National Register Listings in
Somerset County, Maryland

Maryland was home to one of the first railroads in the United States: The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, which was founded in 1827, was one of the first railroads in the United States. It played a crucial role in the transportation of goods and people, and helped make Baltimore an important hub for commerce and industry.
Somerset County, located in the Eastern Shore region of Maryland, has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by the Susquehannock Native American tribe, who relied on the region's fertile soil and abundance of natural resources. European exploration of the area began in the early 1600s, with Captain John Smith being one of the first to explore the Chesapeake Bay and its surrounding regions.

In 1666, Somerset County was officially established by an act of the Maryland General Assembly. It was named after Mary, Lady Somerset, the wife of Sir John Somerset, a member of the Province Council. The county quickly became an important agricultural hub, with settlers primarily engaging in tobacco farming. Slavery also played a significant role in the county's history, with enslaved Africans being brought to the area to work on plantations.

During the American Revolutionary War, Somerset County residents were divided in their allegiances. Some supported the Patriots' cause, while others remained loyal to the British Crown. The county was occupied by both British and American forces at different points during the war. Following the war, the county experienced a decline in tobacco production due to soil exhaustion, and many farmers transitioned to growing other crops such as corn and wheat.

In the 19th century, Somerset County saw the rise of the seafood industry, with oyster harvesting and crabbing becoming major economic activities. The arrival of the railroad in the late 1800s also spurred industrial growth, as it provided easier transportation for agricultural products and seafood. Today, Somerset County remains a predominantly rural area, known for its scenic landscapes, historic landmarks, and close-knit communities.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Somerset County, Maryland.

  • 1632 - Somerset County is established as one of the original English counties of Maryland.
  • 1666 - The county seat of Somerset County is officially established in Stepney, later renamed Princess Anne.
  • 1677 - The Nanticoke Native American tribe signs a treaty with the Maryland Provincial Government, ceding control of their lands in Somerset County.
  • 1742 - The county courthouse is completed in Princess Anne, serving as the center of judicial and administrative activities.
  • 1832 - Somerset County's first steam-powered sawmill is built, bringing technological advancements to the area.
  • 1886 - The Somerset County Historical Society is founded to preserve and promote the history and heritage of the county.
  • 1933 - Whitehaven Ferry, a vital transportation link between Somerset County and Wicomico County, begins operating.
  • 1942 - The Naval Test range is established on Bloodsworth Island, bringing military presence and economic development to the county.
  • 1979 - The Great Flood of 1979 ravages Somerset County, causing extensive damage and loss of life.
  • 1987 - The Deal Island Wildlife Management Area is established, protecting valuable wetland ecosystems in the county.