17th Annual Blessing of the Combines
posted: Jun 23, 2015
SNOW HILL, MD. Now that farm fields have being planted in corn and soybeans, and the grain harvest is in full swing, farmers are preparing their combines for the fall harvests. Several Worcester County farmers – including Bill Figgs, Byron Hauck, Lee Holloway, Buster Powell, Roger Richardson, David Shockley and Jack Shockley are readying their machines for the Blessing of the Combines on August 1, 2015. Festivities in downtown Snow Hill begin at 11:00 and conclude at 3:00.
For the 17th Year, a Parade of Combines - led by Antique Tractors and by Rev. Oren Perdue’s horse-drawn combine - moves slowly south on MD RT 12, across the drawbridge over the Pocomoke River, before turning west onto Green Street. Parade directors lead each combine to its stopping place as they fill Green Street. A growing hum of engines culminates with a throttle thrust - and then silence. Master of Ceremonies, Steve Hales, leads a program welcoming visitors and residents to this Celebration of Farming. After the presentation of colors by Snow Hill High School’s Junior Marine Corps ROTC and our National Anthem sung by Rachel Allman come recognitions, the keynote speaker Joe Bartenfelder, Maryland Department of Agriculture Secretary, and the Blessing by Pastor Ken Elligson. The afternoon’s musical lineup features Free Indeed Praise & Worship Team, Ted Elliott, and The Matt Watson Band). Activities include food vendors, crafts, a Petting Barnyard, activities for children, hay rides, pony rides, Lollipop the Clown, a Pie Eating Contest and Scales and Tales. The Wheels that Heal Car Club’s show is set up in Sturgis Park along The Pocomoke River from 10:00 - 3:00. Pontoon Boat Cruises on the Pocomoke River are available.
For details contact Becky Payne at 443-783-1715, visit www.blessingofthecombines.org, find us on Facebook or email email@example.com.
Comprehensive Zoning Update
posted: Jun 23, 2015
Comprehensive Zoning Update
The Town of Snow Hill’s Department of Planning and Snow Hill Planning Commission have been working with Peter Johnston and Associates, LLC and currently have a Draft Zoning Ordinance that can be reviewed online or you may request copy and pick up at Town Hall. The Planning Commission will be meeting on June 25th, 2015 and July 2nd, 2015 at 6 PM at the Train Station on Belt Street to discuss the Comprehensive Rezoning. The meeting on June 25th, 2015 will be handled primarily as a work session; however public comment may be taken at the end of the meeting if time permits. The public and anyone who contacted staff with a Comprehensive Rezoning request are encouraged to attend the meetings. Provided that the draft zoning map is completed by the second meeting a public hearing will be scheduled before the Planning Commission toward the end of July or First of August to forward draft Ordinance and Maps to Mayor and Council for adoption.
Questions can be directed to Karen Houtman, Planner (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by calling 410-632-2080..
Community Vacation Bible School
posted: Jun 23, 2015
Kids ages 4-17 are invited to explore "Everest" and learn about God's love. Bates Church by the stoplight in Snow Hill is the meeting place each night at 6:00pm. The activities conclude at 8:30 pm. You may register the first night of Bible School or in advance by picking up a registration form at the Snow Hill library on Washington Street. Vacation Bible School runs from Monday July 13 - July 17th.
Sponsored by the Snow Hill Ministerial Association
Concert in the Park June 28th
posted: Jun 15, 2015
The Town of Snow Hill and Arts on the River, its Arts & Entertainment District, welcomes the 229th Maryland Army National Guard Band from Parkville, MD. for a concert in Byrd Park on June 28th as part of their annual summer concert tour. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs to the park at 5:00 pm for this free and lively concert.
The Mission of the Army Band is to “provide music throughout the spectrum of military operations to instill in our forces the will to fight and win, foster the support of our citizens, and promote national interests at home and abroad”.
The Maryland National Guard Band is made up of talented musicians who have passion for music and a desire to serve their country. The band plays in various venues across the state and their schedule includes change of command ceremonies, concerts in the park and community events. Members of the band come from all walks of life: from students, to teachers, police officers lawyers and scientists.
Sunday’s concert is sponsored by the Town of Snow Hill and Arts on the River, Snow Hill’s Arts & Entertainment District.
Town Hall Closes for Independence Day
posted: May 26, 2015
Offices in Town Hall will be closed in observance of Independence Day on Friday, July 3, 2015. Regular hours will resume on Monday, July 6th at 8:30 am.
New Chief of Police Named for SHPD
posted: Apr 28, 2015
The Mayor and Town Council are pleased to announce that on May 4, 2015, James Pilchard was sworn in to office as the new Police Chief for the Snow Hill Police Department.
Mr. Pilchard has served in law enforcement for over 23 years, first serving with the City of Salisbury Police Department and then the Maryland State Police. He has risen through the ranks from officer until his retirement as Commander for the Salisbury MSP barrack. He taught at the Eastern Shore Police Academy beginning in 1993. He has recently been named to the Steering Committee Advisory Board for the Criminal Justice Program at WOR-WIC Community College.
With seven years of command experience, Mr. Pilchard brings dedication, accountability and a superior work ethic. He believes that “having a highly visible presence in the community and that the consistent enforcement of law are the best ways to deter crime and acquire the public’s trust”.
Ecumenical Food Pantry Capital Campaign
posted: Apr 27, 2015
The Snow Hill Ecumenical Food Pantry is beginning its capital campaign to raise monies for the rehabilitation on the house. The total we are trying to raise is $30,000. If you would like to make a monetary donation or know of organizations that would be interested in donating, please contact Stephanie Clayville or email email@example.com. More information on the house can be found on the website at snowhillfood.org and donations can be made directly to Snow Hill Ecumenical Food Pantry, P.O. Box 165 Snow Hill, Maryland. 21863.
Mt Zion One-Room Schoolhouse to move
posted: Mar 30, 2015
The Mt. Zion One-Room Schoolhouse
The Mt Zion One-Room Schoolhouse was built in 1960 near Whiton and used as a school until 1931. It stood empty until Dr. Paul Cooper, Superintendent of Schools, had the building moved to Snow Hill. It was opened to the public in 1964 and has since demonstrated to students and visitors how their forebears were taught in the days of one room schools.
Donations of the 19th century texts and furnishings make a visit to the school a leap back in time. McGuffy readers, quill pens, inkwells, slate and a water bucket are in place just as if the students had been dismissed yesterday.
Many of your parents and grandparents may have attended a one-room schoolhouse. In 1905 there were 110 one-room schoolhouses in Worcester County. Today there are only two which are open to the public.
Unfortunately, because of location, the Mt Zion Schoolhouse is not receiving the attention and attendance it so rightly deserves. The Board of the Worcester Historical Society is therefore proposing to have the school moved to Furnace Town Living Heritage Village which will provide increased access to this great community resource.
On May 24, 2012 the Worcester County Board of Education sent a letter to the Worcester County Historical Society granting the Mt Zion One-Room Schoolhouse to the WCHS at such time as it is ready to move it. Furnace Town has greed to have the school placed on its grounds.
Funding is required to move the building. Fundraising events are planned and corporate donations are being sought. Private donations are welcomed. Categories of Giving levels range from $50 to $1,000 or more. WCHS is a 501(c) (3) corporation. Donations are deductible according to current tax regulations. For more information or a tour of the Schoolhouse, call Bob Fisher at 410-632-1265.
Purnell Museum Opens 2015 Season
posted: Mar 17, 2015
The staff at the Purnell Museum are eager to welcome visitors for the 2015 season as they open the doors this spring. As ice and snow have covered the roof, they've been busy behind the scenes with new exhibits, renovations, and a meaningful addition to the museum's collection. They'll be unveiling it all at an opening reception with refreshments on Friday, April 3.A renovated exhibition, People of the Pocomoke, focuses on artifacts associated with the early inhabitants of the Snow Hill area. The Purnell Museum has more than 250 Native American artifacts in its collection, from a variety of tribes and regions. Many of these were collected over the years by William Purnell himself. This exhibit features the items from our region in a new display case and lighting, both installed with the support of a grant from the Lower Eastern Shore Heritage Council.From Modest to Magnificent: History and Biography through the Collections of William Z. Purnell, sponsored by the Worcester County Historical Society, showcases the extensive, eccentric, and historically significant collection of Julia A. Purnell's son William, who founded the museum in honor of his mother. William was an avid gatherer of objects ranging from the mundane to the exotic to the strange. A barrel hand-carved from a tree trunk once held grain for feeding the animals on a Snow Hill farm. A tiny Chinese jeweled shoe, about the size of a man's palm, was once worn by a fifteen-year-old bride whose feet had been bound since early childhood. The remains of the two-foot-long femur of a woolly mammoth (who never lived in Snow Hill!) were found among the Purnell holdings with no evidence as to its provenance. The museum's most popular artifact – the three dressed fleas, tiny insects all ready for a summer wedding – reflect the Victorian obsession with miniatures and still delight children today. As you might imagine, learning how William came by many of his unusual artifacts (and where they actually came from) is an ongoing puzzle and research challenge for museum staff.Among the wild variety of objects William collected are the pieces at the heart of the museum's mission. As he hoarded treasures from near and far, William built a valuable archive of Snow Hill history, which grows and becomes more valuable as time passes. The town's first traffic light; the projector from the Outten Theater; marked crates from businesses that supported the town's economy for generations; and the needle art of his mother, Julia A. Purnell, who featured the town's churches and other buildings as important subject matter in her work. Family artifacts complete the new exhibition - a recent addition is a walking cane, mailed by a supporter to the museum with a note. It apparently belonged to Mamie Purnell, William's wife.Some of William's most carefully kept artifacts were those associated with his mother, Julia. He mounted buttons from her clothing and sewing projects onto carefully lettered cards and wrote a booklet titled, “Mother Remembers,” in which he listed many of Julia's memories of her childhood and young adulthood. (In fact, Julia's life and work will be the focus of a traveling exhibit for the Art Institute and Gallery in Salisbury this summer.)Finally, the family of the late Dr. Robert Charles LaMar, remembered by many in Snow Hill as the town's only doctor for sixty years, has generously donated several important items from his estate, include his office sign, a framed portrait, medical diploma, and other documents regarding his years service and achievements.Be sure to mark your calendars for our opening reception on April 3, 5-7pm. Attendees will be entered to win a gift basket sponsored by Snow Hill businesses. For more information, to become a member, or to make a donation to support museum programming, visit purnellmuseum.org or call 410-632-0515.Mark Your Calendars!Opening Day - April 1.Opening Reception - April 3, 5:00-7:00pm.Gallery Talks, June 18, July 16, August 20 at noon. We offer a behind-the-scenes look at the museum and some of our more unusual artifacts. It's free with regular admission.Free Admission Days for Locals - first Saturday of each month.See More, Spend Less Weekend – third weekend of each month. Pay admission at the Purnell Museum or Furnace Town – and take $1 off the second site you visit.International Museum Day – May 19 (free admission)Heritage Arts for Kids - Wednesdays July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29. August 5, 12. 1:00-3:00pm. Kids learn history with a hands-on art project. It's free for children, but they must be accompanied by a paying adult.Delmarva Needle Art Show - entry deadline is August 22. Call 410-632-0515 for details.
Snow Hill Farmers Market Begins on May 7
posted: Mar 16, 2015
The Snow Hill Farmer's Market will be held on Thursdays beginning on May 7, 2015. It will open on Green Street in the Town's parking lot in front of the Old Firehouse. The hours are noon to 5:00 pm. Mark your calendars! See you at the market in May!
If you are a vendor, you are asked to register with the Town by filling our the Farmers Market Contract that will be available here or in Town Hall in January of 2015. There is no charge to participate in the Snow Hill Farmers Market.
Call 410-632-2080 for more information
Strategic Revitalization Plan Available
posted: Mar 16, 2015
The Town's recently adopted Strategic Revitalization Plan (SRP) is available in Town Hall. Copies are available free of charge on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Town Hall is located at 103 Bank Street and is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 - 4:30.
Town Hall Newsletter Published
posted: Mar 11, 2015
The Mayor and Council of Snow Hill has published its fourth newsletter to keep residents abreast of local government news. River Current Spring Summer 2105 is available at various locations in the town or on the website in PDF format. The Town plans to publish its newsletter twice a year. If you missed back issues, you may download them
The First Issue of River Currents, Vol 1 Issue1 Summer 2013
River Currents , Vol 1 Issue 2 , Fall/Winter 2013
River Currents, Vol 2 Issue 1 Spring Summer 2014
River Currents, Vol 3 Issue 2 Fall Winter 2014 - 2015
Please call 410-632-2080 with any questions
Facade Grant Program 2015
posted: Jan 28, 2015
The State of Maryland Community Legacy Program has awarded the Town of Snow Hill another grant to be used toward funding facade improvements of commercial and residentail buildings. This program is to assist business owners and home owners in the Western district who seek to improve the facade of their buildings.
Click here for the Façade Grant Overview document for Businesses
Click here for the Façade Grant Application for 2015 for Businesses
The Residential Application for homes in the Western Voting district is available at Town Hall, Monday through Fridays 8:30 - 4:30 pm.
Grant funds were made possible tfor the Facade Improvement Porgram through a Community Legacy Grant from the Department of Housing and Community Development. Call Ann Gibb or Kelly Brewington at 410-632-2080 for further information
Snow Hill Ecumenical Food Pantry
posted: Dec 29, 2014
"I was hungry and you fed me; I was thirsty and you gave me drink." Matthew 25:35
Snow Hill Ecumenical Food Pantry distributes food the second Friday of every month. It also provides emergency food service.
The pantry was established as an ecumenical food pantry, which means that it is supported by local churches and parishes in the area to provide food for those in need. The mission is to provide food and resources to those in need in Snow Hill and the surrounding areas.
For information on volunteering and providing support, please contact the pantry at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website: www.snowhillfood.org
The new location for the pantry is 241 South Washington Street in Snow Hill.
Town Hall at 103 Bank Sreet is now a Drop Off place for Food Pantry donations. Look for the basket in the lobby.
Checks may be made out to Snow Hill ecumenical Food pantry and sent to the Mailing address:
P.O. Box 165,
Snow Hill, MD 21863
Needs as of 12-29-2014 include: Peanut butter and jelly, spaghetti sauce, shaghetti noodles, canned chicken, tuna and hams, canned vegetables, medium sized boxes of cereal, bags of beans or rice. Town Hall at 103 Bank Street is now a drop off point for contributions to the Food Pantry.
Gift cards for Office supplies from Staples or Sam's Club are always appreciated.
Holiday Closings for 2015
posted: Dec 3, 2014
The offices in Town Hall will be closed for 11 holidays during 2015. The Holiday Closings Schedule for Calendar Year 2015 is available here.
Call Town Hall at 410-632-2080 for more information
Worcester Co Health Dept Issues Advisory
posted: Sep 22, 2014
First mosquito pool positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis
Snow Hill, Md. – The Worcester County Health Department received notification from the State of Maryland that a mosquito pool in southern Worcester County tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). The pool sampled is in a remote, low lying area of the county, usually known to have standing water year-round. This is the first positive pool reported in Maryland for the year.
Arboviruses, such as the EEE virus, are most common during the summer and fall months. The viruses are transmitted by infected mosquitoes and spread to humans, birds, horses and other animals. Since mosquitoes can breed in as little as a quarter inch of water, the recent rain may have attracted more mosquitoes. Many factors impact when and where outbreaks occur, such as weather, numbers of mosquitoes that spread the virus, and human behavior.
The Worcester County Health Department provides the following tips to help prevent contact with mosquitoes and reduce risk of infection:
- Stay indoors at dawn and dusk.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors.
- Use an EPA-registered insect repellent and follow package instructions.
Get rid of mosquito breeding sites.
- Remove all discarded tires from property.
- Dispose of water-holding containers.
- Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly.
- Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out.
- Keep children’s wading pools empty and on their sides when they are not in use.
People with milder illnesses typically recover on their own, although symptoms may last for several weeks. In more severe cases, patients need to be hospitalized to receive supportive treatment. Signs and symptoms of Eastern Equine Encephalitis include fever, headache, irritability, restlessness, drowsiness, vomiting, diarrhea, cyanosis, convulsions, and coma. Anyone who has symptoms that cause concern should contact a health care provider.
For more tips and information about Eastern Equine Encephalitis, please visit our website at http://worcesterhealth.org.
Excursion Railroad may come to Worcester
posted: Sep 15, 2014
Snow Hill has participated in a study that would bring the Strasburg Scenic Railroad to Worcester County.
Check out this story on delmarvanow.com: http://www.delmarvanow.com/story/news/local/maryland/2014/09/05/excursion-railroad-moving-forward/15161643/
Snow Hill is Added to MDE Site
posted: Jul 22, 2014
The state of Maryland maintains a Green Registry of businesses and localities that conform to certain environmental friendly standards as part of its Smart, Green, and Growing initiative. By highlighting its sustainable and green practices in an application, the Town of Snow Hill was recently named to the Maryland Green Registry. While most of the entries on it are individual businesses, the Town is one of four municipalities that have completed its profile for the Maryland Department Environment (MDE) site. Maryland Green Registry members are saving over $79 million annually through environmental best practices.
Go to the Green Registry at mde.maryland.gov/marylandgreen/Pages/GreenMembersList.aspx and click on Snow Hill to see its profile and profiles of others to learn more about how these practical, proven practices can save money and put your business or organization on the path to sustainability.
Town wide Rezoning Begins
posted: Jun 24, 2014
The Town of Snow Hill’s Department of Planning will begin its townwide rezoning process and will be accepting proposals for zoning map and regulation amendments between June 16 and August 16, 2014.
In order to achieve the goals and objectives of the 2010 Snow Hill Comprehensive Plan adopted in 2010, the Snow Hill Planning Commission has initiated a comprehensive zoning of all properties located in the incorporated area of Snow Hill. As part of the Comprehensive Rezoning process, new zoning maps, a new Zoning Ordinance, and new Subdivision Regulations will be submitted to Mayor and Council for approval.
Any property owner may request a zoning map change on their property. For example if a parcel is zoned for residential use, but the owner wants the property zoned for business use, a request may be submitted.
Requests for zoning regulation changes, also known as text amendments, may also be made by anyone. Beginning on June 16th, proposals for both types of zoning changes should be made via the official request forms available by following the links above or you may pick up a copy of application(s) at Town Hall at 103 Bank St., Snow Hill MD. Requests not submitted by the deadline will not be considered in the Planning Commission’s preparation of the Comprehensive Zoning Plan.
The 2014 Comprehensive Zoning will include the following steps:
1. The Planning Department accepts requests for zoning map and regulation changes.
2. Planning staff shall compile and evaluate all requests. Then submit recommendations on all requests to the Planning Commission. Planning board reviews staff recommendation and makes recommendation.
3. Staff recommendations will be reviewed with the Planning Commission and a written notice (time/date/location) of public hearing will be issued to all property owners whose property is subject of a proposed rezoning and to adjoining property owners.
4. The Planning Commission shall submit recommended actions to the Mayor and Council.
5. Mayor and Council receive proposal as legislation for consideration and hold public hearing.
6. Mayor and Council will vote on recommendations.
As part of the public review and public hearing process involved in the Comprehensive Rezoning process, information will be posted and updated on the town website. Questions can be directed to Karen Houtman, Planner (email@example.com) or Kelly Brewington, Town Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Town joins Shore Power Project
posted: Jan 22, 2014
Town joins Shore Power Project
Snow Hill and four other towns have joined together to take advantage of the Easton –based Town Creek Foundation’s $150,000 grant to examine energy use by municipalities on the Eastern Shore. An article by Jamie Smith Hopkins in the Baltimore Sun on January 21, 2014 highlights the partnership to ultimately save energy on the Shore. The Shore Power Energy Project will be led by Washington College Center for Environment and Society (CES) and is designed to help community leaders on Maryland’s Eastern Shore to track energy and reduce energy expenditures and green house gas emissions..
The Eastern Shore has always been environmentally sensitive. It is believed that the alliance between Cambridge, Snow Hill, Easton, and Salisbury which replicates the previous study for Chestertown may be the first of its kind in the state to study energy use and to conserve energy regionally. The Department of the Environment in Maryland is very excited to see the cooperative effort by the towns. The Department sees the project’s potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state by 25% by the year 2020.
As each town conducts an energy audit, it will find ways to reduce energy use and to save money by making changes to its energy consumption. The municipalities shall assist CES with energy usage data with regard to its municipal buildings, municipal fleet, landscaping, recycling, etc.
Snow Hill Planner, Karen Houtman says” we are excited to get some assistance tracking energy usage and determining the most economically sustainable options to reduce energy usage.”
To read the full article go to www.baltimoresun.com.
Article about15th Blessing of the Combines Festival
posted: Jun 14, 2013
SNOW HILL, MD. Even as farm fields are being planted in corn and soybeans, farmers are preparing their combines for the summer and fall harvests. Several Worcester County farmers - including George Lee Clayville, Bill Figgs, Byron Hauck, Lee Holloway, Buster Powell, Roger Richardson, David Shockley and Virgil Shockley - are readying their machines for The Blessing of the Combines on August 3, 2013. Festivities in downtown Snow Hill begin at 11:00 and conclude at 3:00.
A Parade of Combines - led by Antique Tractors and by Mr. Orem Perdue’s horse-drawn combine - moves slowly south on MD RT 12, across the drawbridge over the Pocomoke River, and west onto Green Street. Parade directors lead each combine to its stopping place and, with turn-on-a-dime accuracy, position each at the perfect angle. A growing hum of engines culminates with a throttle thrust - and then silence. But not for long!
Music, (including Too Far Gone), food, vendors, crafts, a Petting Barnyard, activities for children, hay rides, carriage and pony rides, Scales and Tales are ongoing. The Program, directed by Master of Ceremonies Steve Hales, includes welcomes, introductions, and a keynote address by Jim Perdue, and preceeds the Blessing of the Combines by Snow Hill Ministerial Association member, Rev. Seth Nelson.
The Wheels that Heal Car Club’s show sets up in Sturgis Park along The Pocomoke River from 11:00 - 3:00
For details contact Becky Payne at 443-783-1715, or email email@example.com .
Great article about Snow Hill
posted: Jun 3, 2013
This is the first in a series of commentaries submitted by the four volunteer community members of The Daily Times Editorial Board as their six-month term comes to an end. — EditorWhen my husband and I decided to look for property to start a bed and breakfast back in 1990, we knew we wanted to be on the Eastern Shore. We had kept our sailboat at Kent Narrows, and loved sailing the Chesapeake Bay.The “Land of Pleasant Living” certainly fit the ticket for two people who had had enough of corporate life andneeded to find calm and control over our time and resources.As we searched through all the by-ways we finally found a home in the town called Snow Hill. I had reservationsabout small town living; it can be difficult to integrate into the social system when you are an outsider. But not inSnow Hill. We were treated as welcome new members of the community. I had a small sign that I would point towhen our guests asked if we were natives. It said “I wasn’t born here but I got here as soon as I could.” And that’s exactly how I feel about the place that has embraced us.We have moved a lot and I often thought about where I would go if I had to choose any of those places. The firstSunday we were here, we took a break from renovations and went to church. After the kind greetings of thecongregants, and the warm atmosphere of acceptance I turned to my husband and said “Honey, we’re home.”Part of being accepted is a willingness to pitch in, to be someone who is happy to give back to others. It can becontagious, and others will catch the spirit. The common theme you will hear in this town is how much we love thistown. We can’t imagine living anywhere else.My neighbors all keep track of each other, to care about and help when needed. My husband had a severe accident that had him in Shock Trauma and then bed-bound for three months. He received a paper grocery bag full of get well cards to cheer him up. People came and sat just to visit.That’s kindness and caring. When I had to call an ambulance when he was ill, our Chief of Police came to make sure everything went well. How wonderful to see a concerned face in times of stress.
We have friends who have moved to retirement communities, giving up friends and neighbors of many years. They urge us to do likewise, which is a puzzle. Small towns have a sense of place, where you go out in the evening or sit on your porch to greet your friends. I walk our standard poodles around town almost every day. There is always someone out and about, even some who I don’t really know except we always cross paths and say good morning. Being in a small town means you can walk almost anywhere you want to go. It’s small town life for us.Here is where our hearts are, and here we will stay.
Susanne Knudsen is a former Mayor of Snow Hill.
Old Opera House Receives an Encore
posted: Nov 1, 2012
Originally printed in the Salisbury Daily Times
SNOW HILL — After more than 14 years of vacancy, the old opera house at the corner of Market and Washington streets finally has a chance for new life.
For years, the empty building has been greeting visitors to Snow Hill as they stop at the town’s only traffic light.
Knowing what a landmark the building is, the Town Council has decided to take possession of the long-abandoned property; owner Robert Raley of Lewes has verbally agreed to turn the property over to the town at no cost.
“During my (mayoral) campaign, one of my priorities was to have something done with the Raley building,” said Snow Hill Mayor Charlie Dorman. “Once I took office, we made an appointment and I met Raley at his vineyard. I asked if he would like to give (the building) to me.”
According to Dorman, Raley developed a donation proposal, which the Town Council has accepted; details of the agreement are not being released as paperwork has not been finalized. Final property settlement is expected before the end of the year, one of Raley’s stipulations.
The corner property has been for sale for years, listed privately by Raley for $850,000, according to Snow Hill Realtor Gary Weber.
Weber, an agent with Newport Bay Realty and owner of the Blue Dog Café in Snow Hill, said the building is in desperate need of improvements.
“When people come to town to pay a parking ticket or go to jury duty or head east to Assateague, it faces them,” he said. “It’s been a sad sign for Snow Hill to have such a prominent building vacant. It sends a false message that nothing’s happening in Snow Hill.”
According to the city’s website, the old Mason’s Opera House was built in 1908. It showed movies, minstrel shows, vaudeville acts and plays. It also hosted high school graduations and public meetings.
The original design with three stories and a distinctive metal cornice was deemed “aesthetically obsolete” in the 1930s by new owner W. Outten, who removed the third floor and gave the building a modern appearance. Brimer’s Restaurant occupied the first floor, and a movie theater showed films on the second floor.
After a fire in the early 1940s, the building was once again remodeled and used as a movie theater and Brimer’s Soda Fountain. The Outten Theater became the town’s social center for more than three decades before losing popularity.
According to ongoing research by town grant writer Ann Gibb, the building was purchased in 1981 by John T. Bell of Rockville, Md., for $55,000. The new owner agreed to renovate and restore the building “to its old Victorian beauty.” Bell never fulfilled the conditions of the sale. The roof collapsed, and plywood covered the windows.
The town repossessed the building in 1993 and sold it to Robert Raley and Mike Makowski in early 1994. Raley operated an antiques center there until 1998, when the building was finally shut down. The marquee and interior were removed, and the building has been a vacant shell ever since.
Now, the Town Council hopes to breathe new life into the structure.
“We discussed the pros and cons (of the building). People were cautious and questioning structural integrity. We know it needs a new roof,” Dorman said. “In the end, they all came around and said, ‘OK, we’ll take the building.’ ”
“Once the town owns the building, we can ask for help,” Dorman said. “This is our first baby step. Now we go out and look for grants.”
Weber said the acquisition of the building is important for Snow Hill as it will help with the revitalization of downtown.
“Pocomoke got millions to renovate their theater and build a restaurant,” he said. “Now it’s our turn.”
Speed Cameras Are in Snow Hill
posted: Mar 15, 2012
Speed Cameras are in Snow Hill. In an effort to increase driver compliance with the posted School Zone speed limits surrounding Cedar Chapel School and Snow Hill Elementary, Middle and High Schools, the Town has launched an Automated Speed Enforcement Camera Program. Similar programs are being utilized in Delmar, Princess Anne and Fruitland, and are viewed as an effective means of positively changing driver behavior and improving safety for both pedestrians and motorists.
According to Chief Kirk Daugherty, “Our main objective is to protect the children and residents of Snow Hill from drivers who are choosing to disobey the posted speed limit and break the law”.
If you receive a citation through the Speed Camera Enforcement program you may pay it online at secure.SpeedViolation.com. You will need to provide the Citation Number and the License Plate Number of the vehicle. There is a $3.50 processing fee to pay online.
If you receive a citation for a speed camera violation in error, you may be able to use an Affidavit to Transfer Liability.
Help for Snow Hill Businesses
posted: Jul 12, 2011
Are you thinking about locating a business in Snow Hill or do you want to expand the business you now have? Town Hall is here to help. Come in and meet with the Town Manager, Kelly Brewington, or others officers in Town Hall to discuss your plans and to learn about the Town’s code, and financing opportunities that the Town has to offer.Through a grant, The Town has small business loans available for new and existing business owners in the town. Business owners can borrow up to $10,000 at a 3% interest rate for 5 years. Applications are available in Town Hall at 103 Bank Street.So come to Town Hall where you will find people who are eager to assist small businesses and to help others to enjoy our charming and unique small town.
Snow Hill Historic District Guidelines
posted: Feb 23, 2011
The Mayor and Council approved the Historic District Guidelines for Property Owners in December of 2010. A copy of The Snow Hill Historic District, A Reference Guide for Property Owners is available here in PDF format.
It is also available in hard copy at Town Hall for $5.00 per copy.
Call Karen Houtman at 410-632-2080 for more information
Water Meter Leaks
posted: Jul 29, 2010
Water Meter LeaksThe Town of Snow Hill Water and Wastewater Department has installed new meters that report any water leaks detected. Water leaks, such as a running toilet can cause your water bill to drastically increase.If a leak has been found, you will see notification on your quarterly water/sewer bill. Please review your bill thoroughly for any communication from the Town about potential problems.If you have any questions regarding your water/sewer bill please contact Town Hall at 410-632-2080.