GOLDSBORO (Old Town)
Bridgetown, Bee Tree, Barcus
The history of Goldsboro dates back to the completion of the D. & C. Railroad in 1867. At this time there were only three houses in the village, with a population of nine persons. It was then called Oldtown, as it was situated on Oldtown Lane.
As everyone knows, a railroad is always an advantage to a section through which it runs, so the country folks around soon become interested, and one of their first desires was to give the village a more modern name. Therefore in 1870, as the land surrounding the village was owned by Dr. G.W. Goldsborough, the name was changed from Oldtown to Goldsborough.
In 1871 the road running to Sandy Island was opened, and in 1873 the road running north past the Hardcastle farm was opened. A few years later a cannery was built by Mr. Robert Jarrell. This is still in operation.
The first merchant was Thomas R. Smith, of Delaware. He was succeeded by Isaac J. Reed, who was burned out. The railroad facilities, and canning industry caused growth of the village. In 1889 Mr. T. Jarman opened a store. In 1907 Mr. J. F. Lane opened one. These were followed by Mr. A. G. Dennison, Mr. A. C. Smith and Mr. H. L. Morris. The population increased until it now numbers about two hundred.
Castle Hall, the ancestral home of the Hardcastle family, is located a little to the north of the village.
Thomas Hardcastle, the founder of this estate and the builder of the present building at present owned and occupied by J. Spencer Lapham, purchased several hundred acres of land from Capt. John Fauntleroy about 1775.
It seems likely that shortly after Thomas Hardcastle settled at Castle Hall a school was provided, a piece of land being set apart for the purpose and a building erected. This seems to have been the original Castle Hall School.
With the growth of the community this school became semi-private and was attended by the boys and girls of the neighborhood.
Started about 1820 Castle Hall served as a site for the school for the white children until 1898 when the front of the Goldsboro school was erected and Castle Hall school given over the to the colored people.
The church which belongs to the Southern Methodist denomination was built in 1871 through a committee of five men, one of whom was Robert Jarrell, father of the present Robert Jarrell, Sr. The site was granted by Thomas Jones.
Before the erection of the church, Sunday School was held in the old Dennison home on the Henderson road.
By 1909 Goldsboro had grown to be a prosperous village with considerable banking business. To meet this situation several representative men organized a state bank, rented a room in Jarman Bros. building, and began business. By 1912 business had grown so rapidly that a new building was found necessary and was built the same year.
Sandy Island bridge which spans the Choptank River a mile east of the village is a concrete structure 200 feet in length and was completed in 1919. By means of this bridge and the excellent shell road leading into Delaware, Goldsboro has become the shipping center for a large territory extending east, and perhaps ranks next to Ridgely as a forwarding point.
Nine Bridges, latterly called Bridgetown, is a small village located near the Queen Anne county line. This settlement has the distinction of being the first incorporated village in our county, as well as being a well known trading center nearly one hundred years ago.
Located, as it is, near the headwaters of the Tuckahoe River, the causeway leading into Queen Anne County was at one time said to have nine small bridges which have been gradually reduced in number to a single concrete structure of considerable size.
When the county was young, a family by the name of Mason was so prominent in this section that the branch nearby took its name therefrom.
Another indication of the early importance of the place is seen in the establishment of a church just across the line on the Queen Anne County side. At this time much rivalry existed between the villages of Hillsboro, Greensboro, and Bridgetown, each of which fought for the honor of having an Episcopal church within its limits. Hillsboro won out, but soon after a chapel was erected at Bridgetown, bricks, shells, mortars, etc., for which were hauled from a wharf along the Choptank River.
From 1830 on until the Civil War Bridgetown was the home of a noted citizen and slave trader--Marcy Fountain, whose remains were interred in the village church yard. The house in which this man lived is still standing in the village. A cellar beneath is pointed out as the dungeon in which slaves were confined either for safekeeping or disobedience. It is supposed he was associated with Patty Cannon, a well known character residing near Federalsburg.
In this locality also, one of the first canneries of the Eastern Shore is supposed to have been located. This was in 1867. Peaches were the fruit canned.
Earlier than this a hotel and tavern were kept in a brick building which has ceased to exist.
Long before 1865 a public school existed in the neighborhood. Bridgetown is on the proposed line of the state highway extending from Ridgely to a point beyond Goldsboro.
With the rising energy of the present generation, who knows but what this heretofore sleepy village will outdistance its competitors?
For nearly one hundred years the neighborhood of which the present Bee Tree school is the center has been known by the name of Bee Tree, presumably called by virtue of there being so many swarms of bees in this section.
For years this community has supported a school, public or otherwise, and history recalls that many well known persons have either studied or taught in this institution. Trustees for the school were first appointed by the School Commissioners in 1865.
In 1886 the present site was purchased from Thomas D. Merrick and a new building erected. This school is located not far from Melvill's Cross Roads, a well known place during the time of the late Wm. H. Casho.
Because of the inaccessibility to trade, many Tories lived in this section during the Revolutionary War and made trouble for the American cause. Later on the section was made famous by the legislative efforts put forth to drain the surrounding territory--a thing which was never fully realized.
Barcus school, better known as "Dogwood College," has been for thirty years situated on the road leading from Greensboro to the Union colored settlement.
Originally named for the person who owned much land in the community and contributed the first site, it has had at least three locations and as many buildings. The present building was erected in 1895.
Owing to the school's being once nearly surrounded by dogwood trees, the term "Dogwood College" has tenaciously clung to the little institution.
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