History of the Barren Creek area had been around since the 1600s when English for traders arrived to the Nanticoke River watershed to collaborate with the Native Americans. The Native Americans from the eastern shore of the Nanticoke River were locally known as the Puckamee tribe. They were peaceful between the European settlers and from 1878-1898 there was a reservation that stretched from Barren Creek, Riverton, and into Mardela Springs. Settle of the white families came later because they did not want to disrupt the peace. Once they moved, they started to maintain their farms, had many slaves, and started to grow the cash crop, tobacco. Vienna was the primary river in the 1700s and there was also a road leading to Barren Creek Springs. The main road to Salisbury went off to the road on Quantico and went east close to the Wicomico River. World War I and World War II brought many changes to the area and the automobile and Route 50 were introduced which made it possible for travelers and trade.
Note: the bold black circle marks where the NRC is currently located.
Map of Nanticoke area, 1877
Map of Nanticoke area, 1944
Map of Nanticoke area, 1974