Perryville, Maryland

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Perryville is a town in Cecil County, Maryland, United States. The population was 3,672 at the 2000 census. The town is located off Interstate 95, on the north side of the mouth of the Susquehanna River.



Perryville was first settled in 1622 when Edward Palmer was granted a patent for a settlement on what is now Garrett Island. In the 17th century, Lord Baltimore granted George Talbot 31,000 acres (125 km²) of land which included the Perryville area. Before incorporation in 1882, the settlement was known as Lower Ferry (circa 1695), Susquehanna (circa 18th century), and finally was named Perryville after Mary Perry, the wife of John Bateman.

During the Revolutionary War, Perryville served as a staging area for the Continental Army. Colonel John Rodgers (1728–1791), who operated the ferry and tavern in Perryville, raised the 5th Company of the Maryland Militia. This company became part of the famous Flying Corps and was instrumental during the early stages of the Revolutionary War. George Washington frequently stopped at Rodgers Tavern on his trips from Virginia to New York.

Colonel Rodgers' son, John Rodgers, was instrumental in suppressing the Tripolitan pirates in the Mediterranean Sea and was subsequently promoted to Commodore of the Mediterranean Squadron. Commodore Rodgers served with distinction during the War of 1812 and is known as the "Father of the American Navy."

During the 19th century, Perryville was the central point for the Wilmington to Baltimore Rail Line. During the American Civil War, the rail line between Perryville and Baltimore was destroyed. To transport troops and munitions to Annapolis, the Union Army again began the operation of the ferry across the Susquehanna.

Throughout the 20th century, Perryville continued to serve as a railroad town. The advent of the interstate highway system helped Perryville metamorphose into a highway town.

Perryville is currently home to the Perry Point Veteran's Medical Center, located on a picturesque campus along the confluence of the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay. This same location is also the Northeast Campus of AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps, a residential national service program which recruits young Americans between the ages of 18 to 24 to perform community service in various locations across the country.

Perryville is the northern terminus of the MARC Penn Line commuter rail service, which runs south to Washington, D.C. via Baltimore. The 1905-built station also serves as a railroad museum and an Amtrak maintenance facility. It is also the site of an outlet shopping center.

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