History Of The Society
The Allen Historical Society, Inc.
P.O. Box 31
TO CONTACT US:
Phone: 410-778-3696 (Chestertown)
Phone: 410-749-9064 (Allen)
Cell Phone: 443-523-0983
First organizational meetings.
The Society’s charter and bylaws established.
The Society’s 501c status as a tax-exempt, non-profit organization received from the Internal Revenue Department. (February 21)
Grant received from the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore to support publication of Changing Times: Chronicle of Allen, Maryland, an Eastern Shore village by George Shivers.
Publication of The ancestors and descendants of Jonathan Huffington, Jr. and Henrietta Adams Huffington by George Shivers.
Major fundraising effort results in income of $50,000 dedicated to the purchase of Passerdyke Cottage and establishment of our museum. There is a remaining mortgage of approximately $30,000.
The Society successfully nominated Asbury United Methodist Church for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Buildings.
Grant received from the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore to purchase display cabinets and other furnishings for Passerdyke Cottage Museum. We began to open museum to visitors several Sunday afternoons each summer.
Grant received from the Lower Delmarva Heritage Commission through the Maryland 2000 Program to place historical markers at Asbury United Methodist Church, Friendship United Methodist Church, and Allen Grist Mill.
The Society sponsored a number of activities, including a home tour, a dinner-lecture combo, and an historical pageant to celebrate Allen’s 300th anniversary
The Society sponsored a guided bus tour of Allen and its environs with accompanying commentary on our history.
Publication of Ten Years of the Allen Historian, 1995-2005, dedicated to the memory of Louis “Casey” Parsons, who was the secretary and treasurer from 1996 to 2004.
Mortgage on Passerdyke Cottage was liquidated.
We provided an exhibit and a free publication dedicated to “The Women of Allen” at the Community Hall on the occasion of the annual tea held by the Asbury United Methodist Church.
George Shivers, Velmar Morris, and Melissa Bright were interviewed and filmed as part of a project by PAC 14 titled “The History of Allen in Ebony and Ivory.” This would eventually result in a DVD featuring several lower Delmarva communities, a copy of which we would receive.
Dinner and Cemetery Walk: Dinner served at the Community Hall followed by the Cemetery Walk at both Asbury and Friendship cemeteries. (September 27)
Our 1702 Honorary Society was inaugurated with a tea and program in the Great Room of Asbury United Methodist Church, Allen, on Saturday, October 25, 2008. Those welcomed into the Society were Carolyn and Joseph Ballou, Florence Byrd Allen Cooper, and Mary Lee Kolb.
A raffle of a handmade quilt donated by Rebecca McElhone. Tickets available at $1.00 each or five for $6.00.
The Society entered a float in the Independence Day Parade sponsored by the Allen Lions Club. Theme: Our second Cemetery Walk to be held in the fall.
The Society raised over $1,000 and served more than 100 guests at second Dinner and Cemetery Walk. (September)
The Society raised over $1,200 at a fundraiser in which it donated a diamond ring to raffle.
Pre-Christmas party was held at the Walsh home with a raffle. (December 5)
Money from our fundraisers as well as from donations specifically for the Huffington-Pollitt house restoration enabled replacement of broken windows and removal of old aluminum siding to be replaced with vinyl siding, making the house once again an attractive part of the community. Interior renovation awaited!
The Society held its first spring dinner event, characterized as an old-fashioned country supper. We served over 100 people and made about $1,200. (March)
The Society entered a float in the Independence Day Parade. Theme: Allen Gothic, a parody of the famous painting by Grant Wood. George Shivers (pitchfork in hand!) and Jeanette Sherbondy portrayed the couple, standing in front of a recreation of the farm house and barn done by Jeanette.
Velmar Polk Morris, James Trader, and George Shivers were installed in our 1702 Honorary Society on July 18, 2010.
Celebrated Halloween by staging our third Cemetery Walk. For the first time, we scheduled the presentations before dinner and changed the menu from beef stew, salad, and apple crisp to turkey, sweet potatoes, green beans, rolls, and assorted desserts. Approximately 100 people attended and heard the stories told by Mrs. Elizabeth Dennis born into slavery during the Civil War; Rev. Pummer, a minister at Asbury driven out of town by southern sympathizers in the congregation in 1866; Mrs. Eliza Pollitt Huffington owner of the house now being restored by the Society; Miss Martha Huffington, a village school teacher in the early 20th century; and Mrs. Lucy Malone Moran. Mrs. Dennis was portrayed by Althea Chandler; Mrs. Huffington by Melissa Bright; Rev. Pummer by Dr. Laurence Stookey; Miss Huffington by Sharon Walsh; and Mrs. Moran by her granddaughter, Kathy Simms. Following dinner our resident storyteller Melissa Bright entertained with tales of Allen, including our local ghosts. (October 30)
The Society produced and sold a calendar for 2011 with the title "Lost Allen." Each month featured a photograph of a building of historic significance that had disappeared from our landscape, a reminder of the need to better appreciate our heritage and of our commitment to preservation as expressed in our mission statement.
The Society held its Christmas party at the home of Mac and Sylvia McEntegart.
The Society held its second annual spring dinner, featuring ham and chicken salad. We served more than 100 guests, and the food received rave reviews! We raised over $1,200 to support our programs, including the restoration of the Huffington-Pollitt house. (April)
Thanks to the efforts of member and secretary Sharon Walsh, the Society spearheaded a campaign to clean up the roadways around and through the village. Sharon sought the help of various community organizations (the Allen Lions Club, the Allen Volunteer Fire Company, Friendship United Methodist Church and Asbury United Methodist Church) who all responded enthusiastically. More than 20 people gathered on a bright, spring Saturday morning to pick up the trash tossed thoughtlessly in and around our community. (May)
Our float in the Independence Day Parade was driven by Joe Ballou once again. We recycled the backdrop from last year’s theme. This year’s theme was a celebration of Allen’s diversity. We were grateful to the Pepsi Bottling Company of Salisbury for providing banners. Representing the ethnic diversity of our community’s history were George Shivers (dressed as a colonial Englishman); Julius Chandler (clad in the uniform of a Buffalo soldier); and Susan Huffman (representative of her Native American ancestors).
On Sunday, August 14, Rosalie Fields and Melissa Bright were installed in our 1702 Honorary Society in recognition of their many contributions to our work.
Dinner and Cemetery Walk: Melissa Bright portrayed Caroline Hayman Huffington who was the wife of John Huffington. He fought in the Confederate army during the Civil War. John Culp portrayed Captain Lindley Allen Lentz who had a distinguished career in the U.S. Navy and Merchant Marine. Althea Chandler portrayed her grandmother, Harriet Boone Polk. George Shivers portrayed Thornton Phoebus who housed Union soldiers in Allen during the Civil War. Rick Pollitt portrayed his great-grandfather, Peter Malone, a carpenter and musician who built the steeple on the church alongside B.F. Messick in 1884. (October 1)
Our Society received a substantial legacy from the estate of Captain Lindley Allen Lentz, who died on October 15, 2010. The money is to be devoted to the renovation of the Huffington-Pollitt House.
Several members of the Society met in the Community Hall to make Christmas wreaths. Ten wreaths were sold, raising over $300. The event was so successful that plans were being made to involve more members in wreath-making as a fundraiser in 2012.
The Christmas party was held at the home of George Shivers and Jeanette Sherbondy. (December 10)
The Society reviewed and amended its bylaws at the beginning of the year.
Fundraisers held during the year included serving Saturday morning breakfast at the Allen Community Hall; Spoons and Tunes, a musical program with a supper of assorted soups, breads and desserts, and the making and sale of Christmas wreaths. The Spoons and Tunes concert took place in the sanctuary of Asbury United Methodist Church, Allen. Featured was Caitlyn Howard, soprano, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Norris Howard, Jr. of Allen. Also performing were the bell ringers of Asbury United Methodist Church, Salisbury, and the choirs of Asbury and Friendship United Methodist Churches, Allen.
Our Annual Membership meeting was held at Adams Ribs in Fruitland. The speaker was Dr. Ray Thompson, a professor of History at Salisbury University. John Culp presided as the new president. Melissa Culp read a tribute to George Shivers, who had served as president since the Society's founding in 1995.
We received a donation of $500 from the Redmens Club in Fruitland for the restoration of the Huffington-Pollitt House.
On Sunday, March 25, we presented “Spoons and Tunes,” a musical program preceded by a soup, salad and dessert supper. Participants were the choirs of Asbury and Friendship United Methodist Churches, John Cook, Asbury's organist, and local soprano Caitlyn Howard, accompanied on the piano by Susan Zimmer.
The Annual Meeting was held on May 20 at Adam’s Ribs in Fruitland. Our speaker was Dr. Ray Thompson of Salisbury University. He spoke on the history and mission of the Nabb Center for Research on Delmarva History and Culture.
The Society’s Country Breakfast & yard sale was held at the Allen Community Hall on Saturday, October 6.
Another Country Breakfast and yard sale was held at the Allen Community Hall on Saturday, December 1.
The annual Christmas party was held at the home of the Walshes on Sunday, December 16.
On Saturday, April 13 we sponsored and worked with other organizations for a road clean-up around our community.
The Annual Meeting took place on Sunday, June 9 at Peaky’s Restaurant in Princess Anne. George Shivers was the speaker and shared a Power Point presentation on Allen during the 1880s.
The Society held a Cemetery Walk on October 13, 2013. The cast consisted of Melissa Bright as Mrs. Eleanor Drura Messick (1808-1887); Althea Chandler as Mrs. Leah J. Whitney King (1848-1919); George Shivers as his grandfather, George M. Phillips (1864-1933); Kathy Simms as her mother, Mrs. Murrell Simms (1925-2007); and Ron Walsh as Mr. William W. Disharoon (1826-1888).
On October 26, the Society held another fall dinner and Cemetery Walk. Melissa Bright portrayed Eleanor Messick who lived from 1808 to 1887. Althea Chandler portrayed Leah J. Whitney King (1848-1919); George Shivers portrayed his grandfather, George M. Phillips (1864-1933); Kathy Simms portrayed her mother, Murrell Simms; and Ron Walsh portrayed W.W. Disharoon (1826-1888).
Adah Guy became our webmaster and completely overhauled our webpage.
Work on the interior of the Huffington-Pollitt house proceeded with the demolition of some of the fire-damaged interior walls.
Our Society's annual Christmas party was held at the home of Sharon and Ron Walsh.
Two breakfasts were held in the winter and spring.
Member Jeanette Sherbondy set up a Face Book page for our Society.
On Saturday, March 29 we held a breakfast fundraiser.
On Saturday, April 5 we held the annual road-side clean-up with support from other community organizations.
The Annual Membership meeting was held at the Cactus Taverna in June. The speaker was Elizabeth Beckley, Eastern Shore Director of Preservation Maryland. She spoke after walking through the village and gave high praise to the potential for a local historic district, reviewing the advantages of moving in that direction.
The family of recently deceased member Bettie Sue Payne Malone donated a number of significant photographs and other documents to our archive and museum.
Work has continued on the interior of the Huffington-Pollitt House with removal of all the plaster from first floor walls, as well as removal of some flooring to investigated damage to support beams. The work was done by contractor Elbert Gladden.
A committee was appointed to develop a vision statement for the further restoration of the Huffington-Pollitt House. Committee members recommended hiring an architect to develop and oversee future plans and work. The president, John Culp, met with architect Finith Jerrigan, who has worked in restoring more than 50 older homes. Jerrigan presented a proposal, which was approved at the November board meeting.
The Society held a fundraising breakfast on Saturday, December 6. We also made Christmas wreaths which were available for sale at that event.
The annual Christmas Party was held at the Walsh home on December 14.