is an incorporated town
-Canada:Incorporated towns are a form of local government in Canada, which is a responsibility of provincial rather than federal government.-United States:...
in Queen Anne's County
Queen Anne's County is a county located on the Eastern Shore of the U.S. state of Maryland.As of 2010, the population was 47,798. Its county seat and most populous municipality is Centreville. The census-designated place of Stevensville is the county's most populous place...
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...
, United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
. Incorporated in 1794, it is the county seat
A county seat is an administrative center, or seat of government, for a county or civil parish. The term is primarily used in the United States....
of Queen Anne's County. The population was 1,970 at the 2000 census. The ZIP code is 21617 and the area code is 410. The local telephone exchange is 758. It hosts the Queen Anne's County Fair each summer and was home to three franchises during the existence of the Eastern Shore Baseball League
The Eastern Shore Baseball League was a Class D minor league baseball league that operated on the Delmarva Peninsula for parts of three different decades. The league's first season was in 1922 and the last was in 1949, although the years were not consecutive, and featured teams from Maryland,...
-- the Colts, Red Sox, and Orioles. The book Red Kayak
Red Kayak is a young adult novel by American author Priscilla Cummings. It was first published in 2004.- Synopsis :Brady loves his life of crabbing and oyster fishing on Chesapeake Bay with his friends J.T. and Digger. While Brady makes friends with new rich families moving into the area, like the...
by Priscilla Cummings is set in Centreville.
Centreville is located at 39°2′46"N 76°3′52"W (39.046206, -76.064345).
According to the United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...
, the town has a total area of 2.1 square miles (5.4 km²), all of it land.
As of the census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...
of 2000, there were 1,970 people, 807 households, and 497 families residing in the town. The population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...
was 937.9 people per square mile (362.2/km²). There were 866 housing units at an average density of 412.3 per square mile (159.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 78.68% White, 19.24% African American, 0.10% Native American, 0.56% Asian, 0.15% from other races
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...
, and 1.27% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.81% of the population.
There were 807 households out of which 27.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.4% were married couples
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...
living together, 16.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.4% were non-families. 32.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.84.
In the town the population was spread out with 21.7% under the age of 18, 5.9% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 22.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 88.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.7 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $41,100, and the median income for a family was $55,595. Males had a median income of $37,011 versus $25,625 for females. The per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...
for the town was $20,630. About 8.1% of families and 15.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.3% of those under age 18 and 17.4% of those age 65 or over.
The origin of Centreville's name is a seemingly simple one. The town's official website provides some insight on how the name came to be. "In 1782, an Act of the Assembly authorized the removal of the county seat from Queenstown, Maryland
Queenstown is a town in Queen Anne's County, Maryland, United States. The population was 617 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Queenstown is located at ....
to a more central part of the county. That’s why the town was named "Centre Ville", with French spelling because of the post-Revolutionary War admiration for the French."
However, there is a little more the story. Saint Paul’s Parish was established on the site that would later become known as Centreville, Maryland. It was almost 100 years later, in 1782, that the Maryland State Assembly passed an Act to relocate both the courthouse and all government functions of the county to Centreville from Queenstown, making Centreville the new county seat.
However, it took a decade for the appropriate land to be acquired and for the change to take place. A plantation called Chesterfield was chosen as the land to use for the new town which would hold the county’s courthouse, and, once the town and court house were completed, on the first of June 1796, the county court, “ordered [the courthouse] to be ‘taken, held and deemed to be the proper Court House of Queen Anne’s County’”.
In 1782, the Queen Anne’s county courthouse was moved from its original location in Queenstown, Maryland to an area that would, twelve years later, be named Centreville. The building’s location, at the head of the Corsica River
The Corsica River is a tidal river in Queen Anne's County in the U.S. state of Maryland. The river begins near Centreville and empties into the Chester River.-Variant names:...
, encouraged population growth in the area.
Centreville became an incorporated town in 1794, two years after the courthouse was completed. At the same time, the town laid out, including four streets that remain today: MD 213, S. Liberty St., N. Commerce St., Water St. (MD 304).
Once Centreville was officially home to Queen Anne’s county government, lawmakers and officials decided it was appropriate to name the new town in accordance with the new location. Centreville (named partly due to the town’s central location) was also chosen because of its prime location on the Corsica River. Easy access to shipping, trading, and naval waters allowed the town to flourish and to become an important Maryland location.
Today, Centreville is the largest town in Queen Anne’s county, with a population of 2,097. Many residents of the town work in some capacity to supply public officials and farmers with the resources necessary to maintain Centreville’s economy and preserve its place as an important and historical place in Maryland. The Maryland Municipal League’s Website, “The Association of Cities and Towns”, notes that Centreville’s, “[h]istory is reflected in the diverse architecture seen along the streets of the town—elegant Victorian homes with their wrap-around porches, neo-classical public buildings, late-19th-century commercial rows, late-20th-century institutional and government structures, and all the variations and curiosities in between”.
Much of the town was added to the National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...
as the Centreville Historic District
Centreville Historic District is a national historic district at Centreville, Queen Anne's County, Maryland, United States. It contains an exceptional collection of 18th, 19th, and 20th century buildings chronicling the architectural development of an Eastern Shore of Maryland community...
The oldest courthouse in continuous use, and one of two 18th century courthouses in Maryland, the Queen Anne’s County Courthouse is located at 120 North Commerce Street. The location for the courthouse, and for the town of Centerville, was a piece of land on which Judge Joseph Hopper Nicholson lived on at the time. In 1792 the Flemish-bond brick building was completed. At the time it was composed of four rooms, two in the center and one on each side. The courthouse’s use was increasing, so, in 1876 it was renovated and remodeled to add more space. An iron balcony was also added to the second story.
A unique feature of the courthouse is a gold eagle on the main building’s rooftop. The eagle is thought to be symbolic of America’s freedom from England and relays the idea of independence. In Judge John W. Sause, Jr.’s essay, “Why the Eagle”, he connects the idea of freedom and the importance of the United States’ seal to the courthouse’s eagle. Here, he writes, “Executed by an unknown hand, undoubtedly that of an artisan rather than an artist…our eagle looked down upon the comings and going of the courtyard, the tears and smiles of its citizens and the successes and failures of the poliical system which it was designed to represent”.
A statue of Queen Anne of England, the county's namesake, sits in front of the courthouse. Princess Anne, daughter of Queen Elizabeth II, attended the dedication (1977).
Today, the courthouse remains an important figure in Centreville, Queen Anne’s County, and the state of Maryland. Keeping true to its original form, the building’s exterior is true to its original look.