East New Market

Property Reports

101 Main Street

East New Market Bank

(Also known as the Eastern Shore Trust Company, Neighbor's Place)

The East New Market Bank was built in the early 1900s on part of the property formerly owned by E. S. Johnson in 1877.  The building ceased operation as a bank in the 1940s.  It later served as a gas station, a restaurant, and a tavern.  Lake and Dorothy Thomas owned and ran the tavern.  The bank building was torn down in the 1980's by the East New Market Fire Department to the displeasure of a great many residents.  The East New Market Fire Department now owns the vacant lot. 

From "Between The Nanticoke and the Choptank, An Architectural History of Dorchester County, Maryland"   Edited by Christopher Weeks, with contributions by Michael O. Bourne, Geoffrey Henry, Catherine Moore, Calvin Mowbray, M. Fred Tidwell.

This bank building, now empty, once housed the Eastern Shore Trust Company, whose offices had previously been housed in the Chesadel Hotel. Later this company became part of the County Trust Company, but the building was vacated in the 1940s.  It has since been used as a gas station and restaurant.  The building is a small rusticated concrete block building with a hip roof, and modillion cornice. Above the front door is a heavily molded concrete architrave, and above that a nameplate with “East New Market Bank” formerly spelled out. The roof appears to be made of metal.

The postcard was sent by Myrtle to Miss Evelyn Lewis, 105 Center Street, West Haven, Conn.  The postmark it from Seaford, Delaware on July 7, 1923.

From a manuscript written by East New Market resident Clarence L. Saxton around 1928.

One of the outstanding features of the development and progress of our town is that of the East New Market Bank, a branch of the Eastern Shore Trust Company.  The establishment of this bank has been a great stimulus to the business interests and a benefactor to its patrons in this town and community.  Its founder, the late Samuel L. Webster, was a man of sterling character, full of business enterprise and energy.  He early envisioned the advantages to be derived by having a bank located in our town.  On June 24, 1907, the East New Market Bank was opened for business and began to serve the public of this town and community and was located on one of the outside rooms of the first floor of the Chesadel Hotel.  This hotel was destroyed by fire on December 6, 1914.  Associated with its founder, who was its first president, was a son, Charles Webster as vice-president, together with Clark W. Demott, Charles H. Willis, John Phelan, W.S. Tilghman, and R. Hurst composing the Board of Directors with C. Edwin Bell as Cashier.

On January 1, 1909, Marion C. Smith, who is now a Cashier of the Citizens Bank of Hurlock, Maryland, was appointed assistant cashier and bookkeeper.  On October 1, 1920, he was succeeded by Leon Brandshaw who is still with the bank.

The bank's business soon outgrew the room in the hotel and on April 19, 1909, a lot was purchased from the late Wm. E. Johnson, Agent of the late Mrs. Maggie Johnson, upon which to erect a bank building.  The contract was let to Arthur O. German of Hurlock, building contactor, for an up-to-date banking house.  When this building was completed on June 1, 1911, the bank was moved from the Chesadel Hotel.  The bank is equipped with a modern fireproof vault, manganese steel safe, whish is burglar proof, and safe deposit boxes.  All the original officers and directors have passed on to the great beyond, except its first vice-president, Charles Webster, who has become the president and C. Edwin Bell, the Cashier.  S.J.T. Smith and George W. Gale were elected directors in 1919 and Daniel M. Webster and Thos. J. Taylor in 1926.  Deposits $10,000 first week now over $325,000. 

Note from Neil Frampton

The bank building is now just an empty lot.  The town folk almost had a revolution in the 1980's when the fire company tore down the bank building.

Neighbor's Place by Marc Bramble 

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

[First the current ENM Volunteer Fire Department is described and secondly the since demolished ENM Bank.]

Originally 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 a very lively place; therefore Saturday nights were known as a real party town and the place to be seen.   

In 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 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 grew 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 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.