Snow Hill (population 2,409), county seat of Worcester County, was first settled in the late 17th century, and its strategic location on the navigable Pocomoke River led to the community becoming an important port.
Today, despite a disastrous fire in 1893 that destroyed the core of the commercial district, Snow Hill retains a wealth of historic buildings from the 18th through 20th centuries. In 2002, most of these resources were included in the locally designated Snow Hill Historic District.
In 2003, the city finalized a revitalization plan that, among other initiatives, identifies opportunities for economic development based on heritage resources.
One project that has been implemented is creation of the Sturgis Gateway Memorial, a Chesapeake Gateway Site. The Chesapeake Gateways Network is a partnership system of communities and sites with facilities aimed at helping the public experience and learn about the Chesapeake.
At the Sturgis Memorial Gateway, interpretive signs explain the importance of the Pocomoke River to the bay's cultural and economic history. Travelers to Snow Hill can also visit the Julia A. Purnell Museum, which, in addition to its public tours, offers an innovative Heritage Arts After School Program for local youth.
Designated a Preserve America Community in August 2004.