Museum of Rural Life

In the Historic Taylor-Brown House (circa 1819)

16 N. Second St., Denton, Maryland [map]

Open Saturdays 11 am to 4 pm

April 1 thru November 30

We hope to re-open first weekend in May.

The headquarters of the Society is located within the Museum of Rural Life, on the Courthouse Square in historic downtown Denton.

Caroline County is one of only a handful of counties in the United States that existed for more than 300 years solely dependent on an agriculturally-based economy. This distinction along with its geography – it is land-locked – provided unique challenges for its seemingly isolated residents. The Museum of Rural Life offers visitors a rare glimpse into this world through historic dwellings. Highlights include an exhibit of all or part of four historic houses.

Meet Your Museum Docents

 Museum docents are dedicated to sharing Caroline County’s fascinating history and preserving and passing on our unique culture and heritage.  Meet your Museum Docents.

I have always loved history and have a BA and MA in history. Caroline County has a unique and fascinating history which I want to help preserve and pass on. People from all over the world visit the Museum. If you enjoy history and like to interact with others, this is the volunteer opportunity for you!

Jo Ann Staples

CCHS Docent Leader

Museum Exhibits

Taylor-Brown House

Built for merchant-broker Solomon Brown in 1819 and later owned by the Taylors, an African American family. This house was moved twice by mule cart and survived the fire that leveled most of Denton on July 4, 1865, when balls of candlewick and kerosene were flung in celebration at a Civil War reconciliation picnic.

Painter’s Range

One-room dwellings were so common at the end of the 18th century that they housed roughly 85% of the inhabitants of southern Delaware and the lower Shore. They became less popular by the mid 1800s. By the time the log dwelling was built on Painter’s Range about 1828, one-room houses in rural areas were associated with “subsistence farmers”; i.e., a family scratching out a living on fifteen to thirty acres.

Chance’s Desire

Typical home of a “middling planter,” circa 1787, Chance’s Desire was a classic hall-parlor dwelling in which there were two rooms aligned end to end on the ground floor with a fireplace at each gable end.  Parlor room with large “chimney breast” with thirteen hand-carved raised panels over the fireplace. Overhead were decorative floor/ceiling joists carved from local poplar trees.

Skillington’s Right

Skillington’s Right was built circa 1795, home of the Fraziers, a wealthy planter family.  Once said to be the finest specimen of colonial architecture on the upper Choptank.  The area along the Great Choptank River between Skillington’s and Edmondson’s Creeks has long been known as “Frazier’s Neck.”  It was first surveyed in 1663 for John Edmondson.  

WWI - The Great War

Built for merchant-broker Solomon Brown in 1819 and later owned by the Taylors, an African American family. This house was moved twice by mule cart and survived the fire that leveled most of Denton on July 4, 1865, when balls of candlewick and kerosene were flung in celebration at a Civil War reconciliation picnic.

WWII - Lost Lives

In the Lost Lives exhibit, visitors will recognize the names Corregidor, Cuadalcanal, Iwo Jima, Normandy, Tripolis Мопtе Cassino, The Bulge, Guam, and others. Together with the Letters Home and Romance, our WWII exhibits give visitors compelling and straight-forward insight into how World War impacted Caroline County families.

Sea Stories

Caroline County captains, sailors, and shipbuilders in the Age of Sail and the Age of Steam.

FDR on the Denton Courthouse Green

FDR’s visit on Labor Day 1938 was more than just a big day for Denton.  It was also a carefully planned and orchestrated event in FDR’s battle to secure the New Deal.

Visit the Museum

Step through the Door.

Touch the Artifacts.

Feel the Presence.

16 N. Second St., Denton, Maryland

Open Saturdays 10 am to 3 pm

April 1 thru November 30

Museum of Rural Life