East New Market

Historic Sketches

1902 - Emma Edmondson Jacobs

The History of Dorchester County, Maryland
by Elias Jones
Baltimore, Williams & Wilkins Company Press, 1902
pages 87 & 88

East New Market
by Miss Pink Jacobs

East New Market, a town of about 600 inhabitants, is situated twelve miles from Cambridge and one mile from the head of Warwick River, once known as Secretary Creek, a tributary of the Great Choptank.  It is a thriving village and is surrounded by some of the best farming land in the county.  The farmers of this section of the county have ceased, however, to depend upon the usual staples and now raise peaches, melons, berries, and other fruits and vegetables.  The canning and shipping of these products form the principal industries here and give employment to some hundreds of men, women, boys, and girls.

Each religious denomination here of any significance has a very creditable church.  Almost annually the Methodist Episcopals hold a camp-meeting at the old historic place, Ennalls' Camp Ground, about five miles from town.  The Methodist Protestants camp nearly every year at Shiloh, about one mile away.  The oldest church in the town is the Episcopal; the present building is the third erected here.  The foundation stones of the first one, which was built before the Revolution of 1776, are now lying opposite the old site.

The old New Market Academy, which was incorporated in 1829, has since become a part of the State Public School System, and is now known as the East New Market High School.  Its reputation is of the best, and its graduates during the time when Dr. James L. Bryan was Superintendent of the County Schools, were place on the roll of eligible teachers without further examination.

East New Market is growing and is especially well situated for progressive enterprise, being surrounded by productive farms, and has shipping facilities by the B.C. & A.R.R., three miles distant, the C.& S. withing one mile, and the daily lines of steamers on the Choptank River, one mile away, to Baltimore.

The present town development is not the work of any active immigration, but under old names with new energies the village flourishes; of them we note Webster, Thompson, Hooper, Hicks, Wright, LeCompte, Thomas, Smith, Andrews, and Jacobs, who are still to the front as merchants, farmers, and professionals.  From the older ones much interesting history may be heard of the old days, when the crossroads tavern here would be filled with travelers from the upper to the lower peninsula or vice-versa.  Frequently did traders from Delaware and New Jersey meet here who came to sell negroes or exchange horses.

Iron staples are still shown here in one building to which slave negroes were chained for safe keeping until sold or to await the purchaser's time when ready to convey them South for service in the cotton fields of Georgia.

One of the oldest tanning firms in Maryland for many years was located on what is now Main Street.  Tanning leather was than an important and profitable industry, when Dorchester County was almost a dense forest of oak, from which tan bark was obtained cheap and plentiful.  This town has always been noted for its healthfulness.  Though within a mile of Warwick River, it is free from those pests in other parts of the county - malaria and mosquitoes.

Subjoined is an illustration of an old home of one of the Hooper families of East New Market.  It is now the summer home of William Hooper, a descendant of Henry Hooper (1), (2), and (3), of the colonial period.  Accompanying is an obscure view of the home of the late Dr. Edmondson, in East New Market.  He was a descendant of one of the oldest families in the county, who were large land holder, influential and enterprising people.  The first to settle in Dorchester County was John Edmondson, who came from Talbot County about 1665, when he took up and had surveyed the following tracts of land: "Providence," 1300 acres, surveyed February 12, 1665, for John Edmondson, on the south side of Great Choptank River, in the woods; given by John Edmondson, by will, to his son, James Edmondson.  "Edmondson's Reserve," 1050 acres, surveyed August 26, 1665, for John Edmondson, on the south side of Great Choptank, about two miles above the dividing.  "Skipton," 200 acres, surveyed July 16, 1669, for John Edmondson, at the head of Fox Creek.  He also purchased other tracts.  (See Dorchester County Rent Rolls.)  They first settled in Virginia before locating in Talbot.  The Talbot branch of the family were members of the Society of Friends or Quakers.