THE CHILDREN’S HOMEThe origin of the structure itself is that it was built between 1857 and 1860 by General Humphrey Humphreys as his summer home. His primary residence was on Broad Street in Salisbury between the Jackson Memorial Building and the Presbyterian Church. The Humphreys’ family cemetery is still located behind the house between the east and west lanes of Fairfield Drive about 250 yards south of the Salisbury-Parsonsburg Road or Old Ocean City Road as it is now called. Interred in the plot are Gen. Humphreys (7/23/1799 – 3/7/1882)), his wife, Elizabeth (2/20/1816 – 9/10/1878), the infant daughter of Gen. and Elizabeth Humphreys (d. 7/28/1834 aged 8 days), Thomas Parsons Humphreys, son of Gen. and Elizabeth Humphreys (d. 9/25/1838 aged 4 mos. 4 days), Eugene Randolph Humphreys, son of Gen. and Elizabeth Humphreys (d. 10/13/1847 aged 4 yrs. 7 mos. 6 days) and Elizabeth Humphreys’ father, Elijah Parsons (7/20/1778 – 1/7/1854).
By 1907, the house and adjacent property was known as Fairfield Farms and was owned by Grant Sexton. It was the largest dairy farm serving Salisbury.
After its service as a dairy farm, the house was secured by Wicomico County in 1930 and used as a home for homeless boys and girls aged four to fifteen. The original Matron in charge was Mrs. Rhetta Duffy. The Children’s Home was subsequently under the supervision of Mrs. Beulah White Hare. While a campaign was conducted each year for contributions for its support, William H. Morton was the chief benefactor.
The Children’s Home was discontinued in 1954 after federal and state programs were instituted. For the next two years, it was an institution for boys with mental and emotional problems.
The property was then sold to the Lutheran Church which used it as a church until their new church was built in front of it (new church is visible from Old Ocean City Road). When their new church was ready they sold the old Children’s Home and it has been in the possession of private families since then. The present owners are restoring it at their own expense.