Wicomico County Heritage Tour

History, Stained Glass + Gravestones in Maryland's Wicomico County: A Two-Day Heritage Tour on Maryland's Eastern Shore

Highlights include:

Day 1:

Presbyterian Church at Barren Creek Located in Mardela Springs: Barren Creek serves as a western gateway to the rich heritage of the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland. We will visit the restored Presbyterian church and spring house, both built in the mid-19th century. Many of the original church items have been preserved. The grounds are also home to a Mason-Dixon stone and marker honoring the memory of Native Americans believed to be buried on the sacred ground.

St. Philip’s Church Located in the village of Quantico: St. Philip’s Church is known for the muskrat and turkey dinners it used to host annually during Lent. This tradition is captured in one of the church’s stained glass windows – the congregation claims to have the world’s only stained glass window featuring a muskrat. Other stained glass windows feature chickens, blue crabs, orioles, butterflies and vegetables – but that’s another story. Following our tour of St. Philip’s Church, we will have lunch at Green Hill Country Club.

Pemberton Historical Park & Hall: Our next stop is Pemberton Historical Park for a tour of Pemberton Hall, built in 1741 by Isaac Handy, one of Salisbury’s founding fathers. Pemberton Park is also home to 4.5 miles of nature trails along the wetlands of the Wicomico River.

Historic Schoolhouses: San Domingo and Rockawalkin San Domingo – also known as Sharptown Colored School and Prince Hall Masons Unity Lodge No. 73 – is a historic Rosenwald School built in 1919. The Rockawalkin School was built in 1872 and was a one-room schoolhouse for grades 1-7. The building stopped functioning as a school in 1939. Next we will head east to Salisbury for hotel check-in and dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 2:

Simply Salisbury: Downtown Main Street District: After breakfast at the hotel, we will start the day with a stroll through Downtown Salisbury. Salisbury’s downtown features a variety of “shop local” opportunities, as well as art galleries and restaurants/cafes.

St. Peter’s Episcopal Church: Situated on two acres in Downtown Salisbury, St. Peter’s was built in 1772 at a cost of 600 English pounds ($784.06 USD). Once referred to as the “Head of River Chapel” or “Salisbury Chapel,” the church is a magnificent example of Italian Romanesque construction, with intricate brickwork and more than 50 stained glass windows.

Parsons Cemetery: Parsons Cemetery began as a family cemetery in the mid-1800s, and it has grown to encompass 18 acres. Located along the Wicomico River, the cemetery has many stories to tell, of history, architecture and even gardening. Its grounds serve as the final resting place for over 13,000 people – and one horse. Fans of Tiffany & Co. will want to see the plot of Maryland’s 41st governor, E.E. Jackson – his gravestone was designed by the luxury jewelry line. After Parsons Cemetery, we will have lunch at Brew River Restaurant on the Wicomico River.

Poplar Hill Mansion: Poplar Hill Mansion was built in 1805, and it is the oldest surviving building in the city of Salisbury. It was home to Dr. John Huston, Salisbury’s first surgeon. Residing within the Newtown Historic District, Poplar Hill has been restored to the Huston period. The mansion is popular among paranormal enthusiasts; local legend prescribes it is haunted by a 19-year-old slave named Sara.

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