Calvert County is surrounded by water except at the north end of the county, where it meets Anne Arundel County. The county is only 30 miles long north to south, and 5 to 9 miles wide.
Early in its history the county had many self-sufficient plantations producing tobacco and its early settlers were the recipients of land grants from Lord Baltimore. This plantation system ended after the Civil War and Calvert county was forced to reestablish its economy on a new basis. One remaining resource was the fishing grounds of the Chesapeake Bay. The first large-scale commercial fishery was established in the southern part of the county by Captain Isaac Solomon in 1867. Shipbuilding also became an important industry.
Today Calvert County is a favorite destination for water recreation, fishing, boating and crabbing. Throughout the last decade the county has experienced tremendous growth but still maintains it rural air.
Although one of the fastest-growing areas in the state, Charles County still retains a natural beauty that surprises most visitors expecting just another suburban bedroom community. The county has 150 miles of spectacular coastline, is the third-most-forested county in Maryland, and is full of historical sites and recreational opportunities.
The Thomas Stone House is one such historical attraction. Thomas Stone, one of four Marylanders to sign the Declaration of Independence, bought the plantation of Haberdeventure in 1770 and soon after began the construction of his new home. Embodying over 200 years of American history, this home is one of the central elements in the preservation of Southern Maryland's heritage.
Charles County is also home to the Indian Head Naval Surface Warfare Center, which is one of the nation's premier military facilities and the largest place of employment within Charles County. The Center began in 1890 as a Naval gun testing facility and evolved into a critical resource serving the armed forces with specialized ordnance devices and components. Indian Head today is home of the National Center for Energetics which provides full-spectrum “energetic solutions” to the defense ordnance community, as well as several very important tenant activities, including the Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) and the Marine Corps' Chemical Biological Incident Response Force (CBIRF).
Waldorf is the largest city in the county, while La Plata has been the county seat since 1895 when it was moved from Port Tobacco.
St. Mary's County
In 1634, a group of courageous voyagers traveled from their homes in England in pursuit of a new land. They landed on St. Clement's Island in the Potomac River. It was here that the adventurers took possession of the colony and the first Roman Catholic Mass in the English speaking colonies was offered.
Today St. Mary's County is home to the Naval Air Warfare Center-Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) and the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR).
Prince George's County
Prince George's County was named for Prince George of Denmark when it was founded in 1696. The County has experienced rapid growth and development throughout its history. For example, the population doubled from 1900 to 1930 and by the 1960's Prince George's was one of the fastest growing counties in the country. Prince George's County enjoys a centralized location between Baltimore and Washington, DC and rich diversity among its citizens. Prince George's is home to a wide variety of important public institutions including the University of Maryland at College Park, the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Goddard Space Flight Center and the headquarters of the U.S. Census (see below for links).
Anne Arundel County
Anne Arundel County is the most centrally located county in the state, bordered to the north by Baltimore County, to the east by the Chesapeake Bay, to the south by Calvert County and to the west by the Patuxent River, Prince George's and Howard counties.
Providence, the first settlement, was established on Greenbury Point in 1649 by a group of Puritans fleeing persecution in Virginia. The county was legally established the following year and named in honor of Lady Anne Arundel, wife of Cecilius Calvert, second Lord Baltimore, and founder of the Maryland Colony. Anne Arundel County is well-known for it's boating and water activities including fishing, crabbing, water skiing, sailing and swimming. It is also home to the very historic city of Annapolis, which is the capital of Maryland.