East New Market

Property Reports

101 Main Street

East New Market Fire Department

(Also known as Neighbor's Place, People's Service Station, and Millenson's Department Store)

The E.S. Johnson structure shown on the 1877 map was destroyed in a 1915 fire.  Anna Lee Moxey reported that she remembers Mr. Ed Brown ran a grocery store there and he had everything.  The structure was not destroyed in the big fire of 1914, but in another fire less than a year later.  About a year after the original structure burned to the ground, a two story brick structure called Millenson's Department Store was built at this location.  The store was later converted to a service station, and restaurant, a tavern, and finally the East New Market Volunteer Fire Department.  The East New Market Volunteer Fire Department bought the adjacent East New Market Bank property and demolished the Bank in the 1980s to the dismay of most residents.

Neighbor's Place by Marc Bramble 

Lake Robinson Thomas and Dorothy Emily Smith Thomas, Proprietors of “Neighbor’s Place” 

Peoples Service Station Measuring TapeOriginally located on the northeast corner of North Main Street in the town center of East New Market, Maryland.  Officially licensed as “ Neighbor’s” by The Dorchester County Board of Liquor licensure and the State of Maryland for Class “B” Beer License [on site sale] and was issued April 29, 1940.  During this time sandwiches and local seafood specialties prepared on site grow in popularity by the many patrons who lived locally and by travelers to the area.  This building and its location, was altered from which it had primarily been designed.  The structural changes were made to accommodate commercialism prior to the proprietors of “Neighbor’s” acquiring this location.  In addition to the sale of beer and food, the business also sold gasoline and other petroleum products.   

This building in late 1930 and early 1940 having been altered structurally displayed two obvious divisions, clearly delineating an interior section and an exterior of the structure.  The interior of the storefront was divided by sections of plate glass mounted on an elevated framework approximately four and one half off of a concrete base.  The plate glass formed and enclosure on the west and south sides of the overhanging of the second floor of the structure.  It was in the exterior section of the building that one could drive their vehicles into the overhanging of the second story of the building to fill their vehicles with gasoline.  The second floor of the building wasn’t utilized by the business and therefore remained basically empty of any real property belonging to Thomas Family during their occupancy.  During the seven years of occupancy at this location, business grew and became very successful. World War II was in full swing, and manufacturing, employing locals contributed to socializing and the sale of gasoline.  This location being known as “Neighbor’s” was rented and never owned by the “Thomas Family”. 

It was during this time that East New Market and the local area residents were able to support two other businesses being very similar to “Neighbor’s”.  East New Market became party central; therefore Saturday nights were known as and utilizing today’s language a real party town and the place to be seen.   

J. Millenson Store 1916In 1948 “Neighbor’s” relocated to the abandoned “County Trust Bank” building located next door on Railroad Ave.  This stately structure was purchased by Lake and Dorothy Thomas and would become known as “Neighbor’s Place. Having been constructed of cinder block, complete with a functioning bank vault and iron bars on the windows, it could have been a fortress for any business.  An iron gate that could be moved back and forth to secured the oak doors located at the front entrance of the building were still in existence when the building was purchased.  Categorically, the building would have been described as a one-story structure, but in the northwest corner of the building a second story room existed.  This room must have served as a storage room with a stairway leading from the backside of the north interior.  The floors were poured agate in the customer service area.  The rest of the flooring was constructed of pine boards having no real importance by today’s standards.  The roof exhibited a unique pattern and was fabricated of an asphalt type of material seemingly to be fire proof.  Keeping with tradition, the same venues were offered as in the previous location with the exception of gasoline.  The popularity of “Neighbor’s Place” grew as with the menu, offering such specialties as “Mom’s” hamburgers, soft shell crab sandwiches and of course those wonderful crab cakes.  Everything was cooked fresh daily with only the best ground beef and fresh seafood caught by local watermen and purchased off the docks at Secretary.  As time progressed [early 1950] and East New Market became even more of a party central, the residents grow unhappy with the late night activities after the bars closed. [12:00a.m.] The community finally decided that it was time to pull the plug on such activities and return East New Market to an earlier place in time. “Neighbor’s Place” soon became the first venue that people described from memories, having participated in some or more of the Saturday night central activities as they remembered.  There are many stories one can share as the result of having experienced the “ Saturday Night Live” activities.  This is just one place in time that has contributed to a spectrum of colors that makes East New Market such a special place.    

From the Maryland Historical Trust State Historic Sites Inventory Form

The old Millenson's Department Store, now the East New Market Fire Department, is a two-story brick commercial building that stands on the northeast corner of the main intersection of East New Market, Dorchester County, Maryland. The brick building faces south and is covered by a flat roof.

Built around 1913, the year after the East New Market fire, the seven-course common bond brick structure is three-bays across by four bays deep. The flat roof is disguised by a parapet wall trimmed with a molded cornice.

The south (main) facade is an asymmetrical elevation with the first floor divided into three even bays. The far eastern bay is marked by a retractable garage bay door, while the center bay has been bricked in around a modern door.  The west bay is filled with paired six-over-six sash windows. The second floor is lighted by three evenly spaced windows. The center three-part window is flanked by paired six-over-six sash windows. Stretching across the wall at the level of the window header is a row of contrasting dark brick. The cornice above is wooden, while the brick parapet wall is covered by a metal cap.

The west elevation is a longer side divided into four bays on the second floor, but the reworked first floor is evenly divided into three bays. Two large retractable garage bay doors define the southern two bays, while the third is marked by a side door and flanking six-over-six sash windows. The second floor is unevenly divided with paired six-over-six sash windows in the southern bay and single six-over-six sash windows lighting the adjacent three bays to the north.  The row of dark brick accents the wall above the second floor window, and the cornice stretches across the top of the wall.

The east side, on the other hand, has been extended with a small single-story brick addition that probably dates to the 1960s or 1970s. The addition was built against the northern section of the east wall, while two six-over-six sash windows pierce the southern half of the wall. The second floor is lighted by three unevenly spaced six-over-six sash windows. An exterior brick stove stack rises between the second and third bays.

The north side of the rectangular brick building is also marked by an asymmetrical elevation with small three-pane windows on the first floor and six-over-six sash on the second floor. The wall space above the second floor windows is vented.

The interior of the old commercial building as been reworked on the first floor to accommodate a fire station. Surviving on the ceiling is a covering of decorative pressed metal. The second floor was not seen.

Significance - The old Millenson's Department Store defines the northeast corner of the main intersection of East New Market. This central part of the town burned in 1912 and was rebuilt during the next few years. Millenson's Department Store is typical of early twentieth-century commercial buildings with its blockish design and spare use of decoration. The molded cornice and the dark row of contrasting brick are minimal attempts to enliven the rectangular brick structure.  Nevertheless, the early twentieth-century brick building anchors the northeast corner of the principal crossroads and contributes to the commercial nature of
the center of town.