has shifted focusing primarily on the broiler industry. Chickens have become synonymous with the Lower Eastern Shore with the visibility of chicken houses, soy bean and corn fields used to feed chickens and the rise to fame of Lower Shore native Frank Perdue - "the tough man who makes a tender chicken".

Due to the heritage visible in the charm of the small towns and the beauty of the natural resources, the Lower Shore has become a Mecca for travelers and visitors.  Due to the  attraction of the Atlantic beaches, the waterfront communities, fourteen local museums, golf courses, outdoor recreational opportunities, two universities, unique shopping venues, and the friendliness of the local people, the Lower Shore continues to draw vacationers, weekender and day-trippers who want to experience that which is singularly unique to this area.

Today - what remains the same?

The charm and integrity of the small towns is still prevalent, as a great appreciation for heritage and the preservation of that heritage exists in both the natives and the new-comers.  Communities ties are strong.

The natural beauty of the Chesapeake Bay, the rivers, marshes, forests and wildlife is apparent all over the Lower Shore.  It is not uncommon to see great blue herons and bald eagles as you drive down the highway.  Wildlife refuges are well maintained and many are open to the public. 

The friendliness of the native people, their willingness to share their culture and heritage and their slow pace of life still exists on the Lower Shore.  People "live" their lives on the Lower Shore - they don't rush through life.

A Closer View of some Lower Shore small towns

Princess Anne - Somerset County

Crisfield - Somerset County
Marion Station - Somerset County
Snow Hill - Worcester County
  Ocean City - Worcester County
  Pocomoke City - Worcester County


For more on the small towns and Lower Shore Culture, visit the following links

Crisfield Heritage Foundation
Crisfield Chamber of Commerce - Town Page

Somerset County Tourism

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