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.

Dorchester County, Maryland

Dorchester County Education, Geography, and HistoryDorchester County, Maryland Courthouse

Dorchester County is a county located in the state of Maryland. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 32,618. Its county seat is Cambridge. The county was formed in 1669 and named for the Earl of Dorset, a family friend of the Calverts (the founding family of the Maryland colony).

Dorchester County comprises the Cambridge, MD Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA Combined Statistical Area. It is located on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Etymology - Origin of Dorchester County Name

Dorchester in Dorset, England; the Earl of Dorset was a friend of the Calvert family


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Dorchester County History

The county was formed in 1669 and named for the Earl of Dorset, a family friend of the Calverts (the founding family of the Maryland colony).

Many of the residents of Dorchester County make their living as farmers or working on the water. The Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries provide bountiful harvests of crabs, oysters, and many fish species to commercial and recreational fisherman alike. Dorchester County, Maryland is the birthplace of Harriet Tubman, known widely for her work of guiding slaves to freedom. Dorchester County has also been hit by two deadly tornadoes. The first one occurred on June 23, 1944 in Cambridge, where 2 people were killed and 33 were injured. The other was on May 8, 1984 in Hurlock, where one death and 6 injuries were reported. Both storms caused between 500,000 and 5 million dollars in damage.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 983 square miles (2,550 km2), of which 541 square miles (1,400 km2) is land and 442 square miles (1,140 km2) (45%) is water. It is the largest county in Maryland by total area.

Dorchester County is the largest county on the Eastern Shore. It is bordered by the Choptank River to the north, Talbot County to the northwest, Caroline County to the northeast, Wicomico County to the southeast, Sussex County, Delaware, to the east, and the Chesapeake Bay to the west. Dorchester County uses the slogan, "The Heart of Chesapeake Country," due to its geographical location and the heart-like shape of the county on a map.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • North: Talbot County
  • Northeast: Caroline County; Sussex County, Del.
  • East: Wicomico County
  • West: Chesapeake Bay


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