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Pocomoke City, Maryland

Pocomoke City, Maryland
Official seal of Pocomoke City, Maryland
Nickname(s): Friendliest Town on the Eastern Shore
Location of Pocomoke City, Maryland
Location of Pocomoke City, Maryland
Country United States
State Maryland
County Worcester
Incorporated 1878
 • Mayor Bruce Morrison
 • Total 3.94 sq mi (10.20 km2)
 • Land 3.69 sq mi (9.56 km2)
 • Water 0.25 sq mi (0.65 km2)
Elevation 7 ft (2 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 4,184
 • Estimate (2012[3]) 4,168
 • Density 1,133.9/sq mi (437.8/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 21851
Area code(s) 410, 443
FIPS code 24-62475
GNIS feature ID 0591031

Pocomoke City, dubbed "the friendliest town on the Eastern Shore",[4][5][6] is a city in Worcester County, Maryland, United States. Although renamed in a burst of civic enthusiasm in 1878, the city is regularly referred to by its inhabitants simply as Pocomoke . The population was 4,184 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Salisbury, Maryland-Delaware Metropolitan Statistical Area.


  • History 1
    • Municipal status 1.1
  • Geography 2
    • Climate 2.1
  • Demographics 3
    • 2010 census 3.1
    • 2000 census 3.2
  • Notable people 4
  • References 5
  • Further reading 6
  • External links 7


Beginning in the late seventeenth century, a small settlement called Stevens Landing (sometimes Stevens Ferry) grew at the ferry landing on the south bank of the Pocomoke River. The town was incorporated as Newtown (or New Town) in 1865, but was reincorporated in 1878 as Pocomoke City, after the American Indian name of the river, meaning “black water.”

Stevens Landing, and then Newtown, remained a modest river crossing until the construction through the town in the 1880s of the trunk railroad line along the Delmarva Peninsula from Wilmington, Delaware, to Cape Charles on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. The line eventually became part of the Pennsylvania Railroad. In addition to agriculture, industry such as lumber milling and shipbuilding and, in the twentieth century, factories making barrels and baskets for truck crops, and the canning of those crops, aided the town's growth.

On 14 June 1906, the city was the site of lynching. A farmhand named Edd Watson was murdered by a mob. Press reports indicate other lynching also happened in the town. [7]

In 1922, the business district of Pocomoke City was destroyed in a large fire; on one side of town this continued up to the church on third Street, known as St. Mary's Episcopal Church, but the downtown was quickly rebuilt. While truck farming declined during the 1900s, the poultry industry rose to take its place. NASA, the U.S. Navy, and the Coast Guard helped with continued growth by bringing jobs to the area.

In October 1933, George Armwood, Pocomoke City man was taken from a jail cell in nearby Saint Anne and killed by a mob. [8] lived in Pocomoke City.[9]

Pocomoke City held a franchise in the Eastern Shore Baseball League, at times hosting the Salamanders, the Red Sox, and the Chicks.

Pocomoke City was named an All-America City by the National Municipal League, and for the years 1984-85, Pocomoke City was one of the nine Finalist Communities. The local schools, Pocomoke Elementary, Pocomoke Middle, and Pocomoke High, hold excellence standards with several named as 'Blue Ribbon' schools in addition to numerous other awards.

The Sturgis One Room School Museum, a one-room schoolhouse, was moved to its present location in the down-town area as a museum of local African-American history. In June 2009, the Delmarva Discovery Center on the Pocomoke River, an interactive museum focusing on local ecology and history, opened.[10] Pocomoke City's other museum is The Isaac Costen House Museum. The Mar-Va Theater is a 1927 Art Deco auditorium known for its superior acoustics, and is being restored as a regional center for the performing arts.

In addition to the Mar-Va Theater and Costen House, Beverly, Littleton T. Clarke House, Crockett House, Hayward's Lott, Pocomoke City Historic District, Puncheon Mill House, and Young-Sartorius House are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[11]

Municipal status

References to the municipality's status as a city or town varies according to sources. The Census Bureau accounts Pocomoke City a city,[12] while official state documents differ. According to the Maryland State Archives, many more official documents refer to the "Town of Pocomoke City" than to the "City of Pocomoke City." The most recent references to the "Town" are from 1963, however, while the most recent references to the "City," which come from its charter, are from 1990.[13][14][15] Other sources also differ: the Maryland Manual Online calls it as a city,[16] while the Maryland Municipal League speaks of it as a town.[17] While cities and towns are significantly different in some states, Maryland's cities and towns, classed simply as "municipalities," are treated equally in state law.[18]


Pocomoke City is located at (38.068904, -75.561718).[19]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.94 square miles (10.20 km2), of which 3.69 square miles (9.56 km2) is land and 0.25 square miles (0.65 km2) is water.[1]


Its climate is characterized by relatively high temperatures and evenly distributed precipitation throughout the year. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfa" (Humid Subtropical Climate).[20]

Climate data for Pocomoke City, Maryland
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 8
Average low °C (°F) −2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 79
Average precipitation days 9 8 10 8 9 8 9 8 6 6 7 9 97
Source: Weatherbase [21]


2010 census

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 4,184 people, 1,626 households, and 1,077 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,133.9 inhabitants per square mile (437.8/km2). There were 1,894 housing units at an average density of 513.3 per square mile (198.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 49.5% White, 45.8% African American, 0.5% Native American, 1.3% Asian, 1.0% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.5% of the population.

There were 1,626 households of which 38.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.5% were married couples living together, 24.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 33.8% were non-families. 29.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 14% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.10.

The median age in the city was 36.4 years. 27.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.4% were from 25 to 44; 24.4% were from 45 to 64; and 15.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 55.6% female and 44.4% male.

2000 census

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 4,098 people, 1,596 households, and 1,058 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,346.5 people per square mile (520.5/km²). There were 1,764 housing units at an average density of 579.6 per square mile (224.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 50.73% White, 46.36% African American, 0.46% Native American, 0.46% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.34% from other races, and 1.61% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.05% of the population.

There were 1,596 households out of which 35.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.6% were married couples living together, 24.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.7% were non-families. 29.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.11.

In the city the population was spread out with 30.5% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 26.7% from 25 to 44, 19.1% from 45 to 64, and 16.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 83.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 74.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $28,938, and the median income for a family was $34,722. Males had a median income of $32,175 versus $19,362 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,301. About 13.6% of families and 18.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.8% of those under age 18 and 13.2% of those age 65 or over.

Notable people


  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010".  
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  3. ^ "Population Estimates".  
  4. ^ "'"Governor O’Malley Declares Pocomoke City Maryland's 'Capital for a Day (Press release). Office of the Governor of Maryland. August 21, 2008. 
  5. ^ McDermott, Mike (January 1, 2009). "Pocomoke City 2008 Review". Pocomoke City, Maryland. 
  6. ^ Uzelac, Ellen (September 28, 2003). "From beach to bay". Baltimore Sun. 
  7. ^ Brown, DeNee (18 July 2015). "Racial turmoil in Md.’s ‘Friendliest Town’ after black police chief is fired". Washington Post. Retrieved 20 July 2015. 
  8. ^ a b "An American Tragedy".  
  9. ^ a b "George Armwood (b. 1911 - d. 1933)". Biographical Series.  
  10. ^ Mike McDermott. "A lot is new this summer in Pocomoke". accessed 3 August 2009
  11. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places.  
  12. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  13. ^ Search results for "Town of Pocomoke City", Maryland Archives, accessed 2008-04-14.
  14. ^ Search results for "City of Pocomoke City", Maryland Archives, accessed 2008-04-14.
  15. ^ "Pocomoke City Charter" (PDF). Pocomoke City, Maryland. 
  16. ^ Pocomoke City, Worcester County, Maryland, Municipalities, Maryland Archives, 2007-04-16. Accessed 2008-04-14.
  17. ^ Pocomoke City, Maryland, Maryland Municipal League. Accessed 2008-04-14.
  18. ^ Article 23A §10 of the Maryland Code, enacted 1955, from Michie's Legal Resources.
  19. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  20. ^ Climate Summary for Pocomoke, Maryland
  21. ^ "". Weatherbase. 2013.  Retrieved on August 7, 2013.
  22. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  23. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 

Further reading

  • Murray, James, History of Pocomoke City, formerly New Town (1883).
  • Torrence, Clayton, Old Somerset on the Eastern Shore of Maryland (1935).
  • Touart, Paul Baker, Along the Seaboard Side: And Architectural History of Worcester County (1994).
  • Truitt, Reginald V. & Millard Lescallette, Worcester County, Maryland's Arcadia (1977).

External links

  • Pocomoke City Chamber of Commerce website
  • Geographic data related to Pocomoke City, Maryland at OpenStreetMap
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