Metropolis of Old Somerset
It is doubtful that any town in Maryland
is better planned and , for its size, possesses more outstanding
early houses - one dating back to the pre-Revolution period and
several subsequent thereto.
"With its long, straight shady
streets laid out at right angles, Snow Hill is peaceful, gracious,
and self-conscious. Thus it was that the town of Snow Hill,
then in Old Somerset County, now in Worcester County (by subdivision
in 1743) had its origin and founding in 1684 - 1686, and has had a
consecutive history of life on the same site for two centuries and a
half. The town of Snow Hill became in reality the "metropolis"
of Old Somerset." - Clayton Torrence 1935
The development of Snow Hill differed
from that of other towns on the Eastern Shore in three ways.
First there does not seem to have
been any significant lot accumulation by any individual beyond
three or four lots, and certainly not the same eight or ten lot
"town estates" found elsewhere.
Second, the variety of craft
specialists owning Snow Hill lots was unusual. Snow Hill
lots were owned by merchants, innkeepers, and planters, as in
other towns, but also at different times by shoemakers, barbers,
surgeons, cabinet makers, joiners, blacksmiths and felt makers.
Because the majority of records were destroyed in the Courthouse
fire of 1893, there is a possibility that many additional type
crafters were also lot owners.
Third, Snow Hill showed an unusual
intensity of development - indicated through its lot subdivision,
in which a single legally distinguished was broken into two or
more parts. Fifteen of the thirty-eight identified lots for
which conveyances exist were subdivided, comparatively high in
relation to other Eastern Shore towns.
Snow Hill became an attractive place
for craft specialists, who became markedly successful not only
because of the local population, but also due to the town's
proximity to a navigable river which allowed both import and export
of goods. Successful craft specialists prospered and as a
result were able to afford lots of their own and the ability to
build remarkable dwellings on those lots.
The Great Fire of
A fire destroyed most all the
commercial area of Snow Hill including the Court House. All of
the buildings were rebuilt within the next two years, so the
downtown area contains primarily historic buildings with
architectural design of the late nineteenth century.
Snow Hill has the largest inventory
of stately homes of anywhere on the Lower Shore. Beautifully
maintained and remarkably restored, these homes with tree lined
streets are worth the drive for any visitor who has an interest in
Snow Hill and its immediate
surrounding area have nine properties listed on the National
Register Listings in Maryland. They are:
All Hallows Church
George Washington Purnell House
Governor John Walter Smith House
James Martin House
Nassawango Iron Furnace
Samuel Gunn House
Federal Street runs parallel
to Market Street which was originally the start of the commercial
district in Snow Hill. Federal Street contains remarkable
historic homes, each with unique design that encompasses Colonial
and Victorian styles.
Politicians, artists, clergyman, sports-stars ~
Snow Hill has many natives and residents that have been recorded in
the annals of American History. Find out more by visiting the
Snow Hill Famous
Today, the Town of
Snow Hill is a thriving community of over 2400 residents with a
combination of residential, commercial, rural and historical
districts. Known as a visitor attraction on the Lower Shore,
there's much to do when visiting Snow Hill. For more
information visit our
Snow Hill Today page.
• Federal Street • Famous Natives • Snow Hill Today • Snow Hill Haunting •
• Snow Hill • Crisfield • Ocean City • Marion Station • Pocomoke City • Princess Anne •
• Travel Lower Shore • Culture and Heritage • Famous Natives • Small Towns • Delmarva Chickens • Historic Houses • Events • Shopping •
Business Services s