In 1984 a group of residents of the western part of Wicomico County in Maryland, intent on preserving the rich history of this area and passing it on to younger generations, met and began the process of forming a non-profit organization that would accomplish that goal. We are a non-profit organization, with an EIN identification number, and donations are accordingly eligible for federal and state non-taxable status.
Since our start, the group has grown but their objectives remain focused on that original goal. Nor has
changed since we began:
To meet that goal, we have 5 more specific goals:
1: Preserve and promote the historical identity and material culture of western Wicomico County and contribute to the tourism potential of the Lower Eastern Shore.
2: Facilitate the preservation and restoration of significant historical buildings or sites in that western part of present-day Wicomico County which borders on the Nanticoke River.
3: Sponsor public programs, publications, and exhibitions which will promote the understanding and appreciation of the history and culture of this region.
4: Work with the younger generations in an effort to promote knowledge of the area’s “lost country life” and thereby instill pride in their heritage.
5: Accept donations of historical documents and artifacts to make them accessible for educational purposes and scholarly research.
Westside Historical Society was formed in 1985 by citizens of the western part of Wicomico County in an effort to preserve the rich history and cultural heritage of this part of the lower Eastern Shore of Maryland, and to that end now engages in a variety of programs and events. Our focus is on that part of the County originally identified as the voting district of “Barren Creek” (presently encompassing the towns of Mardela Springs, Athol, Riverton, San Domingo, and Sharptown) as well as Hebron, Quantico, and Nanticoke and villages in the area.
A broad cross-section of the population attend events sponsored and produced by the Society, ranging from local school children, farmers and watermen, to artists and professionals, and all who share a concern for and dedication to the preservation of the area’s history and culture.
We work with other heritage organizations locally and in the area, including the Adkins Historical Museum & Complex, in Mardela Springs, Pemberton Hall Foundation and Pemberton Historical Park, Nanticoke Watershed Alliance, Hebron Train Station Museum, Ward Museum, Quinton Foundation, the Lower Eastern Shore Heritage Council, Wicomico Preservation Trust, MAC Inc. for the Lower Shore, Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, and more. Students from Salisbury University and Mardela Middle and High School have worked as interns in the Barren Creek Heritage Museum.
Achieving our goals of preserving and promoting our heritage has been assisted by grants from Md. Historical Trust, Preservation Maryland, Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, and the Lower Eastern Shore Heritage Council, and Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, among others. In 2006 Westside Historical Society was awarded the Heritage Award by the Lower Eastern Shore Heritage Council for outstanding work in preservation of our history and culture.
Westside Historical Society office and a Local History/Family History Library are located in Mardela Springs MD. at 413 Main Street, and in the same building is the Barren Creek Heritage Museum. WHS also owns and makes available to the public the historic Barren Creek Springs Church  and the Barren Creek Spring House, central focus of the mineral water spa town of Barren Creek Springs. The Board of Directors and officers of the Society meet quarterly; meetings are open to members, and to visitors by request.
The Society is recognized for federal tax purposes as a 501c3 non-profit organization, and is registered with the Maryland Dept. of State as a Maryland Charity.
Our focus for heritage research, preservation, and promotion continues to
be on all of the western part – the Nanticoke River watershed part -- of Wicomico County. Our
Board of Directors and officers also represent this county-wide area, as well.
Our “base of operations” is the small town of Mardela Springs, and since 1984 we have come
to own and operate four properties:
1. The historic [built 1842] Barren Creek Springs Presbyterian Church;
2. The equally historic Barren Creek Spring House near the Church and built ca. 1860.
3. The Barren Creek Heritage Museum – housed in the first floor of the building at 413 Main St.reet
4. The administrative office and the Family History Research Library on the second floor of 413 Main St. In the Museum and Library, as in most of our Programs and Events, our focus remains on the western part of Wicomico County, MD.
Files coming soon.
We love our visitors, so feel free to visit by scheduling a time that is convenient to you!
PO Box 194, Mardela Springs, MD 21837, US
Call to schedule your Westside Historical Museum visit!
Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals and improve conditions. Your generous donation will fund our mission.