MHT File Photo
Denton Historic District
Denton, Caroline County
The town of Denton is located on the flat land along the south bank of the Choptank River. Denton is laid out on a grid pattern with Franklin, Market, and Gay Streets as the major east-west corridors, intersected by First through Tenth Streets. The west end of the Denton Historic District focuses on the courthouse square, which was laid out in the 1790s. The courthouse dates to the late 19th century, and the square is faced on all sides by noteworthy residences and commercial structures dating from the mid 19th through early 20th centuries. Denton’s historic commercial district extends east of the square along Market Street for several blocks, and comprises a notable collection of two-story brick storefronts and one-story concrete block commercial structures dating from the early 20th century, with frame residences representing late-19th/early-20th century forms interspersed among them. Typical house forms include the two or three bay wide, two-story, gable-front house, often with more or less elaborate stick-and-scrollwork detailing and a one-story porch across the facade, bungalows, and the cubical hip-roofed house showing Colonial Revival influence. The houses along Fifth Avenue, the major artery in town, are larger and more architecturally distinguished than those in the rest of the district, with forms and detailing expressive of the Shingle Style and Colonial Revival fashions in early 20th century domestic architecture. These elegant houses rest well back from the roadway on broad, tree-shaded lawns.
The Denton Historic District is significant historically for its role as the seat of Caroline County and as a regional market center along Maryland’s Eastern Shore from the early 19th century through the mid 1930s. Represented by a wealth of commercial, residential, public, and religious architecture in a variety of periods, styles, and forms, the district is also architecturally significant. Apart from a few clusters of modern development near Market Street at Second and Fifth Streets, the district exhibits a strong sense of historic integrity and continuity.