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Caroline County, Maryland
Seal of Caroline County, Maryland
Map of Maryland highlighting Caroline County
Location in the state of Maryland
Map of the U.S. highlighting Maryland
Maryland's location in the U.S.
Founded 1773
Seat Denton
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

326 sq mi (844 km²)
320 sq mi (829 km²)
6 sq mi (16 km²), 1.82%
 - (2000)
 - Density

93/sq mi (36/km²)

Caroline County is a rural county located in the U.S. state of Maryland on its Eastern Shore. It is bordered by Queen Anne's County to the north, Talbot County to the west, Dorchester County to the south, Kent County to the east, and Sussex County to the southeast. As of 2000, the population was 29,772. It was named for Caroline Eden, daughter of Charles Calvert, sister of Frederick Calvert, and wife of Maryland's last colonial governor, Robert Eden (1741-1784). Its county seat is Denton.

The newspaper of record is The Times Record. A second local publication, the Caroline Review, circulates monthly and is free of charge.


  • Caroline County was created in 1773 from parts of Dorchester and Queen Anne's Counties.
  • The local delegation allowed future Maryland governor Thomas Johnson to sit with them at the 1776 Maryland Constitutional Convention when he was deemed too radical by Frederick County. Residents Henry Dickinson, Richard Mason, Nathaniel Potter, and William Richardson also were named to the state convention.

The county features seventeen Maryland "Registered Historic Places."

Law and government[]

Caroline County was granted home rule in 1984 under state code in an initiative led by County Commissioner Charles T. Dean, Sr.

The current county commissioners through 2010 are:

A major issue that Caroline County and several other Mid-Shore counties are facing is growth. More and more people are moving to the area to retire or to commute to regional urban areas. The county commissioners have fought to preserve the rural nature of the Caroline County but are embroiled in a dispute with the town government of Denton over the placement of big box retail stores and the annexation of a property outside of current town limits to develop.

It is the only county in the state not represented by a resident legislator in the Maryland General Assembly. Caroline last enjoyed a home delegate in the 1994 session. Redistricting and a sparse population are to blame.

Former Maryland Lt. Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend confirmed during a 2002 trip to the county during her campaign for governor that Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of 35th president John F. Kennedy, was so named because of his fondness for the county during his own campaign swing through the Eastern Shore of Maryland in 1960.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 844 km² (326 sq mi). 829 km² (320 sq mi) of it is land and 15 km² (6 sq mi) of it (1.82%) is water. Notable waterways include the Choptank River and Tuckahoe River as well as the man-made Lake Todd.

Caroline County currently ranks seventh nationally in terms of land protected under the Ag Preservation Program.

Its eastern border is the Mason-Dixon Line.

Caroline is the only Eastern Shore county not to touch either the Chesapeake Bay or Atlantic Ocean; it is the only Maryland county that does not have an interstate or U.S. Highway running through it. Caroline County is the only county east of the Mississippi River to never feature any heavy industry besides agriculture.

Tuckahoe State Park and Martinak State Park are located in Caroline County.

John Smith gazed upon the county during his 1608 voyage up the Nanticoke River.


As of the census² of 2000, there were 29,772 people, 11,097 households, and 8,156 families residing in the county. The population density was 36/km² (93/sq mi). There were 12,028 housing units at an average density of 15/km² (38/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 81.69% White, 14.77% Black or African American, 0.37% Native American, 0.55% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.26% from other races, and 1.34% from two or more races. 2.65% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 17.4% were of United States or American, 14.8% English, 14.4% German and 9.9% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 11,097 households out of which 34.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.30% were married couples living together, 13.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.50% were non-families. 21.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the county the population was spread out with 26.80% under the age of 18, 7.70% from 18 to 24, 28.90% from 25 to 44, 23.10% from 45 to 64, and 13.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 95.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $38,832, and the median income for a family was $44,825. Males had a median income of $31,119 versus $21,915 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,275. About 9.00% of families and 11.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.50% of those under age 18 and 12.30% of those age 65 or over. It is regularly ranked among the poorest of all 23 Maryland counties.

Notable natives and residents[]


  • North Caroline High School
  • Colonel Richardson High School
  • Caroline Career and Technology Center
  • Lockerman Middle School
  • Colonel Richardson Middle School
  • Denton Elementary School
  • Federalsburg Elementary School
  • Greensboro Elementary School
  • Preston Elementary School
  • Ridgely Elementary School
  • Wesleyan Christian School

Cities and towns[]

This county contains the following incorporated municipalities:

  1. Denton (incorporated 1802)
  2. Federalsburg (incorporated 1823)
  3. Goldsboro (incorporated 1906)
  4. Greensboro (incorporated 1826)
  5. Henderson (incorporated 1949)
  6. Hillsboro (incorporated 1853)
  7. Marydel (incorporated 1929)
  8. Preston (incorporated 1892)
  9. Ridgely (incorporated 1896)
  10. Templeville (incorporated 1865) (This town is partly in Caroline County and partly in Queen Anne's County.)

All ten of these are classified as towns under Maryland law.

The United States Census Bureau recognizes no Census-Designated Places in Caroline County, which is unusual for Maryland counties, which usually have many unincorporated population centers.

Other unincorporated communities include:

Maryland State Highways in Caroline County[]


See also[]

External links[]

Coordinates: 38°52′N 75°50′W / 38.87, -75.83

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Caroline County, Maryland. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.