So Long, Southern States

So Long, Southern States

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The town that sprawls across 3 counties, 2 states, and 3 centuries

The town that sprawls across 3 counties, 2 states, and 3 centuries

It’s a bit of a stretch to call Reliance a town. Officially, it’s an unincorporated community. It’s a place that straddles two states and three counties – Caroline and Dorchester counties in Maryland, and Sussex county in Delaware.

But in its heyday, Reliance was a place to be reckoned with — a hub of local commerce that served local farms and towns by storing and shipping goods between city and farm. Known as Johnson’s Crossroads, it was the starting point for the boundary that carved the new county of Caroline out of Dorchester County in 1774. And it was still making headlines a hundred years later.

Why was Johnson’s Crossroads (Reliance) so important in 1774? A contemporary map of Maryland (1794) offers clues.

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Historic Boon Farmstead – Vanished from the face of the Earth

Historic Boon Farmstead – Vanished from the face of the Earth

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The black blacksmith with a bellowy laugh

The black blacksmith with a bellowy laugh

In West Denton … there were two blacksmith Shops serving the farmers and residents of the area. One was operated by a Negro named Walter Moore … I doubt if any kingdom ever fell because Walter’s nails came loose.

#blackhistorymatters

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Your local blacksmith:  Not on Angie’s List

Your local blacksmith: Not on Angie’s List

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Downtown Federalsburg, 1875

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Downtown Preston, 1875

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Downtown Hillsboro, 1875

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