Eastern Shore Land Conservancy


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Conserve, steward, and advocate for the unique rural landscape of the Eastern Shore.

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ESLC, East New Market Celebrate Protection of Friendship Hall Site

Eastern Shore Land Conservancy and the town of East New Market today celebrated the Town’s purchase and preservation of a key piece of open space land for the use and enjoyment of the Town. This news is the result of many months of work by the town,ESLC and the owner of historic Friendship Hall to find a way to protect the open space surrounding the historic site.


These 10 acres of open space – once slated for development both set off the home and remain a rare gem of open space in the center of East New Market. Had these lots been developed, Friendship Hall and the landscape of this Eastern Shore town would have been altered forever. Public input sessions, held through ESLC’s Center for Towns Place Work[s]hop community design process, acknowledged the house and the surrounding property as a key element to the town’s identity and character.  Preservation Maryland identified Friendship Hall as a 2009 top ten endangered historic property because of the planned development.


“We lose a slice of America when a town dies,” said East New Market Mayor Caroline Cline. “ESLC’s involvement in the future of East New Market was like the ‘Perfect Storm.’ We needed their expertise and leadership and they wanted to assist us with these development issues.  Our town had limited funds to study the issues we were facing – with ESLCs support, we were able to open new doors.”


Friendship Hall, a circa 1740 brick house preserved by a historic easement held by the Maryland Historical Trust and listed on the National Register of Historic Places is still on the market.


“This is a great day for Eastern Shore Land Conservancy as we work to advance our goals of bringing conservation and open space to more people in our local communities,” said Rob Etgen, ESLC’s Executive Director. “We were so pleased to work with the town of East New Market to get to this day and look forward to seeing the community use this open space.”


The project helps advance ESLC’s 2015 Strategic Plan, which focuses land conservation efforts on Eastern Shore towns, creating public access to land and water, and empowering communities to set priorities for land preservation. To stay informed about Friendship Hall and other community projects ESLC’s Center for Towns is working on, please sign up for updates or join our Facebook Fan page! To view short videos from today, please visit our You Tube channel!

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