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Elkton and Vicinity

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The Cecil County seat was moved from Charlestown to Elkton in 1787 to bring the center of government to a growing port town. Situated on the Elk River and the major land routes between Philadelphia and Baltimore, Elkton enjoyed early success in the flour packing that predated Baltimore’s dominance in that industry. It also had a diversified manufacturing and shipping-based economy. While eclipsed by the rise of industrial Baltimore in the nineteenth century, important post—Civil War expansion in Elkton included canneries, pulp mills, machine shops, and fertilizer plants. Elkton continued to thrive into the twentieth century, with an unusual local industry. Between roughly 1913 and 1938, Maryland marriage laws allowed weddings with no waiting period or blood test, making Elkton, the first stop on trains from the north with a courthouse, the self-proclaimed Wedding Capital of the East.

Writing Credits

Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie

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