Maryland State Parks has created their Es Mi Parque program to better connect a large and growing number of Latino visitors to the cultural, recreational and historic resources of Maryland. In partnership, Preservation Maryland will produce a series of brief park histories in English and Spanish.
Did you know? That iconic blue jar of Noxzema was invented and nurtured into an international company by Marylander George A. Bunting in the early 20th century. And now one of the company’s historic factory buildings is being transformed into new apartments and artists lofts in the Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore City.
Maryland’s Strawberry Legacy
05/20/2016 By Preservation Maryland
Marion Station in Somerset County, Maryland was once locally considered to be the Strawberry Capital of the World!
This photograph titled “Strawberry Picking,” captures acres of strawberries in Marion Station taken by famed local photographer A. Aubrey Bodine on June 7th, 1953 during the height of Somerset County’s strawberry harvesting dominance.
Marion Station’s reputation as leader in strawberry production came with the arrival of a line of the Pennsylvania Railroad to the Eastern Shore in 1866. The town was able to construct a train station due to benefactor John C. Horsey, in turn the station and the town was named for his daughter, Marion. Several hundred ice-refrigeration train cars arrived to Marion Station each day to collect strawberries and ship them across the country. An auction block stood outside the station and berry-wagons would line up for miles to deliver their fruit.
The ease of shipping strawberries via railroad made Marion Station famous as the largest shipper of strawberries in the entire world. The economic boom that came with harvesting and selling strawberries created a viable town in Marion Station and even enable the town to build the first hospital in Somerset County. By the 1930’s a series of events led to the decline of strawberry production; the land had been “strawberried” to death. Train service lessened as well, and completely stopped in 1976. Strawberry farmers were no longer able to sustain a living through strawberries and much of the farming transitioned to raising poultry. The Marion Station train station still stands today and once housed the Accohannock Indian Museum.
CELEBRATE MARYLAND’S STRAWBERRY HERITAGE
Maryland offers many strawberry festivals and pick-your-own fruit orchards throughout the summer. What’s your favorite u-pick farm in Maryland?
Our Preservation Month posts were written and prepared by Rachel Rettaliata, one of Preservation Maryland’s Waxter Interns. Rachel’s work with us focuses on communications and advocacy. She is a Fulbright Scholar, and will be attending the historic preservation program at the University of Maryland this fall. Learn more about Rachel and our intern program here: presmd.org/waxter.
Preservation Maryland is Maryland’s first and largest organization dedicated to preserving the state’s historic buildings, neighborhoods, landscapes, and archaeological sites.