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Saint Mary's County, Maryland

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Saint Mary's County, Maryland

Saint Mary's County, Maryland
Seal of Saint Mary's County, Maryland
Seal
Maryland

Maryland's location in the U.S.
Founded 1637
Seat Leonardtown
Area
 • Total 764 sq mi (1,979 km2)
 • Land 361 sq mi (935 km2)
 • Water 403 sq mi (1,044 km2), 52.8%
Population
 • (2010) 105,151
 • Density 291/sq mi (112.4/km²)
Congressional district , ,
Time zone
Website

Saint Mary's County (often abbreviated as St. Mary's County) is a county located in the U.S. state of Maryland. Its county seat is Leonardtown. As of the 2010 census, the population was 105,151.[1] The name is in honor of Mary, the mother of Jesus.[2]

The county is part of the Southern Maryland region.

History

The settlement of Lord Baltimore's Maryland began with the arrival of passengers from England at St. Clement's Island in the Potomac River in what is now southwestern St. Mary's County on March 25, 1634 (the anniversary of this landing being annually celebrated as Maryland Day). The passengers arrived in two vessels, the Ark and the Dove, which had set sail from the Isle of Wight on November 22, 1633. The county is also home to the first Catholic Mass celebrated in one of the original thirteen colonies -after they'd become English colonies (masses were said in 1526-7 at San Miguel de Gualdape).[3]

St. Mary's County was the first county established in Maryland, in 1637, probably by an order of the Governor.

The county seat and state capital was St. Mary's City.

In 1649, Lord Baltimore, with the Maryland General Assembly, passed the Maryland Toleration Act, which provided religious freedom for any (Christian) sect, and which was the first law of its kind in the New World.[4] There is a statue in St. Mary's City commemorating this event.

St. Mary's County is where Francis Scott Key, the author of a poem which became The Star Spangled Banner, and professional wrestler Scott Hall grew up. St. Mary's County was the birthplace of Dashiell Hammett, and Orlando "Tubby" Smith, head basketball coach at the University of Minnesota. The largest employer is Patuxent River Naval Air Station and its related aerospace contract firms. There are both Amish and Mennonite communities who follow traditional ways. Tobacco, once dominant crop, has declined in recent years. The Maryland International Raceway (Budd's Creek) attracts many auto racing enthusiasts.

The county has a number of properties on the National Register of Historic Places.[5]

Notable residents

Law and government

St. Mary's County is governed by county commissioners, the traditional form of county government in Maryland.

Board of Commissioners

Position Name Affiliation District
  President Jack Russell Democratic At-Large
  Commissioner Cynthia L. Jones Republican District 1
  Commissioner Daniel L. Morris Republican District 2
  Commissioner Larry Jarboe Republican District 3
  Commissioner Todd B. Morgan Republican District 4

County executive

The county commissioners exercise such executive powers as exist in the government of the county.

Circuit Court judges

  • Hon. David Densford,
  • Hon. Karen H. Abrams, Administrative judge
  • Hon. Michael J. Stamm

Law enforcement

St. Mary's County has the oldest documented sheriff's office in Maryland and one of the oldest in the United States.[6] In 1637 James Baldridge was appointed sheriff. Since 1776, sheriffs in St. Mary's County have been determined by election. Tim Cameron is the current sheriff.[7]

Geography

The county has a total area of 764.5 square miles (1,980 km2), of which 361 square miles (930 km2) is land and 403 square miles (1,040 km2) (52.78%) is water.

Located on the St. Mary's Peninsula, St. Mary's County is largely bordered by water: the Patuxent River (northeast), the Chesapeake Bay (east), the Potomac River (southwest), and the Wicomico River (west).

Adjacent counties

Climate

St. Mary's county lies within the Humid subtropical climate zone, surrounded on three sides by bodies of water, including the Potomac river and Chesapeake Bay. Summers are hot and humid, with frequent afternoon thunderstorms. Winters are mild to cool, with ample rainfall as well.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
179015,544
180013,699−11.9%
181012,794−6.6%
182012,9741.4%
183013,4593.7%
184013,224−1.7%
185013,6983.6%
186015,21311.1%
187014,944−1.8%
188016,93413.3%
189015,819−6.6%
190017,1828.6%
191017,030−0.9%
192016,112−5.4%
193015,189−5.7%
194014,626−3.7%
195029,11199.0%
196038,91533.7%
197048,38824.3%
198059,89523.8%
199075,97426.8%
200086,21113.5%
2010105,15122.0%
Est. 2012108,9873.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
2012 Estimate[9]

2010

Whereas according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau:

2000

As of 2000, there were 86,211 people, 30,642 households, and 5,443[10] families residing in the county. The population density was 238 people per square mile (92/km²). There were 34,081 housing units at an average density of 36 persons/km² (94 persons/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 81.57% White, 13.92% African American, 0.34% Native American, 1.80% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 0.61% from other races, and 1.68% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.00% of the population. 14.8%[10] were of American, 13.9%[10] German, 13.3%[10] English and 12.1%[10] Irish ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 30,642 households out of which 25.90%[10] had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.10%[10] were married couples living together, 15.10%[10] have a woman whose husband does not live with her, and 34.90%[10] were non-families. 29.40%[10] of all households were made up of individuals and 12.90%[10] had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.14.

In the county the population was spread out with 27.90% under the age of 18, 15.70%[10] from 18 to 24, 29.50%[10] from 25 to 44, 22.20%[10] from 45 to 64, and 9.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 101.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 119.10[10] males.

The median income for a household in the county was $54,706, and the median income for a family was $61,397. Males had a median income of $27,496[10] versus $23,035[10] for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,662. 7.20% of the population and 5.20% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 28.40%[10] are under the age of 18 and 19.10%[10] are 65 or older.

Cities and towns

Saint Mary's County includes one municipality, classified as a town under Maryland law: Leonardtown, the county seat (incorporated 1858).

Unincorporated areas are also considered as towns by many people and listed in many collections of towns, but they lack local government. Various organizations, such as the United States Census Bureau, the United States Postal Service, and local chambers of commerce, define the communities they wish to recognize differently, and since they are not incorporated, their boundaries have no official status outside the organizations in question. The Census Bureau recognizes the following census-designated places in the county:

  1. California
  2. Charlotte Hall
  3. Golden Beach
  4. Lexington Park

Other unincorporated areas include:

  1. Abell
  2. Avenue
  3. Beachville-St. Inigoes
  4. Beauvue
  5. Bushwood
  6. Callaway
  7. Chaptico
  8. Clements
  9. Coltons Point
  10. Compton
  11. Dameron
  12. Drayden
  13. Great Mills
  14. Helen
  15. Hollywood
  16. Loveville
  17. Maddox
  18. Mechanicsville
  19. Morganza
  20. Park Hall Estates
  21. Piney Point
  22. Redgate
  23. Ridge
  24. St. Inigoes
  25. St. Mary's City
  26. Scotland
  27. Tall Timbers
  28. Valley Lee

Colleges and universities

Military bases

The county houses the Naval Air Station Patuxent River, which includes Naval Air Systems Command, which plays a significant role in the local economy. The Naval Air Station also has an annex at Webster Field in Saint Inigoes, MD.

Transportation

St. Mary's County is served by Captain Walter Duke Regional Airport.

Limited local buses are provided through St. Mary's Transit [2].

Notable sites

See also

References

External links

  • Saint Mary's County government
  • Sheriff's office
  • St. Mary's County Travel and Tourism
  • Live Southern Maryland Weather

Coordinates: 38°15′8″N 76°33′49″W / 38.25222°N 76.56361°W / 38.25222; -76.56361

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