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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Berlin: The First 150 Years

Rev. Charles Albert Tindley

In celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Town of Berlin, the Bayside Gazette this week compiled a timeline of important people and businesses, and landmark events, that helped to shape the town. 

1677 – Burley Plantation was established

1683 – Burleigh Inn tavern opened

1683 – Buckingham Presbyterian Church opened. It burned down in 1904 and was rebuilt in 1905

1742 – Worcester County was created from parts of Somerset County

1763 – Rev. Charles Tennett was installed at Buckingham Presbyterian Church. Along with his son, William, they established the first public school in Berlin, which was the beginning of Buckingham Academy

1779 – Commodore Stephen Decatur, Naval hero of the War of 1812, was born

1790s – Berlin became a village. The roughly 300-acre tract of land was called “Burley.” The town got its start from a livery stable and coach stop on Burley Plantation

1810 – Burbage Funeral home was opened by John W. Burbage. The current location, on William Street, was built in 1934

1825 – St. Paul’s Episcopal Church opened

1832 – The Calvin B. Taylor House was built for the Isaac Covington Family in 1832

1844 – Civil War hero Co. Isaiah Fassett was born

1851 – Rev. Charles Albert Tindley, “Father of Gospel Music” and composer of “Stand By Me” and “I’ll Overcome Some Day,” was born

1857 – Banker Calvin B. Taylor was born

1867 – Sen. Orlando Harrison was born

1867 – Berlin Town Hall opened

1868 – Town of Berlin officially incorporated

1871 – The EverGreen Lodge opened

1884 – Harrison Nurseries opened. By 1920, the nurseries were the largest grower of fruit and shade trees in the world, having as many as 10 million trees and seedlings per year

1889 – Berlin land surveyor William D. Pitts was born

1890 – The Calvin B. Taylor Bank opened

1895 – The first of three devastating fires occurred, which led to many downtown buildings being rebuilt with brick. The fire was started by a spark from a passing train and landed in a stable in the back of the Atlantic Hotel. The fire spread over six acres and destroyed all of the Main Street businesses and many homes. Other significant fires occurred in 1902 and 1904

1895 – The Atlantic Hotel opened. The first mention of the property dates back to 1845, when it was called “The National Hotel”

1901 – Rayne’s Reef restaurant opened

1902 – Roads were paved when Orlando Harrison was Mayor. Also during his tenure, 1900-1908 and 1910-1914, the town built its municipally owned water and light system, and electric service

1904 – The Berlin Advance newspaper, run by Jesse and Alice Tucker, opened

1905 – Inventor Jesse R. Hollins was born

1905 – Berlin Milling Company opened as a flourmill

1906 – J. Richard Phillips and Levin E. Derrickson opened Phillips Canning

1908 – The Adkins Company opened as a sawmill

1910 – Berlin Fire Company established

1933 – Williams Tavern opened on Main Street

1934 – Triple Crown winning horse War Admiral was born. War Admiral and Man o’ War both trained on Riddle Farm in Berlin

1938 – “The Race of the Century” between War Admiral and Seabiscuit occurred in Pimlico

1942 – Edward H. Hammond Jr., founding trustee of the Berlin Heritage Foundation, was born

1967 – Berlin Fire Company headquarters on Main Street opened

1981 – The Berlin Heritage Foundation was founded

1983 – The Calvin B. Taylor House Museum opened

1988 – The Atlantic Hotel was renovated and reopened thanks to a partnership of James and Nancy Barrett, Reese F. Cropper, William E. and Anna T. Esham, Sr. , William E. & Gloria H. Esham, Jr., Elizabeth Henry Hall, Clark and Jeanne Hamilton, Edward H. Hammond, Jr., Richard and Cheryl Holland, Charles R. “Buddy” Jenkins, Sr. and William E. and Susan Marnier

1993 – Atlantic General Hospital opened

1998 – “Runaway Bride,” staring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, was filmed in Berlin

2001 – “Tuck Everlasting,” starring Sissy Spacek, Ben Kingsley and William Hurt, was filmed in Berlin

2014 – Berlin was named Budget Travel Magazine’s Coolest Small Town in America

2018 – The new Berlin Library opened on Harrison Avenue

Sources: The Calvin B. Taylor House Museum archives, museum Curator Susan Taylor, museum board member Carol Rose and Berlin Mayor Gee Williams