Salisbury (population 23,743) is the largest city on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and the county seat of Wicomico County. Founded in 1732 at the head of the Wicomico River, Salisbury grew slowly at first, but its importance as an economic hub became apparent by the late 18th century. The community’s predominant role on the Eastern Shore was secured by the third quarter of the 19th century with the completion of intersecting railroads, combined with a deepened channel for shipping on the Wicomico.
Disastrous fires in 1860 and 1886 destroyed large sections of the community, but Salisbury rebounded. Today, it contains a concentrated collection of late 19th- and early 20th-century buildings unmatched on the Eastern Shore. The Camden, Newtown, and Downtown Plaza areas have been named historic districts.
The City of Salisbury recently assisted the non-profit Chipman Foundation to install an elevator in the Charles H. Chipman Cultural Center. The center is housed in a former Methodist Episcopal church building, which was the first African-American church in Salisbury. Portions of the building date from 1838. By making the building fully accessible, the project has enhanced use of this important community heritage asset.
Salisbury is part of the Lower Eastern Shore Heritage Area, a recognized Maryland State Heritage area. This heritage area is developing a management plan as a first step toward final certification from the state, which will open the door to financial and technical assistance for Salisbury and other lower Eastern Shore communities.
Designated a Preserve America Community in January 2006.