For a large portion of the 19th and 20th century, directories were published that provided travelers, business-people, and others with needed information about distance places. The ones called gazetteers (geographical dictionaries) described towns, villages, counties, rivers and other natural features. Depending on the amount of content in one of these interesting works you may find information on population, the types of businesses and institutions in the community, the different religious denominations, and public works in the area. State directories usually contained mch more information for these publications were similar to the city directories that started getting published once the telephone became common place. The names of all the merchants, farmers, manufacturers, mechanics and officials in a community, as well as a full description of the town, village or hamlet are usually found. To give you some idea of the matter these state directories contain, I scanned a page from the Maryland State Directory of 1882 from Dorchester County. It contains the information for Dailsville, Draw Bridge and East New Market.