Bull Frog, A Lost Cecil County Village

In several areas of the county there are places that were once thriving little hamlets, but are now barely wide spots in the road.  They might have a house or two, or perhaps a business to distract the modern traveler, while in their heyday they thrived.   Once their reason for prosperity vanished, the passage of time slowly eroded away traces of the community.  The story of a vibrant past was  lost to the ages as memories faded and a new generation came on.

One of those spots, Bull Frog, is about midway between Elkton and Chesapeake City.  When the New Castle and Frenchtown Railroad passed through, it boomed.  The name came about during the building of the railroad, according to the Cecil Democrat.   “Probably a jolly Irishman, one of the workmen, noticing the great number of frogs that sported in the suburbs and the almost human cry of ‘more rum!’ announced to his comrades that the village thereafter should be known as the Bull Frog,” the paper speculated.  Farmers, workers, and others for miles around were well supplied by a store, wheelwright, weaver, blacksmith, and cobbler.  Workmen were always employed and there were six or eight dwelling.

Most of the buildings were in decay, except the home of ex-sheriff Denney, and the town was about to disappear by 1879, the Democrat added.   Another paper, the Cecil Whig, remarked that “the frog began to hop away about the close of the [Civil] war.”  First one establishment closed up and then another; family after family moved and the buildings began to disappear.

“The smith’s anvil became silent, and the merry tap of the cobbler’s hammer ceased.  The large store house began to crumble and fall away . . . and a silence like death now broods over the once busy scene.  … The frog indeed has hooped away,” the Whig added in 1881.

“If the spirits of some of the old heroes, who a generation ago gathered at the store to see the locomotive of the New Castle and Frenchtown Railroad go by and drink corn whiskey, eat ginger bread, and flight chickens before going home could awaken and gaze at the present desolation of this once lively spot, they would turn from the scene with sorrow and return to their graves in sadness.,” said the Whig.

It’s a busy day in Bull Frog as cars rush by on the Augustine Herman Highway (Route 213).

The Frog still has one business, Sarge’s Market, and a few homes still exist in the spot, but hardly anyone knows it by its former name.


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