Take A Tour of Black History on the Shore

Take A Tour of Black History on the Shore

Take A Tour of Black History on the Shore

Nicole Wheatley - February 1, 2024

The Eastern Shore is a “treasure trove” of information for Black history, says Dr. Clara Small, an author and professor emeritus of history from Salisbury University.

The story of Professor Charles H. Chipman, namesake of the Charles H. Chipman Cultural Center, is important to know, says Small. Chipman was born in 1881 and came to Salisbury in 1915 to work as supervising principal of the Industrial High School, later the Salisbury Colored High School, according to Small’s research. “He understood that African American schools and churches were the heart of the community because those were the only places to hold social events and to prepare minority youth to meet the challenges of the world,” Small wrote. “Education was the means to meet those challenges, so he asked for funds for a new school.” He funded the new school by getting half from the Wicomico County Board of Education and half from the Black community.

The San Domingo School, located between Sharptown and Mardela Springs, was also built with matching funds from the Black community. According to Small's research, $800 worth of labor came from the community; $5,000 came from the government and school board; and $500 came from the Rosenwald School Program. The program was an initiative of Booker T. Washington, principal of then-Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, and Julius Rosenwald, president of Sears, Roebuck & Co. “Both Washington and Rosenwald believed that personal sacrifices of hard-earned cash, materials and labor would strengthen African American commitment to their communities,” she wrote. The San Domingo School was built in 1919. In 2004, former student Newell Quinton worked with his family to raise funds for its restoration, according to Small’s research.

Want to learn more? Take a self-guided tour of Salisbury's Black history curated by the Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture. This tour includes the Georgetown Residential Area, John Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church, the Church Street Mural, Houston Cemetery, Downtown Salisbury, the Wicomico County Courthouse and the Entertainment District.

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