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Salisbury, Maryland


Salisbury, Maryland

City of Salisbury
Main Street in Salisbury
Main Street in Salisbury
Flag of City of Salisbury
Official seal of City of Salisbury
Nickname(s): The Crossroads of Delmarva
Location in Maryland
Location in Maryland
Country United States
State Maryland
County Wicomico
Founded 1732
Incorporated 1854
 • Type Strong-mayor
 • Mayor Jim Ireton (Democrat)
 • City Council
  • Jacob Day (President)
  • John ‘Jack’ R. Heath
  • Laura Mitchell
  • Eugenie P. Shields
  • Tim Spies
 • City 13.87 sq mi (35.92 km2)
 • Land 13.40 sq mi (34.71 km2)
 • Water 0.47 sq mi (1.22 km2)  3.39%
Elevation 26 ft (8 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • City 30,343
 • Estimate (2012[3]) 31,243
 • Density 2,264.4/sq mi (874.3/km2)
 • Metro 125,203
  2010 CSA pop'n. 176,657
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 21801-21804
Area code(s) 410, 443
FIPS code 24-69925
GNIS feature ID 0591221

Salisbury is a city in southeastern Maryland, USA. It is the county seat of Wicomico County[4] and the largest city in the state's Eastern Shore region. The population was 30,343 at the 2010 census. Salisbury is the principal city of the Salisbury, Maryland-Delaware Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city is the commercial hub of the Delmarva Peninsula and is sometimes called "the Crossroads of Delmarva".

Salisbury is located near several major cities: Baltimore 106 miles (171 km); Washington, D.C. 119 miles (192 km), Philadelphia 128 miles (206 km), Norfolk 132 miles (212 km), Dover 50 miles (80 km), and Wilmington 96 miles (154 km).


Main Street in 1920

Salisbury's location at the head of Wicomico River was a major factor in growth. At first it was a small colonial outpost of Lord Baltimore's. The river was the only navigable waterway leading out to the Chesapeake Bay for early settlers. In 1732, Salisbury became an official port, growing to be second only to Baltimore as the most active seaport in Maryland.

The Gillis-Grier House, Honeysuckle Lodge, Sen. William P. Jackson House, Pemberton Hall, Perry-Cooper House, Poplar Hill Mansion, Union Station, and F. Leonard Wailes Law Office are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[5]


Sign at northern entrance on U.S. Route 13.

Salisbury is located at (38.365806, -75.593361).[6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.87 square miles (35.92 km2), of which, 13.40 square miles (34.71 km2) is land and 0.47 square miles (1.22 km2) is water.[1] The city has a varying elevation of 17 to 45 feet (5.2 to 13.7 m) above sea level.


Salisbury's location on the Atlantic Coastal Plain in Maryland gives it a humid subtropical climate, with hot, humid summers and, on average, cool to mild winters. However, in winter the area is also subject to some intervening periods of much more intense cold and even occasional blizzards usually characteristic of more Northern regions. The monthly daily average temperature ranges from 37.9 °F (3.3 °C) in January to 78.6 °F (25.9 °C) in July; there are 22 days of 90 °F (32 °C)+ highs annually and 5.6 days where the high fails to rise above freezing. On average, Salisbury annually receives 45.9 inches (1,170 mm) of precipitation, with 9.9 inches (25.1 cm) of snowfall. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfa" (Humid Subtropical Climate).[7]

Climate data for Salisbury, Maryland (1981–2010 normals)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 46.0
Average low °F (°C) 29.8
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.61
Snowfall inches (cm) 3.4
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 10.4 9.3 10.8 10.8 10.4 9.8 9.9 9.3 7.8 8.3 9.0 10.2 116
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 2.0 1.6 .6 .3 0 0 0 0 0 0 .1 1.0 5.5
Source: NOAA (snowfall at Wicomico Regional Airport)[8][9]


Salisbury is the principal city of the Salisbury, Maryland-Delaware Metropolitan Statistical Area, which consists of Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties in Maryland and Sussex County in Delaware.[10]

2010 census

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 30,343 people, 11,983 households, and 6,040 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,264.4 inhabitants per square mile (874.3/km2). There were 13,401 housing units at an average density of 1,000.1 per square mile (386.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 55.7% White, 34.4% African American, 0.3% Native American, 3.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 3.1% from other races, and 3.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.0% of the population.

There were 11,983 households of which 29.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 26.4% were married couples living together, 19.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 49.6% were non-families. 32.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 12% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.04.

The median age in the city was 28.1 years. 21.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 22.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.4% were from 25 to 44; 18.8% were from 45 to 64; and 11.1% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 46.3% male and 53.7% female.

2000 census

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 23,743 people, 9,061 households, and 4,802 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,145.5 people per square mile (828.1/km²). There were 9,612 housing units at an average density of 868.6 per square mile (335.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 60.71% White, 32.32% African American, 0.23% Native American, 3.19% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.47% from other races, and 2.06% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.39% of the population.

There were 9,061 households out of which 27.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 30.4% were married couples living together, 18.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 47.0% were non-families. 33.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 3.00. In 2005, 324 new single family homes were built, with an average value of $119,358.

In the city the population was spread out with 21.8% under the age of 18, 21.8% from 18 to 24, 26.9% from 25 to 44, 17.0% from 45 to 64, and 12.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 87.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $29,191, and the median income for a family was $35,527. Males had a median income of $26,829 versus $21,920 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,228. About 16.5% of families and 23.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.9% of those under age 18 and 10.2% of those age 65 or over.


Salisbury is a municipality within Wicomico County. The form of government is strong-mayor, as defined by the City Charter. In this form, executive functions are vested in a popularly elected mayor who serves a four-year term; currently Jim Ireton. The Mayor is responsible for overseeing the various departments in the city, although most day-to-day functions are managed by the city administrator. Legislative and oversight functions are the purview of the elected council. The five council members are elected to four-year terms from the city's two districts. City elections are non-partisan. The council meets in regular session the second and fourth Monday of each month in Council Chambers. Council work sessions are held the first and third Monday of each month.

The City Government has numerous Boards and Commissions,[12] some of which are quasi-judicial, including:

  • Elections Board - Meets as needed
  • Board of Zoning Appeals - Meets 1st Thursday of each month
  • Building Board of Adjustments and Appeals - Meets as needed
  • Central City District Commission - Meets as needed
  • City Park Committee - Meets 3rd Thursday of each month
  • Ethics Commission - Meets as needed
  • Friends of Poplar Hill Mansion - Meets 3rd Wednesday of each month
  • Historic District Commission - Meets 4th Wednesday of each month
  • Housing Board - Meets as needed
  • Marina Committee - Meets 3rd Thursday of each month
  • Mayor's Council in Support of People with Disabilities - Meets quarterly
  • Planning & Zoning Commission - Meets 3rd Tuesday of each month
  • Recycling Committee - Meets 1st Friday of each month
  • Traffic and Safety Advisory Committee - Meets 2nd Wednesday of even months
  • Zoo Commission - Meets 3rd Tuesday of every other month

The City government is housed at Government Office Building at the intersection of West Church Street and North Division Street, downtown. The facility is shared by Salisbury and Wicomico County. The city and county maintain a joint Planning and Zoning department.

Mayors of Salisbury

This is a list of mayors of Salisbury.[13]
Name From To
A. G. Toadvine 1888 1890
Thomas Humphreys 1890 1894
Randolph Humphreys 1894 1898
Jehu T. Parsons 1898 1900
C. R. Disharoon 1900 1904
Charles E. Harper 1904 1910
William F. Bounds 1910 1912
B. Frank Kennerly 1912 1914
William F. Bounds 1914 1916
I. E. Jones 1916 1920
W. Arthur Kennerly 1920 1924
L. Thomas Parker, Sr. 1924 1928
Wade H. Insley, Sr. 1928 1934
E. Sheldon Jones 1934 1936
Alfred T. Truitt, Sr. 1936 1938
Arthur W. Boyce 1938 1940
Virgil Hitchens 1940 1946
E. R. White, Jr. 1946 1950
Rollie W. Hastings 1950 1958
Jeremiah Valiant 1958 1959
Boyd E. McLernon 1959 1962
Frank H. Morris 1962 1966
Dallas G. Truitt 1966 1974
Elmer F. Ruark 1974 1982
W. Paul Martin 1982 1998
Barrie Parsons Tilghman 1998 2009
James P. Ireton, Jr. 2009 -

All-America City Award

On June 18, 2010 Salisbury received the All-America City Award.[14] The National Civic League awards communities that have addressed issues in an innovative way, in partnership with public, private, and nonprofit groups.

The City received the award for three projects:[15]

  • The revitalization of Rose and Lake Street neighborhoods in partnership with nonprofit organization Salisbury Neighborhood Housing, Inc, the State of Maryland, Parkside High School CTE program, Hebron Savings Bank, and a grant from the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore.
  • The Youth Leadership Academy which developed leadership in students in grades 8-11.[16]
  • Homeless initiatives including the Code Blue Shelter operated by nonprofit organization Hope And Life Outreach (HALO) with assistance for veterans from nonprofit NATRA, Inc., which provides counseling services.

Economy and businesses

Perdue Farms, a multi-national poultry corporation, is headquartered in Salisbury. Other industries in Salisbury include electronic component manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, shipbuilding, and agriculture.

Some of the major employers in Salisbury include: Salisbury University, Verizon, Peninsula Regional Medical Center, The Knowland Group and Pepsi Bottling of Delmarva. Peninsula Regional Medical Center employs more Salisbury residents than any other company, while Perdue Farms is the largest employer headquartered in Salisbury (with nearly 22,000 employees). The labor market within 15 miles (24 km) of Salisbury is 85,000, and at a 30-mile (48 km) radius 101,000 people.

Piedmont Airlines, a regional airline, is headquartered in unincorporated Wicomico County,[17] on the grounds of Salisbury-Ocean City Wicomico Regional Airport near Salisbury.[18]


Public schools are under the jurisdiction of Wicomico County Public Schools. The city is home to numerous educational facilities. It boasts three high schools, three post secondary institutions, and numerous elementary and middle schools. Additionally, several private institutions maintain academic programs in the city.

Post secondary:
Public: Salisbury University and Wor-Wic Community College
Private: Sojourner Douglass College

Public: James M. Bennett High School, Parkside High School, Wicomico High School, Salisbury Middle School, Wicomico Middle School, and Bennett Middle School
Private: Salisbury Baptist Academy, Salisbury Christian School, The Salisbury School, Faith Baptist School, and Stepping Stones Learning Academy

Public: Chipman, Glen Avenue, North Salisbury, Westside Intermediate, Pinehurst, Pemberton, Prince Street, West Salisbury and East Salisbury
Private: Wicomico Day School, The Salisbury School, Salisbury Christian School, St. Frances de Sales (Roman Catholic), Faith Baptist School and Stepping Stones Learning Academy



  • The Daily Times
  • Salisbury Independent - weekly publication of Independent Newsmedia Inc.
  • Grand Living Magazine - bimonthly magazine
  • Metropolitan Magazine - monthly magazine
  • Wicomico Weekly - weekly publication of the Daily Times




Salisbury is the largest city on Maryland's Eastern Shore. The calendar of annual events emphasizes the region's focus on the outdoors. Additionally, the city and county maintain numerous parks for residents to enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Scholars and performers associated with Salisbury University contribute greatly to quality of life.

Museums and other historic facilities offer a respite from daily hustle. These include: Salisbury University Arboretum; Salisbury Zoo; Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art; Arthur W. Perdue Stadium; Edward H. Nabb Center for Delmarva History and Culture; Chipman Cultural Center; Poplar Hill Mansion; Port of Salisbury Marina; Wicomico Youth and Civic Center.

Parks and playgrounds

The City maintains numerous parks within the metropolitan jurisdiction.[19] These parks include: Comfort Safety Zone Playground, Doverdale Park and Playground, Elizabeth W. Woodcock Park and Playground, Jeannete P. Chipman Boundless Park and Playground (fully handicapped accessible), Lake Street Park and Playground, Newtown Park, Newtown - Camden Tot Lot Park and Playground, Riverwalk Park, Salisbury City Park and Zoo, and Waterside Park and Playground.

Wicomico County maintains recreational fields and courts at each of the county schools. The county also maintains other parks in Salisbury: Billy Gene Jackson, Sr. Park, Coulbourn Mill Pond Park, Indian Village Playground, Leonards Mill Park, Pemberton Historical Park, Schumaker Park, and Winterplace Park.[20]


Delmarva Shorebirds' mascot, Sherman, in the seats of Perdue Stadium.

Salisbury has a rich history of supporting baseball. The Eastern Shore Baseball League was headquartered there; two franchises—the Salisbury Cardinals and the Salisbury Indians—called the city home. Today, the Delmarva Shorebirds represent the town in the South Atlantic League. The Eastern Shore Baseball Hall of Fame is housed at the Arthur W. Perdue Stadium. The Shorebirds are a Single-A Affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles.

Salisbury also is home to Division 3 Salisbury Seagulls. The Seagulls have been dominant in Football, Field Hockey, Baseball, and Lacrosse with Lacrosse winning multiple NCAA National Titles. Seagull Stadium hosts the university's football team while Maggs Gymnasium hosts the basketball team.

Salisbury also hosts the Wicomico Stallions, a minor league football team.

Salisbury is also home to the Salisbury Rollergirls, an all-female, competitive, WFTDA-member, flat-track roller derby league.


Salisbury's oldest neighborhoods boast Federal, Georgian, and Victorian architecture. The city also has expanding areas of town homes, suburbs, and strip malls. Each neighborhood attracts distinct demographics. Several 55 and older communities have been constructed in the last decade.

Neighborhoods:[21] Church St Area, Downtown, Harbor Pointe, Mt Hermon Rd, North End (Business), Park Area, Pinehurst, Smith St Area, Westside, Doverdale Area, Eastside, Johnson Lake Area, Newtown, North - Industrial, Princeton Area, Rt 13 South, University - South


  • Third Friday - Held the 3rd Friday of every month on the Downtown Plaza, a free art and entertainment event featuring live music, local artists, and vendors.
  • Critical Mass - Second Wednesday of the month 5:30pm in front of Guerrieri University Center
  • Victorian Tea - Each February at Poplar Hill Mansion
  • Salisbury Festival - Held annually, since 1982, on the last weekend in April, by the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Pork in the Park - A three-day Pork BBQ Festival, held the third weekend of April, at Winterplace Park
  • Salisbury Community Band - Offers 6 summer concerts on Sunday evenings in June and July from the Bandstand at City Park
  • Purnell-Thomas Memorial Tennis Tournament - Held each August at Salisbury University
  • Sea Gull Century - Cycle 62 mi (100 km) or 100 mi (160 km) of Maryland's Eastern Shore each October. (hosted by Salisbury University)
  • Autumn Wine Festival - Held the third weekend in October at Pemberton Park
  • Christmas Parade - Held the first Sunday of each December, sponsored by the Salisbury Jaycees
  • Yuletide Open House - Celebrate the holidays at historic Poplar Hill Mansion in Newtown each December


Community participation through various groups fosters friendliness and betterment. Organizations that sponsor events within the city include: Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce, The Salisbury Junior Chamber of Commerce (aka Salisbury Jaycees), Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore, Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, Salisbury Symphony Orchestra, Community Players of Salisbury, and the Peace Alliance of the Lower Shore. Several churches within the community also boast impressive musical programs, notably Wicomico Presbyterian Church and Asbury United Methodist Church.

Sister cities



Salisbury is served by two major highways—U.S. Route 13, one of the major north–south routes of the Delmarva Peninsula, and U.S. Route 50, one of the major east–west routes on the peninsula. US 13 connects Salisbury to Dover, Delaware and Norfolk, Virginia and is known as the Ocean Highway, while US 50 serves as the main route between the Baltimore/Washington region and many of the major cities on Delmarva, including Ocean City; it is known as the Ocean Gateway. US 13 and US 50 originally passed through the central business district, but have been subsequently rerouted onto the Salisbury Bypass, a 3/4 beltway around the city that allows through traffic on US 13 and US 50 to bypass the downtown area; earlier routes of both highways are now U.S. Route 13 Business and U.S. Route 50 Business. Earlier still, US 13 was routed along Division Street and US 50 along Main Street.

The city is also served by Maryland Route 12, a rural highway that connects Salisbury to the town of Snow Hill, and Maryland Route 349, a rural highway that connects Salisbury to Nanticoke and Quantico.

Air and sea

The city is served by daily scheduled commercial airline service at the Wicomico Regional Airport, Maryland's second busiest airport and the only commercial airport on the Delmarva Peninsula. Additionally, the Port of Salisbury offers respite for recreational boaters and commercial tug boats. Salisbury's navigable stop, on the Wicomico River, is the second largest and second busiest commercial port in Maryland.[23]

Public transportation

The city is also served by Shore Transit, which provides local bus service throughout the city, and also services points outside the city within the tri-county area, such as Ocean City's public transportation system. The major transfer point is on Calvert Street, in downtown Salisbury.[24]

Fares are $3 with no free transfers. Special discounts are given to senior citizens, and children under 42" ride free. Additionally, Fixed Route Passes are available with 7, 14, 21, or 30 day passes available.

Notable people

Frank Perdue, founder of Perdue Farms, was a Salisbury native.


  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010".  
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  3. ^ "Population Estimates".  
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  5. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places.  
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  7. ^ Climate Summary for Salisbury, Maryland
  8. ^ "Station Name: MD SALISBURY". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  9. ^ "NowData – NOAA Online Weather Data".  
  10. ^ "OMB BULLETIN NO. 13-01". Office of Management and Budget. February 28, 2013. Retrieved October 31, 2013. 
  11. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  12. ^ City of Salisbury Boards and Commissions
  13. ^ Maryland Manual On-Line - Salisbury Mayors. Retrieved April 24, 2009.
  14. ^ Salisbury Named All-America City The Daily Times (Salisbury). Accessed 2010-06-19.
  15. ^ All-America City 2010: Salisbury, Maryland’s presentation Accessed 2010-06-19.
  16. ^ 2009 Youth Leadership Academy Held at SU Accessed 2010-06-19.
  17. ^ "Career Opportunities." Piedmont Airlines. Retrieved on May 20, 2009.
  18. ^ "About Piedmont." Piedmont Airlines. Retrieved on May 20, 2009.
  19. ^ City of Salisbury City Parks and Playgrounds
  20. ^ Wicomico County Recreations and Parks Park Map
  21. ^ Salisbury Police Department Neighborhood Crime Statistics Retrieved on March 27, 2008.
  22. ^ Sister Cities Association of Salisbury / Wicomico County
  23. ^ - Dredging Funding Concerns Raised. Retrieved on April 18, 2009.
  24. ^ Shore Transit S173 Salisbury Transfer Point
  25. ^ a b c d e f g "Who’s who from Salisbury". The Daily Times. Retrieved 2014-09-23. 
  26. ^ Spotlight - Fernando Guerrero. Retrieved April 18, 2009
  27. ^ Bang, Steinar. "Internet Movie Database: Linda Hamilton - Biography". Retrieved 2007-03-21. 
  • Richard W. Cooper, "History and Facts of Salisbury, Maryland."
  • Poplar Hill Mansion [1]

External links

  • City of Salisbury official website
  • Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Salisbury Jaycees
  • Sister Cities Association of Salisbury / Wicomico County
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