Costen House was built by Dr. Costen shortly after the Civil War and was lived in by members of his family for over a century. It is sponsored by the Spirit of Newtown Committee, founded in 1974, Myrtle A. Polk and a group of public-spirited citizens, when the home was threatened by demolition.
Dr. Costen was born on October 10, 1832 in Somerset County, Maryland, the son of William and Rosa Taylor Costen. He was educated at Washington Academy in Princess Anne and received his medical degree from Penn Medical College in Philadelphia in 1857.
The Hall-Walton Memorial Garden
Two people who took an interest in the preservation of Costen House were Ernest and Julia Hall Walton. Both were Pocomoke City natives, and Julia, a cousin of the Costen children, had grown up in a big brick house around the corner from Costen House. She had happy memories of playing in the adjoining gardens as a child and her lovely wedding there in the early twentieth century. They had a dream of one day restoring the garden in their families' memory.
The Hall home had long ago passed out of the Hall family, and had been demolished. Later, when the land was sold, only two beautiful crepe myrtles remained of the once lovely garden. In 1979, Mrs. Walton, widowed and in her 90's, bought the land and deeded it to the Spirit of Newtown Committee. Her dream had come true.
The lot was cleared, and a variety of trees and shrubs were planted. A curved brick walk and Charleston Battery benches were added, and a Phortina hedge marked the perimeter of the garden. A special fragrance garden was dedicated to Mrs. Walton's generosity. On May Day, 1983, she was the guest of honor at the garden dedication. A year later, the Pocomoke River Garden Club gave a Victorian gazebo in memory of Mrs. Walton and their own departed members.
The Hall-Walton Garden, like Costen House, is a legacy which must be preserved for future generations.