Eastern Shore Property With Checkered Past Once Owned by Former Delaware Governor Up for Auction

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412 Acres Ideal for Residential Development to Accommodate Droves of Baby Boomers Retiring in Region

Once laden with strawberry fields, then tangled up in court battles and claims to property rights for nearly a half a century, 412 acres of Eastern Shore property is finally free of its past and ready for sale. Three churches, who own this land with a checkered past, will send it to the auction block April 29, 2006. The tale begins in 1960, when former Governor of Delaware and US Senator John G. Townsend, Jr. died, leaving the sprawling farmland in Worcester County, Maryland to his family but giving two local farmers lifetime rights to live there.

In 1966, John Townsend III one of Townsend’s sons deeded his and his mother Daisy’s share of the land to three Eastern Shore churches: St Paul's by the Sea of Ocean City Maryland, Zion Church of Bishopville, MD (where Daisy attended) and Salem Church of Selbyville, DE (where John attended).

Changing her mind, Daisy Townsend ignited a series of court battles in 1967, demanding her part of the land back. While she convinced St. Paul by the Sea to give their part of the land back to her, she spent the next ten years battling the other churches in court to recover their part. She argued she was mentally unstable at the time of the conveyance and had no memory of the transaction. In 1977, after losing her appeal of the case, Daisy re-conveyed the 1/3rd share of the property back to the St. Paul by the Sea church.

When the last of the two farmers died in January 2005, the churches decided to reap the benefits of the real estate boom surging on the Eastern Shore and sell the property to raise money for their parishes. Marshall Auction-Marketing Company, Inc. will auction the three pieces of property on April 29, 2006 in Bishopville, MD.

“Following the years of back and forth conveyances of this property, Marshall Auctions is excited to help the churches close the chapter on this interesting tale and finally sell the land,” said Doug Marshall, Jr. Auctioneer, of Marshall Auction-Marketing Company. ‘The sale of these 400 plus acres of waterfront property in Ocean City will not only enrich these parishes but could also provide attractive housing for the growing number of aging baby boomers seeking retirement refuge in the leisure and affordable lifestyle of the Eastern Shore,” added Marshall.

The Eastern Shore has been dubbed the “grayshore” because of the swelling number of retirees from near and far moving to Maryland’s placid shores. According to the Maryland Commission on Aging 2003 annual report, Maryland, specifically the Eastern Shore, is experiencing a surge in population growth of people over age 60. By the year 2030, Maryland projects the 60-plus population will have grown 107.2% an increase of about 1,659,754 million. The five southernmost counties of the lower Eastern Shore -- Talbot, Dorchester, Wicomico, Worcester, and Somerset will experience an average growth rate of nearly70%.

One of the most popular cities in the region is Ocean City, which has experienced a steady growth over the past 70 years and is Maryland’s second largest city. The lure of its beaches and relative affordability make Ocean City a popular retirement spot.

The three picturesque parcels of land to be auctioned in April sit right on the water, overlooking Ocean City. Parcel #37 includes 91 acres of lush farmland. About 50 acres snake along the Assawoman Bay, a perfect place for fishing and other water activities. Resting a few yards from the Lighthouse Sound Golf Course, the land is zoned rural residential and ready for development.

The rest of the property, parcel 28 and 302 will be auctioned together. This working 315 acre farm offers 1 mile of waterfront property crawling along the St. Marten’s river. Several ponds and 40 acres of pine, oak and poplar trees make the land feel like an oasis of relaxation. Another 6.2 acres of land connects the road to the property.

The auction will be held on Saturday, April 29, 2006 at 2:18pm on parcel #28 located on St. Martins Neck Road in Bishopville, Maryland. Registration will begin at 12 PM. The auction will be conducted rain or shine under a tent. Property preview dates will be held on Sunday April 2nd from 2:00pm – 4:00pm, Saturday April 15th 2:00pm – 4:00pm & Sunday April 23rd 2:00pm – 4:00pm.

About Marshall Auction-Marketing Company, Inc.-http://www.marshallauctions.com
Marshall Auction-Marketing Company, Inc., of Salisbury, Maryland was founded in 1997 by Doug Marshall. Doug Marshall is a third-generation auctioneer who worked at his grandparents’ auction company in Talbot County, Maryland before opening his own. He is a Salisbury University graduate, attended Mendenhall Auction School, and holds the CAI designation (equivalent to a master’s degree in auctioneering) from the Certified Auctioneers Institute. He has been a member of the National Auctioneers Association since 1996. In 2002, Marshall Auctions acquired Ron Brittingham Auctioneers, a prominent local auction firm. With this acquisition, Marshall Auctions is able to offer unsurpassed auction, marketing, appraisal, and consultation services to the Delmarva Peninsula. Marshall Auction-Marketing Co., Inc. can be contacted at 410-835-0383, or through their website, http://www.marshallauctions.com.


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