The path you walk is the same as that taken by the Assateague and Pocomoke Indians well before the colonial period. Later, the path became the Philadelphia Post Road, the main route connecting the centers of commerce to the north and west. This area was part of the Burley Plantation, a 300-acre land grant dating back to 1677.
At the corner of the Philadelphia Post Road and Sinepuxent Road, now South Main Street and Tripoli Street, colonial travelers stopped at the Burleigh Inn. Here at the present day town center, memories linger of the tavern that probably gave its name to the village. “Berlin” is said to have come from a contraction of the words “Burleigh” and “Inn”.
Although the village began in the 1790s, it was not incorporated until 1868, after the Civil War. The town grew and became a popular spot for tourists who enjoyed hunting and fishing on the Eastern Shore or were on their way to the small coastal town of Ocean City.
Berlin is noted as the birthplace of Stephen Decatur, the 19th-century naval hero.
Today the town is a wonderful example of what can be done when citizens work together for the success of their community. The renovation of the town center and the historic preservation of the commercial and residential districts are a result of the cooperative efforts of local citizens, businesses and the Town government. Berlin’s beautiful tree-lined streets, Victorian town center, museum and historic homes captivate those who visit.
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