Maryland Counties
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Maryland Counties

There are twenty-four counties and county-equivalents in Maryland. Though an independent city rather than a county, the City of Baltimore is considered the equal of a county. The last new county formation in Maryland occurred when Garrett County was formed in 1872 from portions of Allegany County.

Charles County, Maryland

Charles County Education, Geography, and HistoryCharles County, Maryland Courthouse

Charles County is a county located in the southern central portion of the state of Maryland. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 146,551. The county seat is La Plata. The county was named for Charles Calvert (1637-1715), third Baron Baltimore.

Charles County is included in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Charles County Name

Charles Calvert, 3rd Baron Baltimore, second proprietor of the Maryland colony


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Charles County History

Charles County was created in 1658 by an Order in Council. There was also an earlier Charles County from 1650 to 1653, sometimes referred to in historic documents as Old Charles County.

In April 1865, John Wilkes Booth made his escape through Charles County after shooting President Abraham Lincoln. He was on his way to Virginia.

On April 28, 2002, a tornado cut through the County and destroyed much of downtown La Plata.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 643 square miles (1,670 km2), of which 458 square miles (1,190 km2) is land and 185 square miles (480 km2) (29%) is water.

In its western wing, along the southernmost bend in Maryland Route 224, Charles County contains a rare instance where the traveler is due north, east, south, and west of the same state - Virginia.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • North: Prince George's County
  • East: Calvert County
  • Southeast: St. Mary's County
  • South: Potomac River Estuary
  • Southwest: King George County, Va.; Amherst County, Va.


College of Southern Maryland, in La Plata.

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