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Poplar Hill Mansion
Salisbury, Wicomico County, Maryland

Coalition members, guests, and speakers met in Salisbury on Saturday, April 26, 2014, for the Annual Maryland Statewide Conference. The venue was Poplar Hill Mansion.

Poplar Hill Mansion was the manor house of a farm outside the town of Salisbury, which had slowly expanded from a 1732 landing site at the head of the Wicomico River, more than a half mile away. Major Levin Handy, originally from Newport, RI, began construction of this Federal style house in 1795-6.

By 1803, the house still was unfinished, and the property went up for sale. Title passed to Dr. John Huston, who at his death in 1828 owned fruit trees, crops, sheep, cattle, and 18 slaves. His widow Sarah subdivided parts of the farm into town streets, on which were built the area called Newtown.

George Waller and his family owned the property from 1882 to 1945. Fred Adkins began restoration, then sold to Mr. and Mrs. Ward Garber, who maintained an antique shop downstairs and lived upstairs. Since 1974 Poplar Hill has been owned by the City of Salisbury. Friends of Poplar Hill Mansion, Inc. operates the house museum, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

“Documenting Delmarva Cemeteries and Individual Genealogies” was presented by G. Ray Thompson, Director of Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture. The mission of the Nabb Research Center at Salisbury University is to cultivate and sustain the advancement of scholarly research through collecting, preserving, disseminating and providing access to records and artifacts that illustrate the rich historical and cultural heritage of the greater Delmarva region. The Nabb Center is a repository for documents, surveys, oral histories, photographs, and other materials related to Delmarva history and culture. See http://nabbhistory.salisbury.edu for information about the collections and visiting hours.

CPMBS Officers and Directors for term 2014-2016:

President: Eileen McGuckian; Vice President: Edward W. Taylor, Jr.; Treasurer: Gerhardt P. Kraske; Directors: James Lanier, Melvin Mason, Thomas Mason, Paul Miller, Robert Mosko, Candy Warden.

Continuing on the Board of Directors, term 2013-2015:

Secretary: J. Patrick Warner; Vice President for Legislation: John E. Higgins, Jr.; Directors: Barbara Kraske, Kristin Kraske, David Mills.

The Coalition presented three Periwinkle Awards. Benjamin Krider Joint Cemetery in Westminster, Maryland, Apples United Church of Christ Cemetery in Thurmont, Maryland, and Burtonsville Union Cemetery in Burtonsville, Maryland.

There was a panel discussion: Cemetery Advocates talked about legal protection, programs, and experiences – Eileen McGuckian, moderator, Tina Simmons, Anne Arundel County, Fred Dorsey, Howard County, and Tom Lawton, Eastern Shore counties

In the afternoon the group participated in a “Walk and Talk” in historic Parsons Cemetery. The cemetery is owned and operated by Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church in Salisbury, but is open to all. With a beautiful lakeside setting and 28 acres, Parsons offers a serene resting place. Conservator S. J. Disharoon will guide us through the cemetery and point out unique markers, conservation issues, notable people interred here, and current activities at the cemetery.

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