World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Elkton, Maryland

Town of Elkton, Maryland
View of Main Street
View of Main Street
Official seal of Town of Elkton, Maryland
Nickname(s): "The Elopement capital of the East Coast"
Location of Elkton, Maryland
Location of Elkton, Maryland
Country United States
State Maryland
County Cecil
 • Mayor Robert J. Alt
 • Total 8.61 sq mi (22.30 km2)
 • Land 8.35 sq mi (21.63 km2)
 • Water 0.26 sq mi (0.67 km2)
Elevation 30 ft (9 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 15,443
 • Estimate (2012[3]) 15,579
 • Density 1,849.5/sq mi (714.1/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 21921-21922
Area code(s) 410
FIPS code 24-25800
GNIS feature ID 0590150
Website Official website

The town of Elkton is the county seat[4] of Cecil County, Maryland, United States. The population was 15,443 at the 2010 census. It was formerly called Head of Elk because it sits at the head of navigation on the Elk River, which flows into the nearby Chesapeake Bay.

Elkton was once known as the "Gretna Green of the West" because of its popularity as a place for eloping couples to marry. However, a state law was passed in 1938 requiring a 48-hour waiting period. To this day, there are several wedding chapels in the town.


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Climate 2.1
  • Demographics 3
    • 2010 census 3.1
    • 2000 census 3.2
  • Education 4
  • Infrastructure 5
    • Public transportation 5.1
  • Notable people 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


The town was founded by Swedish mariners and fisherman from Fort Casimir who settled the area in 1694. They called their settlement Head of Elk, as it was the head of navigation of the Elk River.[5][6]

The town saw several actions during the Rochambeau with their combined forces stopped in Elkton on September 6–7, 1781, on their way to Yorktown.[7]

In 1787, the town was incorporated as Elkton. By 1880, the population was 1,800.

The landmark historic home, Holly Hall was built by James Sewall in the 1810s and quickly became a regional seat for important dignitaries and local politics.[8]

When northern states began to pass more restrictive marriage laws in the early 20th century, Maryland did not. As a result, a number of Maryland towns near borders with other states became known as places to get married quickly and without many restrictions, or "Gretna Greens".[9] Elkton, being the northeasternmost county seat in Maryland (and thus closer to Philadelphia, New York, and New England), was particularly popular.[10] It was a notorious Gretna Green for years;[11] in its heyday, in the 1920s and 1930s, it was "the elopement capital of the East Coast" and thousands of marriages were performed there each year.[10][12] While some of the marriages obtained in Elkton were of celebrities or celebrities-to-be (Cornel Wilde, Joan Fontaine, Debbie Reynolds, Martha Raye, John and Martha Mitchell, Willie Mays, and Pat Robertson all got married in Elkton),[10] the overall tawdry flavor grew to be too much for the state. A 48-hour waiting period was imposed in 1938, but Elkton continued to be a place to marry, and especially elope; it simply took longer.[13] In time, Las Vegas became the new "American Gretna Green," although hundreds of people are still married in Elkton each year.[10]

On December 8, 1963, Pan Am Flight 214 was struck by lightning and crashed near Elkton. The crash was listed in the 2005 Guinness World Records as the "Worst Lightning Strike Death Toll."


Elkton is located at (39.610016, −75.825883).[14]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 8.61 square miles (22.30 km2), of which, 8.35 square miles (21.63 km2) is land and 0.26 square miles (0.67 km2) is water.[1]


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Elkton has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[15]


2010 census

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 15,443 people, 5,580 households, and 3,673 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,849.5 inhabitants per square mile (714.1/km2). There were 5,944 housing units at an average density of 711.9 per square mile (274.9/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 76.0% White, 15.1% African American, 0.3% Native American, 2.6% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 2.0% from other races, and 3.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.9% of the population.

There were 5,580 households of which 40.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.0% were married couples living together, 19.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 34.2% were non-families. 27.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.21.

The median age in the town was 32.8 years. 28% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 31% were from 25 to 44; 22.2% were from 45 to 64; and 9.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 48.2% male and 51.8% female.

2000 census

As of the census[18] of 2000, there were 11,893 people, 4,446 households, and 2,898 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,480.5 people per square mile (571.8/km²). There were 4,743 housing units at an average density of 590.4 per square mile (228.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 85.85% White, 9.64% African American, 0.32% Native American, 1.17% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.78% from other races, and 2.20% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.97% of the population.

There were 4,446 households out of which 37.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.7% were married couples living together, 18.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.8% were non-families. 27.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.13.

In the town the population was spread out with 29.4% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 33.5% from 25 to 44, 17.0% from 45 to 64, and 10.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 91.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.0 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $38,171, and the median income for a family was $44,348. Males had a median income of $36,495 versus $25,543 for females. The per capita income for the town was $17,789. About 9.4% of families and 11.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.0% of those under age 18 and 10.5% of those age 65 or over.


Elkton High School is a public school located in the town, and Eastern Christian Academy is an online-focused high school based out of Elkton.


Public transportation

Although in Maryland, Elkton is served by Delaware's DART First State Route 65, which runs into Newark, Delaware, where it connects with the Newark Rail Station and other DART routes. The buses run roughly every 90 minutes, Monday through Friday.

Cecil County operates "THE BUS", a two-route bus system. The Glasgow Connection runs from 5:30 am and ends at 6:15 pm, Monday through Friday and Saturdays from 9:00 am to 2:15 pm between Elkton and People's Plaza in Glasgow, Delaware. The Perryville Connection runs from 6:00 am and ends at 6:30 pm between Elkton, North East, Perryville (town and the MARC train station) and Perry Point Veteran's Medical Center. The county also operates the C.T. Cruiser, which is a countywide, curb-to-curb transit service for all ages. RIdes must be scheduled in advance, and are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. The C.T. Cruiser operates Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010".  
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  3. ^ "Population Estimates".  
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  5. ^ Maryland: a new guide to the Old Line State. 1999. p.xiv.
  6. ^ The Middle States: A Handbook for Travellers.4th ed edited by Moses Foster Sweetser.1881.p.387.
  7. ^ Elkton Marker
  8. ^ "Maryland Historical Trust". National Register of Historic Places: Holly Hall. Maryland Historical Trust. 2008-10-05. 
  9. ^ State v. Clay, 182 Md. 639, 642, 35 A.2d 821, 822–23 (1944).
  10. ^ a b c d Berdan, Marshall S. (February 13, 2002), "Elkton, Marry-land", The Washington Post: C2 
  11. ^ Greenwald v. State, 221 Md. 235, 237–38, 155 A.2d 894, 896 (1959).
  12. ^ Lorimer, Graeme and Sarah, Stag Line, Little, Brown, and Company, Boston, 1934, p. 191 ("Elkton is the place where all the people who want to get married in a hurry run off to, because they'll marry anybody there right away.")
  13. ^ Historic Marker Database, Elkton, Wedding Capital of the East.
  14. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  15. ^ Climate Summary for Elkton, Maryland
  16. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  18. ^ "American FactFinder".  

External links

Official website

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.