When doing any Salisbury history, knowledge of former street names is essential. References to Bridge Street might bring about some undue consternation. Actually, Bridge Street was the former name of Main Street. The name was appropriate since it went down to the only bridge in Salisbury across the Wicomico River. An earlier map of 1817 lists it as Bridge Street, but it was named Main Street by 1885. The same holds true for Division Street. It was originally named Dividing Street because it was the dividing line between Somerset and Worcester Counties. The street to the south of Main Street was named Back Street. This has become Camden Avenue. The street that connected Back Street to Bridge Street was named Dock Street because of its location near the river and the adjacent docks. We now know it as Market Street.
The only two streets that have retained their original names are High Street and Church Street. These two names go back to at least 1817.
In the area of East Salisbury, there are two names that have been changed over the years. One is Truitt Street. The block encircled by Church Street, Holland Avenue, Isabella Street and Truitt Street was at one time the Fairgrounds. There are still some of the mighty oaks trees that were planted around the area but few are left. There were many of them left when I grew up on the corner of Church and Truitt in the 1940’s. In the 1870’s, when the Fair was held there, the road that ran alongside it was known as Fairground Road. That road is now Truitt Street.
The other street in East Salisbury that changed was Naylor Street. The original name of the street was Williams Row. The street name was changed because Dr. Robert Naylor moved into town and built what has become the Hotel Esther. The farm he bought encompassed all the land east to Truitt Street. His heirs sold off the house and land, and new streets cropped up in the names of Benny Street and Coles Circle.
A bane to anyone giving directions is the name change on the same stretch of road. The most recent example of this is College Avenue. At Snow Hill Road, it becomes Beaglin Park Drive. Another is Mt. Hermon Road. What was originally Williams Street Extended took on a life of its own at Main Street and took on the name of its destination about four miles out of town.
Of course the building of a major highway will disrupt the flow of a city street’s original configuration. The original Wailes and Cemetery Streets were greatly affected by both the construction of Route 50 in 1961 and the building of the new high school in 1932. Cemetery Street was to eventually become Commerce Street, and Sharp Energy has their offices and plant there now. The easterly extension of Cemetery Street would be Glen Avenue. Wailes Street now ends at Route 50.