Wicomico County MDGenWeb

Salisbury - How It Began

This article features what is now the capitol of Wicomico County, and the largest city on the Eastern Shore of Maryland - Salisbury. This article, written by Maria Ellegood in April, 1923, was from "A Sketch of the Early History of Wicomico County", and originally appeared in Vol.1, No. 2 of the Lower Delmarva Genealogical Society's newsletter, More From The Shore, in the Fall of 1982.

The town charter, granted August 8, 1732, contained 15 acres lying between the forks of the Wicomico River and beginning at the point commonly called "Handy's Landing". This point is near the Pivot Bridge at the foot of Main St., which used to be known as Bridge St., and one of the original Town bounders may still be seen in the Alley Way and on the building line of the Farmers and Planters Co. One of the original bounders for the entire patent of "Pemberton's Good Will", of which Salisbury was a part, may be seen along the railroad near the northern end of Mill St. From here the land extended almost to the Middle Neck section.

This land, whose patent name was "Pemberton's Good Will", was owned by William WINDER, a minor, and the 15 acres section for Salisbury was laid out into 20 lots, the original owner to have his choice of two lots.

The remaining lots were to be taken up by others, no one person being allowed more than one lot during the first four months after the town was laid out, and the same purchaser must be a resident of the county. If at the end of six months the lots were not all taken up on these conditions, sale was open to any other purchaser. All owners were required to build a house covering 400 square feet within the first eighteen months of purchase or forfeit their title to the lot which was then put up at sale again for any person paying the sum first put upon the lot. Lots not taken up the first seven years after issue of the Town Charter were to revert to the original owner, William WINDER, who was given the liberty to build upon the lots chosen for him, and so as the same be finished within 18 months after his arrival at full age.

The Charter stated, "This town to be called Salisbury Town. The Commissioners to employ a sufficent clerk who, upon taking oath, shall enter all their proceedings, which entries made up in a well bound book, shall be lodged with the Clerk of Somerset County for the inspection of any person. A saving of rights to the Crown, the Lord Proprietor, all bodies politic and corporate and all others not mentioned in this Act. Possessors of lots to pay one penny, current money per annum to his Lordship and his heirs forever."

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Sunday, 13-Aug-2023 00:27:39 EDT