East New Market Historic District
East New Market, Dorchester County
The East New Market Historic District consists of a village of about 75 buildings that represent a variety of 18th, 19th, and 20th century architectural styles. The majority of the buildings in the town appear to date from the 19th century, although a large percentage constitutes altered versions of earlier buildings. A great number of the buildings are private residences; only about 10 are utilized commercially, and these are located at the junction of the two main streets, an area of the village long utilized for this purpose. Between the front of the large tree-shaded lots and the street are brick walks that were installed in 1884. In many cases these walks have been covered as the result of poor drainage, but all exist intact a short distance below ground level.
The area of East New Market was first settled in the mid-to-late 17th century, including the establishment of a small trading post. The building which housed this operation, although altered, is said to still exist. East New Market was evidently prosperous throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. The last quarter of the 18th century, a period when many of the village's better houses were built, must have been a period of greater economic stability and growth. In the later part of the 19th century a second rise in relative prosperity occurred, undoubtedly the result of the opening of a railroad to the east of the village. The railroad gave the village greater value as an economic center and it was at this time that there was an apparent rise in commercial industry, including the establishment of two fruit and vegetable houses. By the close of the first quarter of the 20th century, the importance of the town waned in the light of nearby Cambridge, the county seat. Although by the 1930s the town still retained a large percentage of its residents and buildings, commercial activity had been greatly decreased and the village quietly slipped into obscurity. East New Market affords a valuable opportunity to preserve an important aspect of regional socio-economic development.