Downtown Berlin, Maryland
Location of Berlin, Maryland
|• Mayor||William "Gee" Williams III|
|• Town Council|
|• Total||3.15 sq mi (8.16 km2)|
|• Land||3.15 sq mi (8.16 km2)|
|• Water||0 sq mi (0 km2)|
|Elevation||36 ft (11 m)|
|• Estimate (2012)||4,563|
|• Density||1,423.8/sq mi (549.7/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|Area code(s)||410, 443|
|GNIS feature ID||0583167|
Berlin is a town in Worcester County, Maryland, United States which includes its own historical Berlin Commercial District. The population was 4,485 at the 2010 census, and has since grown in population (and increased tourism) due to its winning of the annual "Coolest Small Town in America" by Budget Travel Magazine in 2014. It is part of the Salisbury, Maryland-Delaware Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The town of Berlin had its start around the 1790s, part of the Burley Plantation, a 300-acre (1.2 km2) land grant dating back to 1677. The name Berlin is believed to be derived from a contraction of "Burleigh Inn", a tavern located at the crossroads of the Philadelphia Post Road (now South Main Street) and Sinepuxent Road (Tripoli Street). This may be why the traditional pronunciation of the town's name is // BUR-lən, as opposed to the more modern pronunciations // BAIR-lin and // bair-LIN.
Berlin incorporated as a town in 1868. In the early 20th century, Berlin was known as a rest stop for travelers on their way to the coastal resort of Ocean City, as well as a stop for tourists who enjoyed hunting and fishing on the lower Eastern Shore of Maryland. Just to the north of the town center of Berlin is Ocean Pines, Maryland, a waterfront census-designated place (CDP) that shares the same zipcode as Berlin.
Since the late 1980s, the town has undergone considerable revitalization of its historic downtown commercial district and adjacent residential areas. Berlin's historic residential areas feature nearly two centuries of architectural heritage from three distinct periods: Federal, Victorian, and 20th Century. Forty-seven of these structures have been noted in the National Register of Historic Places and the Berlin Commercial District. Berlin has also been designated as a "Main Street Community" by the State of Maryland in recognition of its revitalization progress.
In addition to the Berlin Commercial District, the Buckingham Archeological Site, Burley Manor, Caleb's Discovery, Fassitt House, Genesar, Henry's Grove, Merry Sherwood and Williams Grove are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In 2010, the Berlin Fire Company celebrated its 100th anniversary. As of 2010, The Berlin Fire Company provided fire and EMS service to Berlin and the surrounding area. It has three stations, 16 pieces of apparatus, approximately 70 volunteers, and nine career EMS providers, and responds to approximately 2,000 calls per year.
In 2014, the national readers of Budget Travel magazine voted Berlin, MD the annual honor of "Coolest Small Town in America." Past winners include Lititz, Pennsylvania, and Beaufort, North Carolina. The downtown historical district of Berlin has seen new restaurants, & new businesses open due to increased tourism and population growth in the town and the surrounding region.
Berlin is located at 38°20'N 75°13'W (38.3311,-75.2140).
As of the census of 2010, there were 4,485 people, 1,688 households, and 1,155 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,423.8 inhabitants per square mile (549.7/km2). There were 1,953 housing units at an average density of 620.0 per square mile (239.4/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 68.8% White, 23.3% African American, 0.6% Native American, 1.4% Asian, 2.7% from other races, and 3.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.5% of the population.
There were 1,688 households of which 36.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.3% were married couples living together, 19.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 31.6% were non-families. 25.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.07.
The median age in the town was 38.4 years. 25.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.1% were from 25 to 44; 24% were from 45 to 64; and 17.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 45.5% male and 54.5% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,491 people, 1,347 households, and 880 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,587.2 people per square mile (612.7/km²). There were 1,427 housing units at an average density of 648.8 per square mile (250.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 63.74% White, 32.03% African American, 0.20% Native American, 1.52% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.97% from other races, and 1.52% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.38% of the population.
There were 1,347 households out of which 34.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.2% were married couples living together, 21.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.6% were non-families. 29.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.01.
In the town the population was spread out with 26.1% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 26.2% from 25 to 44, 19.9% from 45 to 64, and 20.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 81.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 74.7 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $33,438, and the median income for a family was $36,653. Males had a median income of $29,946 versus $20,293 for females. The per capita income for the town was $19,303. About 12.9% of families and 14.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.6% of those under age 18 and 12.5% of those age 65 or over.
The town also includes four public schools as well as one private school, which have approximately 5,000 students combined. Worcester County Public Schools is one of the two top employers for the Town of Berlin.
- Buckingham Elementary School
- Berlin Intermediate School
- Stephen Decatur Middle School
- Stephen Decatur High School
- Stephen Decatur (1779–1820), American Naval hero of Barbary Wars and War of 1812. Youngest Commodore in US Navy history
- Linda Harrison (b. 1945), actress
- Oliver Purnell (b. 1953), men's basketball coach at DePaul University
- William H. Sutphin (1887–1972) represented New Jersey's 3rd congressional district from 1931–1943, and retired to Berlin in 1951.
- Ben Tate (b. 1988), running back for the Cleveland Browns of the NFL
- Calvin B. Taylor (1857–1932), banker, politician, lawyer, and educator
- Charles Tindley (1851–1933), minister and composer
Berlin in popular culture
Two major motion pictures have been filmed in or around the town of Berlin and its historical downtown district:
- For Runaway Bride (1999), starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, Berlin's Main Street and some of the outlying areas were altered to become the fictitious town of Hale, Maryland.
- For Tuck Everlasting (2002), starring Sissy Spacek, Ben Kingsley, and William Hurt, alteration of the streets and sidewalks transformed Berlin into the fictitious town of Treegap.
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-25.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-25.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-06-26.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- William Halstead Sutphin, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed August 30, 2007.