Westside Historical Society
Copyright 2016 Westside Historical Society Inc.
P.O. Box 194
Mardela Springs MD 21837
Saving & Celebrating the history and traditions of western Wicomico County since 1985
More Historical Places of Interest Around Barren Creek Country
Tyaskin, Bivalve and Nanticoke
Tyaskin, Nanticoke and Bivalve all are in the southernmost district in the watershed - Nanticoke
District. All grew largely because of their close association with the rivers and creeks. During the
Revolutionary War, many of the residents were loyalists, in opposition to pro-revolutionary
neighbors. During the War of 1812 the Salisbury Battalion of the U.S. forces was stationed at
Nanticoke Point to protect the locals from the invading British fleet. From the 1840's steamboats
from Baltimore put in to both Nanticoke and Tyaskin, the last stopping in the 1920's. The lovely
Episcopal St. Mary's Chapel at Tyaskin was built by local shipbuilders, as the ceiling - looking like an
inverted keel reveals. All these "river communities" were home to oystermen, crabbers, fishermen
and boatbuilders. Early on in the 1800's Nanticoke also was the site of seafood processors, lasting
until the late 1900's. For several years the beach at Nanticoke was a popular resort, but its
popularity waned by the early 20th century. Bivalve began as Waltersville, but in 1887 local
residents decided to honor the oysters so vital to the town's prosperity and renamed the town for
Whitehaven is actually on the banks of the Wicomico River but only a few miles from
Nanticoke Point, and is on the County's west side, even though it is not in the
Nanticoke watershed. This is one of the older settlements in the County, known
today as having the oldest continuously running ferry in the nation - since 1688.
Originally hand-pulled, today a motor powers the cable-guided raft type ferry
across the river to Somerset County.
The hotel on the river shore was built in the 1800's when the town was a busy port, ferry
crossing and commercial center. Now restored as a Bed and Breakfast, Whitehaven Hotel
offers visitors a serene glimpse into the Shore's past.