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The State Fair is held in late August in Timonium

Maryland is in the Eastern Time Zone

The Motto means "manly deeds, womanly words"

Maryland was the 7th state to enter the Union.

Maryland has been called "America in Miniature" because so much is packed into its 10,460 square miles of land and water. You can find just about any kind of natural feature here, except a desert. That's because water is almost everywhere in Maryland.

2000 - 5,296,486 persons, the 19th most populous state

Population Density:
2000 - 541.9 persons per square mile, the 5th most densely populated state


Maryland is also called the "Old Line State" and "Free State". The Old Line nickname was given during the Revolutionary War, when 400 soldiers in the First Maryland Regiment fought a British force of 10,000 and helped General George Washington's army to escape. Washington depended on the Maryland Line throughout the war, and the soldiers' discipline and bravery earned Maryland its nickname.

The name "Free State" was given in 1919, when Congress passed a law prohibiting the sale and use of alcohol. Marylanders opposed prohibition because they believed it violated their state's rights. The "Free State" nickname also represents Maryland's long tradition of political freedom and religious tolerance.

The first to be in this area were Paleo-Indians who came more than 10,000 years ago from other parts of North America to hunt mammoth, great bison and caribou. By 1,000 B.C., Maryland had more than 8,000 Native Americans in about 40 different tribes. Most of them spoke Algonquian languages. They grew corn, peas, squash and tobacco. They also hunted, fished and traded with tribes as far away as New York and Ohio.

The name, Chesapeake Bay, came from the Native American word "Chesepiuk," an Algonquian name for a village that the Roanoke, Virginia colonists discovered in 1585 near the mouth of the Bay. Later, mapmakers used the word to name the Bay. People have said that Chesapeake means "great salt water" or "great shellfish bay," but no records exist to verify those definitions.

The Italian explorer, Giovanni da Verrazano, was the first European to visit the Chesapeake area in the late 1500’s. Later came English settlers, who left England for more economic opportunities and to escape religious oppression. In 1608, Captain John Smith thought there was "no place more perfect for man's habitation" than the Chesapeake Bay. Fur trader William Claiborne thought so, too, and set up a fur trading post on Kent Island in 1631. This was the first English settlement in the upper Chesapeake.

Maryland began as a colony when King Charles I promised George Calvert, the first Lord Baltimore, a colony north of Virginia. Before he could visit the colony, George Calvert died. His son, Cecilius, became the second Lord Baltimore and the Lord Proprietor of Maryland. He named his colony "Terra Maria," or "Maryland" in honor of the king's wife Queen Henrietta Mary. Because Cecilius Calvert had to remain in England, he sent his younger brother Leonard to accompany the colonists and to be the first governor.

Maryland was one of the original 13 colonies in America.  It was the 7th state to ratify the new US Constitution.  It achieved statehood on 28 April 1788.


Longitude: 75° 4'W to 79° 33'W
Latitude: 37° 53'N to 39° 43'N

250 miles long
90 miles wide

Total land area: 9,838 square miles
Total water area: 2,633 square miles
Total area: 12,407 square miles, the 42nd largest state

The Chesapeake Bay is the largest body of water in Maryland. Maryland also has nearly 50 rivers and creeks, plus streams, lakes, ponds and the Atlantic Ocean.  The major source of the Chesapeake Bay is the Susquehanna River.  Maryland has almost 4,000 miles of shoreline, more than any other state.  All 400 lakes in Maryland are manmade

Of the 2,500 total square miles of the Chesapeake Bay, 1,726 are in Maryland.  This Bay is 185 miles long, 30 miles wide at its widest, 174 feet deep at its deepest and holds 18 trillion gallons of water

Maryland has 31 miles of Atlantic Ocean coastline.
 The elevation range in Maryland is: 0-3,360 feet above sea level
average elevation: 350 feet above sea level

Highest point: 3,360 feet above sea level, at  Backbone Mountain in Garrett County
Lowest point: Sea Level, at the Atlantic Ocean

Distances to other major cities:
37 miles – Washington, D.C.
96 miles – Philadelphia, PA
196 miles – New York City, NY
392 miles – Boston, MA

Geographic Center: 4.5 miles  NW of Davidsonville in Prince Georges County, at Longitude: 77° 22.3'W Latitude: 39° 29.5'N

To the south is the Chesapeake Bay and Virginia and to the north is Pennsylvania.  Delaware and the Atlantic Ocean are on the east and on the west are both Virginia and West Virginia

Weather & Climate:

Average winter temperature: 33 degrees F.
Average summer temperature: 75 degrees F.

Yearly average snowfall:
mountain areas: 78 inches
coastal plain: 9 inches
Yearly average rainfall: 40.46 inches

Record high: 109.0 at Cumberland on 10 July 1936
Record low: -40 degrees, F. at Oakland on 13 January 1912

Fun Facts about Maryland:

The Maryland State House is the oldest building in the U.S. still in legislative use.
The first woman in the new world to demand the right to vote was Mistress Margaret Brent, St. Mary's City, 1648.
The first telegraph message, "what hath God wrought," was sent from Baltimore to Washington, D.C. on May 24, 1844.
The first African American scientist, Benjamin Banneker, was a Marylander who in 1791 became the first African American employee of the federal government.
In 1923, Maryland's Attorney General ruled it illegal to permit a trained bear to operate an automobile on the public highways of the state.
In 1831, the B&O Railroad set a speed record at an incredible 30 miles per hour!
The ouija board, patented in 1892, was invented by Isaac and William Fuld of Baltimore.
On June 10, 1892, Wilbert Robinson of the Orioles his 7 for 7, a record never matched in a nine inning major league game. The final score: Orioles 25, St. Louis 4.
The country's first bookmobile, the idea of Miss Mary Titcomb of the Washington County Free Library, began operating in 1907.



Maryland Chamber of Commerce
60 West Street #100
Annapolis, MD 21401
Phone: 410-269-0642

Government Links page for Maryland
Great links page for all levels of government in Maryland

Maryland State Department of Education
Maryland Office of Tourism Development
Maryland State Archives (history and government):
Maryland Department of Natural Resources (boating and fishing):
Maryland Department of the Environment
Maryland Department of Agriculture

Vital Records for Maryland


Find the weather for anyplace in the USA


This page was created 9 November 1998

This page was last updated on 16 September 2006 at 10:10 pm

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