David Scheid, Chair
A native of Lima, Ohio, David graduated with a B.S. in Horticulture/Floriculture from Ohio State University. He attended graduate school at Cornell University and after a stint in the U.S. Army, graduated with a M.S. in Horticulture/Botanic Garden Management and Museum Studies from the Longwood Program at the University of Delaware. He then went to work for the Nemours Foundation in Wilmington, Delaware, overseeing the opening of the estate “Nemours”, of the Late Mr. & Mrs. Alfred I. DuPont as a public garden and museum. Following that he became the Vice President for Horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden in Bronx, NY; and then became Executive Director of the United States Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C. From 1992 – 2007 he served as Program Head for the Horticulture/Landscape Design Program at the Northern Virginia Community College, Loudoun Campus, which is the second largest multi-campus community college in the United States. In 2015 he began teaching as an adjunct in the Environmental Studies Department at Salisbury University currently is a Professor of Practice teaching Sustainable Design in the department. He started gardening at age 6 and since 1995 spends much of his free time restoring his Victorian home in Salisbury, MD on the eastern shore. He has written numerous articles and has worked with the garden club community and their educational programs as well as Master Gardener programs for the better part of 20 years. He considers his specialty to be that he is a generalist in the world of plants and gardens.
Jeanne Mears, Vice Chair
Jeanne Mears is a lifelong resident of Wicomico County, attended Wicomico County Schools, and worked as the Office Nurse of Peninsula Urology Associates in Salisbury, MD for 43 years, retiring in 2013. She is and has been a mentor in the Wicomico County Schools for 15 years. Jeanne continues to volunteer at Peninsula Regional Medical Center, accruing over 1,000 hours of service. Currently, she is serving in Service Excellence and Special Care Nursery and is a member of the Patient Advisory Council. Her other memberships include: AARP, Wicomico Conservative Republican Women’s Club, Wicomico Women’s Club, and the Willow Creek HOA Board of Directors. Ms. Mears is currently the Vice Chairperson on the Friends of Poplar Hill Mansion Board of Directors, as well as serving as the Hospitality Chair – overseeing public events at the Mansion. She attends Emmanuel Wesleyan Church, where she is a member of the choir. Since retiring, Jeanne has stayed very busy enjoying her numerous volunteer activities, mentoring elementary school-age students, traveling, and as much beach time as possible, when not helping others. She enjoys time with her daughter, Jennifer, as educator for the Wicomico County Board of Education. Poplar Hill Mansion is a special place and any time spent promoting this local gem is well spent. The Friends of Poplar Hill Mansion organization is passionate about its mission and it is rewarding to be involved with this group.
Sharon Murphy, Treasurer
Sharon Murphy attended Wicomico County Schools and is a graduate of Wicomico Senior High School. She retired from the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office with 35 years of service. Sharon is a past president and member of the American Legion Auxiliary, Post 237 in Hebron, Maryland. She is currently the treasurer at Camp ESPA, located in Rhodesdale, Maryland. This camp is a non-profit run by the Eastern Shore Police Association for children between the ages of 9 and 12 at no cost to the campers. Sharon is a member of the local AARP Chapter and a Maryland licensed Realtor since 2008. She is researching Revolutionary War ancestors and recently became a member of the DAR Samuel Chase Chapter; she also volunteers with the DAR making lap robes for veterans. Sharon is a docent at PHM conducting tours and also volunteers to help prepare and serve teas. Her hobbies include crocheting, knitting, cross stitch, quilting and visiting historical properties. She lives in Salisbury with her husband, Bill, has two (2) children and seven (7) grandchildren. Sharon feels that it is our responsibility to future generations to preserve our history. How lucky we are to have such a fine home, as Poplar Hill Mansion to show and inform visitors of that history.
Ginny attended Salisbury University, where she met her husband of 43 years, Bill; her studies were in American History & American Literature. She was a “stay at home Mom” and reentered the work force when her children (3) were in school. She worked as the head teller for Maryland State Bank, now BB&T, Secretary at Hess Apparel, Office Manager Valley National Gases, Office Manager Barton Malow Construction Company and was the Administrative Support Technician to the Director of Community Development for the City of Salisbury. She earned her Certified Administrative Professional–Organizational Management designation in May 2006 and recertified in May 2011. She was the Delaware-Maryland-District of Columbia Division Vice President of the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) and was the local chapter’s (Tri-County Chapter) delegate to the Association’s Annual Meeting. She is now enjoying retirement. She has six grandchildren and enjoys sitting on the beach, reading mysteries, and counted cross stitch.
Carol is a former Chair of the Friends of Poplar Hill Mansion. Carol has a long history of public service. She has worked for different government agencies, including the U.S. Courts and U.S. Marshalls, in the capacity of administration, program logistics, and grant writing and fundraising. She brings this specialty to PHM and will be the new Chair of our Grants Committee. Carol also has a special place in her heart for and contributes to the arts, cultural programs, and historic preservation. She has a passion for the meticulous care of historic buildings and making sure that every detail is attended to. Carol is also a Member of Parsons Cemetery Advisory Committee in Salisbury, and during her tenure, they have continued and expanded in their efforts to beautify the cemetery. Carol and her husband, Darryl, are enjoying retirement by spending time doing the things they love, such as boating, and being with the people they love, such as their friends and grandchildren.
Betsy was PHM’s very first President in 1975 and helped to organize the Friends of Poplar Hill Mansion to make sure that PHM would be preserved and maintained as a museum. She is a long time Newtown Neighborhood resident and has held PHM near and dear to her heart for a very long time. She and her husband, Wirt, own several properties throughout Salisbury. Wirt specializes in historic renovation and preservation and has helped to restore, among other buildings in Salisbury, the Charles H. Chipman Center. Betsy has always had a special love of history and has made contributions to historic organizations on the Delmarva Peninsula. She is also a member of many historic, cultural, and civic organizations, including the Samuel Chase Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Salisbury. Betsy also worked for many years with pre-school education and hopes to bring in more children’s activities to the Mansion. In her spare time, Betsy enjoys spending time with her granddaughter and doing homeschool activities.
Shanie was a longtime City Council member in District One and has remained active in City, still looking out for those who need a voice. She devotes her time to public service and actively works with local civic and church organizations to be sure community needs are being met. Shanie especially works with Salisbury’s African-American community to bring awareness to their needs, make sure that their communities throughout the city stay safe, and eradicate any injustices that they may be facing. Her strong ties to cultural awareness can also be seen in her capacity as the Board Chair of the Charles H. Chipman Center in Salisbury. As many of you know, this is the former John Wesley M.E. Church, founded by former slaves, including Levin Huston from PHM. Shanie wants to create stronger ties between communities throughout Salisbury and make sure that everyone knows of the rich and powerful history that African-Americans have contributed to Salisbury. Shanie also has a passion for youth activities and spends much of her spare time with youth, especially her own grandchildren.
Sarah Meyers, Curator
Sarah has lived on the Eastern Shore for over 30 years and is a 2001 graduate of Salisbury University with a BA in History, specializing in military history, with an emphasis on WWII and German POWs in America during the war and a concentration in Museum Studies. In college, she served as an intern for the Julia A. Purnell Museum in Snow Hill, MD, where she catalogued artifacts, built an exhibit about oyster harvesting, and had a paper published, Smoke on the Pocomoke: Military Activities on the Pocomoke River 1635-Present. She also worked part time for a local archaeologist and eventually became the Assistant Director of the DiscoverSea Shipwreck Museum in Fenwick Island, DE. During her tenure, she participated in underwater archaeological digs, researched and built numerous exhibits, lectured to many civic organizations and adult classes, wrote interpretive media, did artifact restoration, and had another paper published about Pirates on the Delmarva Peninsula. Sarah then became the Executive Director at Furnace Town Living Heritage Museum, before working briefly in politics as a Constituent Liaison for State Senator Jim Mathias. She is also a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution Samuel Chase Chapter and serves as their Librarian. Sarah is also a member of the Daughters of the War of 1812 and is currently the Charter President of the newly formed Commodore Stephen Decatur Chapter of the NUSD1812. Sarah enjoys quilting, cooking & baking, and genealogy and has been doing family research for several years (she can trace one branch of her family tree back to the year 350 BCE). She joined the staff at Poplar Hill Mansion, as the Curator, in July of 2013.
The City of Salisbury is now accepting applications for new board members for Friends of Poplar Hill Mansion. If you are interested, and have a desire to use your talents and skills on this working board, please send a letter of interest to:
Mayor Jake Day
City of Salisbury
125 N. Division Street, Room 304
Salisbury, MD 21801-4940