Worcester County MDGenWeb


Before Worcester County existed (1742), there was, for about seventy-five years, a huge county that stretched from Georgetown, Delaware, to Red Hills and Horn Town, including what would later be Salisbury, Princess Anne, Pocomoke, and Snow Hill. This early-colonial county, named Somerset, was divided up into "Hundreds". Historically, the term "Hundred" began in England in the Middle Ages when the king divided the realm into regions called Hundreds, each of which would produce 100 fighting men in time of war. In 17th-century Somerset County, the land was divided into "Hundreds" for administrative purposes. The area we live in was named "Mattapony Hundred", but it came to be known simply as Mattapony. "Bogerternorton Hundred" lay to the north of Girdletree and of present-day Shad Landing State Park. "Pocomoke Hundred" lay to the north of the Pocomoke River.

Mattapony ran south from the Pocomoke River as far as the Chincoteague Bay. Accomack County bounded it to the south and Mattapony Creek or Corker's Creek to the north. The hamlets that eventually came into existence included, to name the more important ones, present-day Girdletree, Rabbit Gnaw, Big Mill, Goodwill, Cross Roads, Lindseyville (the earlier name for Klej Grange) -- and even Greenbackville. It included Pocomoke but not Snow Hill. The two main roads through Mattapony went from Mattapony Landing (near Beth Eden) to Sandy Hill (Stockton) via Klej Grange, and from Girdletree to Pocomoke via Klej Grange and Cross Roads. From about 1675 till 1750, Klej Grange, being at the crossroads of the two principle arteries, was one of the leading communities. Sandy Hill (Stockton) was important too because it was a stage on the old seaside road. In those days, there was no Pocomoke / Snow Hill road. If you traveled between those two towns, you either went by boat or you took the Klej Grange Road -- although there was a primitive road north of the Pocomoke River through the forest. Actually, few people would have travelled to Pocomoke in the earliest days as it was nothing more than a ferry landing point called Steven's Ferry, established in 1670 by Col. Wm. Stevens.

--Bob Jones 27 Aug 2002

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