East New Market

Property Reports

37 Main Street

The Dorchester House (bef. 1829 - ca. 1950)

The Old Collins Property

Old Collins HouseAn 1853 equity court record refers to this house as the Dorchester House.  The origin of the name has not been determined.  Historians and locals refer to this house as the Old Collins Property, due to the longtime ownership by the Collins family. 

In 1795 James Sulivane sold the 1 acre lot where John McClaren now lives to Charles Lecompte.  An 1829 describes the lot as "the old tavern and home dwelling of Mary Ann Travers."  Thus both this house and the Old Tavern property were likely built before 1829.  The Old Tavern was likely the public house where John McClaren lived in 1795.  Before 1855, this house and the Old Tavern Property were part of the same lot.  The "Front Section" was a 1 acre lot that abutted the main street.  The "Rear Section" was also 1 acre and was directly behind the "Front Section".  Both structures stood on the "Front Section".  Sometime after 1809, Mary Ann Travers obtained the "Front Section" as an heir of Charles Lecompte.  In 1829, she bought the "Rear Section" and the property became a single 2 acre lot.  In 1854, a trustee sold the northernmost 1 acre to William Huffington.  This northernmost one acre lot was this property.  The southernmost 1 acre lot was the Old Tavern property.

The Old Collins House was burned to the ground in a fire training exercise between 1945 and 1956.  The house had been neglected for some time and was in bad shape.  Also see the Old Trading Post which was used as a store and later a residence by the Collins family.  It was located on next to this house for many years and is pictured on the 1877 map.   In 2005 the former site of the Old Collins House is being used as part of a parking lot for Johnny's Tavern.

The Laskowski Papers - The Old Collins Property

This property is on the east side of Main Street in East New Market, the fourth building from the corner of the road leading to Railroad station, Rhodesdale, etc. 

History - Two of the oldest buildings in East New Market are the old Collins House and store, and from earliest days they have been owned and occupied for the most part by the old and prominent families in the town.  These old buildings were built about 175 years ago, evidently by James Sulivane, one of the Sulivane family of Friendship Hall, and who at the time owned the tract of land upon which these buildings were erected.  James Sulivane was not only a prominent citizen, but was a merchant, as we find references to James Sulivane, merchant, in the court house records. 

Also in giving the bounds of a certain lot in East New Market, its lines went to Mr. James Sulivane's store house.  This is the store alongside the old house.

Like most old places these buildings changed hands a number of times during their long careers.  On September 25, 1798 Edwards Thompson purchased the house from James Sulivane and later it came into the possession of the Eddy's and Rawleigh's.  In 1862 John M. Webster was appointed trustee by various members of the Rawleigh family, who inherited the property, to dispose of it and on June 9, 1862, Emma Jacobs, wife of James T. Jacobs purchased the property.  The Jacobs were related to the old and prominent Edmondson family.  About 60 years ago it was purchased by Mr. S.E. Collins.

This house has often been confused with the one to the south of it.  It has been stated that the old Collins house was used in ante bellum days as a tavern.  The tavern, however, was the house next to this and had rings in the floor to which slaves were chained while being taken from one part of the country to the other.  The old tavern has been torn down and so renovated that it is now unrecognizable as such.  It is stated, however, that the infamous Patty Cannon stopped at the Old Collins house while in East New Market, as it was the only place at which she could find shelter.  At that time the old house had fallen in an in-between period and its occupant at the time was not over scrupulous.

Building - The very sight of this old dwelling causes one to pause.  It stands on the east side of Main Street and its front steps are practically on the sidewalk.  It is a two and a half stories high and is now a dingy yellow.  The rooms are large and have the appearance of antiquity.  There is a hall to the right, or south, as one enters the front door and to the left is the old living room.  In this room is a large old fireplace.  To the rear of this is the dining room.  At the rear of the house is a low addition in which was the kitchen and pantry.  Looking at this room one can see that it was constructed many years ago.  The wood work is very old and scarred with the years.  Opening off this old room in the hall.  An attractive feature are the old paneled doors with their old hinges.  While well constructed when built, it is now in a state of neglect and shows the wear of time.  However, it is still staunch and sturdy despite its 175 years.  Its ancient construction makes it most interesting.

Mr. John Collins, East New Market, Md.
Mr. William Collins, East New Market, Md.
Mr. E.L. Hooper, Spring and Gay Sts., Cambridge, Md.
Land Records of Dorchester County

From "Souvenir Program of the North Dorchester Heritage Festival at Hurlock, Maryland, June 5-11, 1955"

What is called the "Old Collins Property", likewise built by the Sulivane family, was first sold in 1798.  [Error it was sold in 1795].

From the notes of Mary Wright Carr (1921-1993)

Bootsie Smith remembers Tom, Will, and Johnnie Collins.  John had no children and lived with his wife in the house that was then owned by Anne Carmine.  Joe Knotts of near Hurlock, who grew up in East New Market, was about the same age as the Collins boys, and was an only child who liked to listen to the stories and reminiscences of the older people.  He remembered that Mr. Tom, was the tall thin one who was the father of Wilbur and Douglas.  Bill Collins was the game warden and therefore nick-named "Rabbit".  Mr. John Collins was the short one.  He said he had heard the (Smith Cottage) wife-swapping story and it definitely was a Collins story, but he did not know the details.