Elkton & The War of 1812: The Sign Has the Story

An artists interpretation of how Fort Hollingsworth might have appeared in 1813.

Early this Monday morning workers in downtown Elkton were out at the corner of Main and North Streets putting up a new sign.  By lunch time, anyone passing that way was able to pause and read  informative  wayside interpretive panels telling the story of the War of 1812 in Elkton and Maryland.  Part of the Star Spangled Banner National Heritage Trail, it has information on the local attacks on Elkton and the broader Maryland campaign.On the upper Elk Creek, just outside town, a series of defensive arrangements were hastily put up in the spring of 1813 in preparation for an attack on the county seat.  Fort Hollingsworth and Fort Defiance were part of the placements and here’s how the Alexandria Gazette described the enemy attack in 1813: “Two small batteries . . . in the town . . . opened their fire upon the barges, and compelled them to retreat with considerable precipitation.”

Similar signs are going up at appropriate places all along the trail.  Be sure to read these attractive boards as you travel around the county and region.


2 responses to “Elkton & The War of 1812: The Sign Has the Story

  1. Hi Mike, I have a question that I hope you may answer, do you know of any area here in Cecil County where someone with a metal detector may go and search with for history related items. I am one of those guys you see on the beach searching..HAHA! But I wondered if you knew any farmers who own property near Elk Neck that would allow someone to search. I just enjoy doing that, I have many civil war items and would like to find something from the county. Also, I plan on giving the historical society the key that was used to unlock the old cells in the jail. I don;t know if they have one. Also I have a badge that was worn by the female light house keeper in North East before she retired and the coast guard had taken it over. I hope you can help me.

  2. Charlie, we’d really like that key. Thanks. I’ve always been partial to that old jail too.

    As for places to search, we get that kind of question periodically. I’d come in check out some of the old maps and determine where there are some publlic, unreglated rightaways along abandoned roads and tracks, etc. Sometimes the old New Castle and Frenchtown Railroad gets attention where it is on the public rightaway or county road. Sometimes it’s on private property, so you have to get permission for that.

    The other possibility is the old abandoned railway east of town. I’m not sure about ownership so you may need to check into that.

    The other recommendation is to use the maps and identify old places that have been abandoned for a long time and get permission from the current owners. Stop by and we’ll pull out some maps for you to begin assessing places to go.

    Good luck with your search.

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