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Kent County and Chestertown at a Glance Kent County is a treasury of early American history. Its principal towns and back roads abound with beautiful old homes and historic landmarks. The area was first explored by Captain John Smith in 1608. Kent County was founded in 1642 and named for the shire in England that was the home of many of Kent’s earliest colonists. When the first legislature assembled in 1649, Kent County was one of two counties in the colony, thus making it the oldest on the Eastern Shore. It extended from Kent Island to the present boundary. The first settlement, New Yarmouth, thrived for a time and, until the founding of Chestertown, was the area’s economic, social and religious center. Chestertown, the county seat, was founded in 1706 and served as a port of entry during colonial times. A town rich in history, its attractions include a blend of past and present. Its brick sidewalks and attractive antiques stores, restaurants and inns beckon all to wander through the historic district and enjoy homes and places with architecture ranging from the Georgian mansions of wealthy colonial merchants to the elaborate style of the Victorian era. Second largest district of restored 18th-century homes in Maryland, Chestertown is also home to Washington College, the nation’s tenth oldest liberal arts college, founded in 1782. Washington College was also the only college that was given permission by George Washington for the use of his name, as well as given a personal donation of money. The beauty of the Eastern Shore and its waterways, the opportunity for boating and recreation, the tranquility of a rural setting and the ambiance of living history offer both visitors and residents a variety of pleasing experiences. A wealth of events and local entertainment make a visit to Chestertown special at any time of the year. For more information about events and attractions in Kent County, contact the Kent County Visitor Center at 410-778-0416, visit www. kentcounty.com or e-mail tourism@kentcounty.com. For information about the Historical Society of Kent County, call 410-778-3499 or visit www.kentcountyhistory.org/geddes.php. For information specific to Chestertown visit www.chestertown.com. 175

March 2017 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times March 2017