Pocomoke River State Park: Blackwater on the Eastern Shore
While walking alongside the dark Pocomoke River at the Shad Landing Park, part of the Pocomoke State Park system, it’s easy to understand why natives used to refer to the area as Blackwater. The water is exactly that: still, deep, dark, black water. The rivers seem thick and stagnate; colored from the draining decay of neighboring Cypress swamps.
- An iron furnace (the Nassawango) and small town (Furnace Town) were established in the center of the forest during the 19th century. Both the furnace and its town were later abandoned when iron levels in the water soaked land depleted and other minerals became easier to access.
- The forest was overtaken by a disastrous peat fire during the 1930s. The forest fire, that lasted more than 8 months, destroyed much for the plant life that occupied the land. In the mid-1960s, the park was developed for intensive recreational uses and the area became officially known as Pocomoke River State Park.
- The swamps of Pocomoke once yielded large amounts of timber. Stages of over-harvesting have been recorded and can be notice while recording the ages of trees. Foresting takes place in areas surrounding the forest now, but the park area is now sheltered from any form of tree farming.
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