About Worcester County

Location Boundaries History


Worcester County is located on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The county is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean (east); Sussex County, Delaware (north); Wicomico and Somerset Counties, Maryland (west), and Accomack County, Virginia (south).

Worcester Boundaries

Originally, Worcester County was a part of Somerset County, founded in 1666. Worcester County itself was born on December 10, 1742, when the eastern section of Somerset was incorporated into a new county. Up until 1760, the colonies of Maryland and Delaware also both claimed the area of southern Sussex County. (Even after the boundary was surveyed and marked, many residents disputed which colony they lived in.) Finally in 1867, Wicomico County was created from parts of Somerset and Worcester.

Worcester History

Worcester County has enjoyed a long and prosperous history. Much of Worcester's history has been peaceful. Although her sons and daughters have served their country in times of conflict, no major battles have been fought on her soil.

Worcester residents have shown a remarkable talent for adapting to change. Two-hundred years ago, three-masted schooners called at the port of Snow Hill. These ships transported tobacco down-river and brought supplies to the growing plantations. As the economy changed and steamboats replaced sail power, the main exports changed from tobacco to iron and lumber. A furnace was set up to refine the local deposits of bog iron. As the iron and lumber began to run out, and railroads replaced steamboats, Worcester switched gears once again. Worcester farmers took advantage of the railroads to send their produce to the large cities of the East coast. The railroads also brought in the first of Worcester's most valuable imports - tourists. Enterprising businessman quickly turned the sleepy town of Ocean City into a thriving resort center. Today in the era of super highways, tourism and agriculture remain the two mainstays of the county.

This page is courtesy of Jim Hudson and the Worcester County MDGenWeb You may want to take a look at a more detailed version .

© Copyright September 10, 1999, Office of the Secretary of State.
Last Modified October 8, 2003.