Celebrating Life on the River


Snow Hill is a river town critical to the history of the Chesapeake Bay's Lower Shore. It was founded in 1686, in what was then Somerset County, by English settlers who may have named the town after a London neighborhood. In 1742, Worcester County was carved from Somerset and Snow Hill, at the head of the navigable section of the Pocomoke River, became the county seat.

For much of the town's first two centuries, the river was the reason for our existence, a chief means of commerce that provided access and transportation. Eight years after its founding, the town was designated a Royal Port, an entry for rum, sugar, molasses and other commodities. Outgoing cypress lumber, shingles, pig iron and other building products were traded north in Philadelphia, New York and Boston.


Soon downtown Snow Hill began to rise along tree-lined streets where several of Worcester County's oldest homes have been preserved and where the Snow Hill Chamber of Commerce is working to make the business district a stronger, more enticing place to visit -- and stay.

Downtown homes, churches and buildings date back to the mid to late 1700s, but the center of the business district has twice been rebuilt after major fires in 1844 and 1893 took buildings and two courthouses. Our town claims America's first regularly organized Presbyterian Church (Makemie United), established in 1683 by Francis Makemie.

Nearly a dozen sites in Snow Hill are included on the National Register of Historic Places and in 2002, leaders created an historic district that now includes 80 percent of the town.