Although Somerset was originally incorporated as a town in 1906, its history dates back to 1890 when five government scientists purchased a 50-acre parcel of tobacco farmland from the government for the purpose of setting up a residential community.
Which is now the basis for the nearby Friendship Heights area.
Somerset elects a mayor and council members, publishes a monthly town journal, and has its own swimming pool, town hall, and tennis courts. It is known for its small-town atmosphere and sense of community. Sledding on the Cumberland Avenue hill after a snowfall is a town tradition as are the Fourth of July parade and picnic.