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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. 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 ZIP code 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.
Former U.S. Vice-President Spiro Agnew died at Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin.
Berlin is located at 38°20'N 75°13'W (38.3311,-75.2140).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 3.15 square miles (8.16 km2), all of it land.
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.
Berlin is located at the junction of east-west U.S. Route 50 and north-south U.S. Route 113, which meet at a cloverleaf interchange to the northeast of the town. US 50 bypasses the town to the north on the Ocean Gateway and heads west to Salisbury and east to Ocean City. US 113 bypasses the town to the east on Worcester Highway and heads north to Selbyville, Delaware and south toward Snow Hill and Pocomoke City. Maryland Route 818 runs north-south through the center of Berlin on Main Street and connects to US 113 on both ends of town. Maryland Route 346 passes through the northern part of Berlin on Old Ocean City Boulevard, connecting to US 50 east and west of the town. Maryland Route 374 begins at MD 818 in the center of town and heads west on Broad Street before leaving town and following Libertytown Road west toward Powellville. Maryland Route 375 is the unsigned designation for one-way Commerce Street, running from MD 818 west to MD 374. Maryland Route 376 begins at MD 818 in the downtown area and heads east on Bay Street before leaving the town limits and following Assateague Road toward Assateague Island. Maryland Route 377 runs along Williams Street in Berlin from MD 376 north to MD 346. Shore Transit provides bus service to Berlin along Route 203, running between Salisbury and Ocean City, Route 503, running between Pocomoke City and Ocean City, and the seasonal Route 593, which runs from the Walmart in Berlin to West Ocean City, Ocean Downs, and Ocean Pines between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day. The Snow Hill Line of the Maryland and Delaware Railroad runs north-south through Berlin.
The Berlin Electric Utility Department provides electricity to Berlin, serving 3,500 customers. The electric utility operates a power plant along Williams Street in Berlin that generates some of its electricity while it also purchases power from outside sources. On September 19, 2006, residents of Berlin voted in favor of selling the town's electric department to Choptank Electric Cooperative, a move supported by the mayor and town council because of the utility's debt and high rates but opposed by the Berlin Utility Commission because of the feared loss of revenue. Under this arrangement, Choptank Electric Cooperative would have taken over the distribution system while Old Dominion Electric Cooperative would have taken over the town's power plant. The sale fell through in 2007 after Old Dominion Electric Cooperative backed out of the deal because it felt the town's power plant did not meet the environmental standard for a residential area; Choptank Electric Cooperative soon backed out too.
The Water Resources Department provides water, wasterwater service, spray irrigation, and stormwater management to Berlin. The Sanitation Division of the Public Works department provides trash and recycling collection to Berlin. Sandpiper Energy, a subsidiary of Chesapeake Utilities, provides natural gas to Berlin.
Atlantic General Hospital, a 62-bed hospital, is located in Berlin and serves the Worcester County area. The hospital has an emergency room, endoscopy center, bariatric center, and cancer center among other services.
Two major motion pictures have been filmed in or around the town of Berlin and its historical downtown district:
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