The Towns of Kent County

Kent County in Maryland is home to five towns. These are Millington, Chestertown, Galena, Betterton and Rock Hall. We take a look at each of these small towns, their location, and dominant characteristics.

Rock Hall

rock hall

The town was initially called Rock Hall Cross Roads. The town’s main street was the first road in the county back in the year 1675. Years later, the town became the terminal for ferries in the county that traveled from the eastern shore and Annapolis. Presidents Washington and Jefferson passed through Rock Hall Town heading to the continental congress in Philadelphia. The town is well known in the modern day for its numerous marinas and restaurants that serve great seafood.

Galena

Galena

Galena town was founded back in the year 1763 and was by then known as Down’s Cross Roads. This was after a local businessman, William Downs. The town later became known as Georgetown Cross Roads and then as Galena. This comes from a variety of silver that was once mined in the area. The town of Galena bustles with sailors, fishermen and kayakers. The streets are lined with shops and restaurants and visitors can enjoy live music, wine, boating and the amazing views surrounding the town.

Chestertown

chestertown

Chestertown was founded in the year 1706 and is the present day county seat of Kent County. The town was a major point of entrance during the colonial times. The town has beautiful brick sidewalks, inns, restaurants and antique stores. The town also has several famous colonial residencies and houses with more modern and elaborate styling. The town is also the home of the Washington College which is America’s tenth oldest Liberal Arts College. It was founded in the year 1782.

Town of Betterton

Betterton

The town of Betterton lies in Kent County’s Northern side at the mouth of River Sassafras. The town has a population of about 356 people. The town started off as a local agriculture port and a fishing village. The town’s name comes from Elizabeth Betterton. The town later became a great beach resort supported by the increase in boat traffic from Philadelphia and Baltimore leading to increased demand for hotels and piers. Betterton beach within the town is a five-acre public beach park equipped with restrooms, boardwalks, and pavilions. The beach also has an extensive 300-foot frontage and a 700-foot access to the shoreline.

Millington

Millington

The Town of Millington was chartered in the year 1798 by the general assembly. And later incorporated 92 years later in the year 1890 Millington developed as a small village located on the banks of the Chester River, sharing the Chesapeake Bay shores with the neighboring Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties. The land on which Millington town is located was settled in the late 1800s. Over the years, the name of the town has changed having begun as Head of Chester, to Bridgetown around the year 1724 and finally in 1818 to become known as the Town of Millington. The town has a strong rural atmosphere and provides lovely views of the waterways and great fishing opportunities.

The Battle of Caulk’s Field – As it happened

Battle of Caulk's Field

The battle of Caulk’s Field took place on August 30, 1814, at wait for it…Caulk’s cornfield. One week before the battle, a British ship, H.M. Menelaus landed at the Swan Creek led by Peter Parker. the forces from the ship raided farms in the area. In 1814, royal vessels, still led by Peter Parker fired rockets at Henry Waller’s house in Fairlee Creek and burnt his house and barns to the ground

Well, this was in present day Kent County in Maryland. Philip Reed, then leading the American militia within the area received information about the movement of the British troops to Skidmore.  The major used the Eastern Neck Island to mislead the oncoming British forces in regards to the size of the militia. This happened in a rather interesting way. the Britons, from their camp, had a good line of view of the American militia at the island. The Colonel instructed a few of his men to walk past the waterfront from the mainland and back again. This led the British to believe that their enemies were far outnumbered.

Once the British had landed, Reed prepared to strike them only to realize they were in search of the American Militia. The major gave orders for a countermarch with the Right going towards Caulk’s house. the British Marines moved along with the British sailors towards the Americans. The Major alerted his men and mobilized them towards the enemy. The Americans took their positions in a cornfield that belonged to Isaac Caulk and got stationed ready for an ambush. The American militia started to shoot at the oncoming British men wounding and killing several of them. The American troops’ ammunition, however, began to get depleted quickly but just then the British troops started to retreat. Among the wounded was the leader, Sir Peter Parker who had been mortally shot. He died shortly afterward and his body was shipped to Bermuda in a barrel for burial.

The local rumor mill has it that after Sir Peter Parker was wounded, he was taken to the current day Inn at Mitchell House, pickled by the American militia then sent to England. However, this seems to have been confused with the story of General Mitchell who owned the house by then. the general was captured by British forces and imprisoned in England for three years. The militia’s victory over the British at the Battle of Caulk’s Field uplifted the morale of many other Americans beyond Kent’s borders.

As the year came close to an end, the war ended with a signing of the Treaty of Ghent on the 24th of December. It is however notable that the treaty was not ratified by the United States Senate until early 1815. One effect of the delay was that battles such as the Battle of New Orleans led by Andrew Jackson still took place. The battle of Caulk’s Field was definitely a defining moment for the war and for Kent County in particular.

The 7 best recreation activities in Kent County

Kent County is among the most scenic of counties in Maryland and thus enjoys a large number of local and foreign visitors. We look at the top 6 recreational activities you should definitely give a try in Kent. These include birding, boating, golfing and fishing amongst many more.

Birding

Birding Kent County

There was a story in Kent that one could cross the Chester river on the backs of ducks that packed the river. That perhaps paints a picture of how much birdlife there was (still is) in Kent. The county is home to snow geese, blue herons, sparrows, swallows, blackbirds and eagles amongst more than 290 bird species within the county. This makes it a haven for photographers, bird watchers and general lovers of nature. The best birding areas are Chesapeake Farms, Millington Management Area, and the Sassafras Natural Management Area.

Boating

Boating

Three of Kent county’s sides are large waterways. These are the Sassafras River to the North, The Chester River to the South and the Chesapeake Bay to the West. The beautiful scenery on all sides makes the county an ideal boating destination. Those partaking the event get to enjoy the quiet serenity of bird sanctuaries, parks and preserves. Possible activities one could undertake include sailing. power boating, kayaking, canoeing and ramp launching.

Camping

The BayShore camping ground in Rockhall is a superb camping site offering excellent seasonal and transient. Accommodation. The campsite is the ideal destination for weekend getaways and vacation stays.

Hunting

Hunting

Kent County is home to numerous animal and bird life and thus attracts many hunters and gunners. However, this is a regulated recreational activity and is only carried out under companies licensed by the county. These include Sea Dux Outfitters, Schraders, Rock Bottom Charters, Hopkins game farm and Gatling Guide service amongst others. The county’s official site lists these out.

Fishing

Fishing

Fishing is perhaps the most popular recreational activity on the county’s eastern side. Fishers are however advised to familiarize themselves with the commercial and recreational fishing regulations that govern the activity. Fishers who do not have their own boats can charter from Chestertown or Rockhall. Rentals are also available at Eastern Neck. The county also allows fishing from river banks, jetties and landings. However, these must all comply with the set regulations.

Cycling

Kent County has hundreds of miles of road, ideal for the cycling hobbyist and enthusiasts. The scenic coastlines, farms, and rivers make the rides all the more alluring. Cyclists are free to choose their own cycling routes or follow those developed earlier by companies such as Baltimore Bicycling Club. It is, however, advisable for cyclists to contact the local offices due to the ever-changing weather conditions. Bicycle rentals are available at the Rock Hall Landing Company.

Golfing

Golfing

Kent County is home to two golf courses; Chester River Yacht and Country Club (private club) and the Mears Great Oak Landing. The former is an 18 hole professional course while the latter is a nine hole course.

Significant places from the battle of Caulk’s field

The battle of Caulk’s field took place in Kent County, Maryland during the war of 1812. It involved American militia trying to repel the landing of British forces. The battle ended in American victory. Some structures and places stood out as being of significance during this war. we take a look at several of these and the roles that each structure/place played in the war.

Eastern Neck island

A few days before the battle of Caulk’s Field, the leader of the American militia. Philip Reed used the island to mislead the oncoming British forces in regards to the size of the militia. This happened in a rather interesting way. the Britons, from their camp had a good line of view of the American militia at the island. The Colonel instructed a few of his men to walk past the waterfront from the mainland and back again. This led the British to believe that their enemies were far outnumbered. however, the man leading the British forces at the day of the battle admits to have been surprised at the site of their enemies’ militia and regular troops occupying the whole coast.

Mitchell House

The original structure was the home of Major Thomas Mitchell. The British raided his residence in 1814 and took him prisoner. the British Believed that Maj. Mitchell was the commissary for Maryland. It is also beleived that the British forces leader, Peter Parker was taken to the house after being wounded in battle. Word has it that the British held Maj. Mitchell prisoner in England for three years. The current Inn at Mitchell House was built later in the year 1825.

Swan Creek and Fairlee Creek

One week before the battle, a British ship, H.M. Menelaus landed at the Swan Creek led by Peter Parker. the forces from the ship raided farms in the area. In 1814, royal vessels, still led by Peter Parker fired rockers at Henry Waller’s house in Fairlee creek and burnt his house and barns to the ground. Both creeks were basically landing areas for the British forces.

Turner’s Creek

Turner’s creek was an area with quite a number of residents in the early 19th century . In 1813, the British vessels landed on Tuner’s creek and forced one of the residents to be their pilot. What followed was a raid of towns and burning of property. A structure there -Knock’s Folly- was built by George, son to Donaldson Yeates who operated a business in Turner’s Creek.

Chestertown

Also known previously as memorial park, the county seat of Kent County played significant roles in the war of 1812. The town was on the western shore of Kent county along the river Chester. In as much as this was an advantage, the location gave British forces an easy time targeting and raiding houses for supplies and provisions. The western side of the county also happened to be the battleground for the famous battle of Caulk’s field. Chestertown was home to several significant people during the war. Some of the structures include Widehall and Dougherty Barroll house, homes to Ezekiel Forman and Hopper Nicholson.

Beauty – seen through Kent County

The County of Kent in Maryland is perhaps, no definitely among the most beautiful of states in the country. From the rivers to the coastlines, the beaches to the marinas, the county seems to have it all. Its little surprise then that the official county site reads “Our enchanting coastline varies from historic waterfront towns dotted with marinas of all sizes to stretches of low, rolling farmlands broken only by the tidewater tributaries of the Chesapeake. This land, where fresh and salt water meet, is a veritable haven for fishing and boating enthusiasts, cyclists, birders and nature lovers”. Well, that and much more. What exactly makes the county great though?

That coastline…

The county of Kent has a very rich coastline dotted with farmlands, tributaries, biking and walk trails among others. The coastline is home to numerous animal and plant life especially birdlife. The county sits on a picturesque peninsula at the confluence of the Sassafras and Chester river. The transition of the rivers into the bay, fresh water to salty water makes Kent a real attraction. The coastline is also home to Betterton Beach and Ferry Park, both family-oriented beaches with more than enough space for swimming and shoreline access.

The battle of Caulk’s field

Yeah, war tends to make people and places famous. The 1812 battle of Caulk’s field involved American Militia units repelling a British landing attempt in the Chesapeake Bay. The war ended in American victory. Enemy raiders destroyed the town of Georgetown devastating Maryland’s shore on the Eastern Side. Famous structures from the war era include Kitty knight House -spared by the British during the attack-, Eastern Neck Island, the Inn at Mitchell house, Swan Creek and Fairlee Creek among others.

Distilleries, wines and vineyards

Where there is wine there will definitely be people coming. The eastern shore of Kent County is among the fastest grape-growing regions in Maryland. The county has several vineyards and a winery. The vineyards include Crow vineyard, Clovelly vineyards and the Cassinelli distillery. Visitors and locals can partake in the Chesapeake wine trail. This will lead you on an unforgettable tour of scenic views and pure charm.

Theatres and Museums

These are Kent’s venues for concerts, silver screens and stage. Popular ones include The Garfield Centre for the Arts, the Mainstay, the Church hill theatre and the Chester Five theatre. These also give the community a chance to enhance their social lives through art, culture enrichment and entertainment. The mainstay theatre for example offers more than 40 concerts each year with classical, folk jazz and blues. Museums include The Bordley history center, Betterton Heritage Museum, Waterman’s museum and the Tolchester beach revisited among many more.

Available self-guided tours

You can enjoy all of Kent County’s beauty all by yourself and in your preferred means. Take walks, bicycle rides and boat rides all over the county for a tour of a lifetime. Bicycle rides afford you the best chance to view farms, shorelines, waterfronts, vineyards and the county’s flat and little-travelled roadways.