Prince Frederick, Maryland

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Prince Frederick, Maryland
Downtown Prince Frederick
Location of Prince Frederick, Maryland
Coordinates: 38°32′55″N 76°35′19″W / 38.54861, -76.58861
Country United States
State Maryland
County Calvert
 - Total 3.3 sq mi (8.4 km²)
 - Land 3.3 sq mi (8.4 km²)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km²)
Elevation 138 ft (42 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 1,432
 - Density 439.9/sq mi (169.8/km²)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 20678
Area code(s) 410
FIPS code 24-63950
GNIS feature ID 0591073

Prince Frederick is a census-designated place (CDP) in Calvert County, Maryland and serves as the county seat. The population was 1,432 at the 2000 census, although the population is believed to have grown substantially since then.


Prince Frederick is located at 38°32′55″N 76°35′19″W / 38.54861, -76.58861 (38.548720, -76.588748)[1].

<googlemap version="0.9" lat="38.546689" lon="-76.586294" zoom="14" scale="yes" overview="yes"></googlemap>

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 3.3 square miles (8.4 km²), all of it land.


As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 1,432 people, 583 households, and 303 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 439.9 people per square mile (169.6/km²). There were 616 housing units at an average density of 189.2/sq mi (73.0/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 62.22% White, 33.80% African American, 0.07% Native American, 2.51% Asian, 0.56% from other races, and 0.84% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.82% of the population.

There were 583 households out of which 25.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 29.2% were married couples living together, 17.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 48.0% were non-families. 43.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 24.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.14 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 21.9% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 25.4% from 25 to 44, 16.8% from 45 to 64, and 26.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 72.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 64.4 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $22,321, and the median income for a family was $44,625. Males had a median income of $38,393 versus $19,700 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $21,868. About 14.0% of families and 19.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.7% of those under age 18 and 21.5% of those age 65 or over.


Prince Frederick has served as the county seat of Calvert County, Maryland since 1722, when officials chose a plot of land known as "Williams' Old Field" as the spot for the new county courthouse. (Contemporary references to the piece of land include an upscale dining restaurant named Old Field Inn, and a street in Prince Frederick is named "Old Field Lane.") The original courthouse was finally completed in 1732. The town was most likely named for Frederick, Prince of Wales, who reigned during the time of the town's original conception.

In the War of 1812, Commodore Joshua Barney's Chesapeake Bay Flotilla found refuge from the advancing British in St. Leonard's Creek in June 1814. While laying siege to Barney's force, the British under the command of Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane plundered and destroyed the area nearby, including burning the town of Prince Frederick.[3]

In 1882, Prince Frederick burned a second time, when a massive fire destroyed virtually the entire town and its courthouse. A new courthouse was erected on the same spot, and remains the center of Calvert County's government to this day.

In 1984, Prince Frederick was named as one of seven "town centers" by Calvert County's government. The town center designation meant while Prince Frederick was still not formally incorporated, special zoning regulations would be enacted and boundaries would be established so new growth would be centered around the existing commercial and residential districts. This was done in order to take advantage of existing infrastructure and discourage poorly planned urban sprawl. Prince Frederick's town center status also meant the creation of special architectural review boards who would encourage theme and unity of new buildings built within the town center.[4].

On April 28, 2002, an F4 tornado cut just south of Prince Frederick, killing one person. The same tornado had previously devastated the downtown business district of La Plata, Maryland in neighboring Charles County[5].


File:MD Route 2-4.svg
Solomons Island Road, the main Calvert County artery

Solomons Island Road is the major north-south artery through Prince Frederick and carries two Maryland Route designations: Maryland Route 2 which runs from Baltimore to Solomons and Maryland Route 4, an extension of Pennsylvania Avenue from Washington, D.C., which continues past Solomons over the Governor Thomas Johnson Bridge across the Patuxent River to St. Mary's County. Route 4 was dualized in the mid-1970s and commuter buses run on it to Washington, D.C. Routes 2 and 4 join north of Prince Frederick near Sunderland. Route 2 from there north is only a two-lane road to Annapolis.

Maryland Route 231 intersects Solomons Island Road and runs west, ultimately crossing the Patuxent River and continuing into Charles County. Maryland Route 765 serves as Prince Frederick's Main Street and provides access to the courthouse and government center.

In the mid 1990s, a series of new loop roads and side streets were approved in Prince Frederick in order to divert local traffic off of Route 2-4 and alleivate thru-traffic congestion. The first of these roads, Prince Frederick Boulevard, has already been completed between Maryland Route 231 and Stoakley Road. Additional roads are planned around the eastern and southern portions of town.[6].

Institutions and organizations

  • Fire-rescue: Prince Frederick has its own Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad. Prince Frederick is served by one hospital, Calvert Memorial Hospital, which moved into its current facility in 1978.
  • High school: There is one public high school in Prince Frederick, Calvert High School, with the mascot being the Cavaliers. In 2000, the Cavaliers won the Maryland Division 3A high school football championship. Prince Frederick also has a public middle school and public elementary school.
  • Commerce: Prince Frederick is considered Calvert County's main commercial and retail hub, as it contains at least five major shopping centers, numerous chain and independent restaurants, three hotels, and Calvert County's only movie theater currently operating to date.
  • Business and industry: While many in the Prince Frederick area commute to jobs all over the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area, there are several small companies based in Prince Frederick itself. On the western side of Prince Frederick, there is a large industrial park which attracted numerous businesses and places of commerce after offering free land sites. One such business is Recorded Books, L.L.C., the largest independent publisher of unabridged audio books in the world.Template:Fix
  • Library: In 2006, the main branch of the Calvert Library moved from its original downtown Prince Frederick location to a new larger facility located on Costley Road, named after, Russell Costley, a long time advocate and trustee of the library.
  • Recreation: In 2007, plans for Calvert County's first public indoor aquatic center, to be built in Prince Frederick, were finalized.
  • The Calvert County Fair is held every fall at the Calvert County Fairgrounds just outside Prince Frederick. The fair moved from its original location in downtown Prince Frederick in 1994.
  • Prince Frederick's "Giant Triangle": Located on the eastern side of town, there is a very large, triangular retention pond at the site of the Prince Frederick Wastewater Treatment Plant.[7]. Final approval for the plant was obtained in December 2000.[8]. The plant's strange UFO-like appearance--approximately 500 feet long per side and location in a secluded and heavily wooded area--in satellite imagery on Google Earth has evoked the curiosity of many locals, who have nicknamed the site the "Giant Triangle" and speculated on its purpose.[9].

Notable Residents and Natives

  • Louis L. Goldstein, Maryland Comptroller of the Treasury 1959-1998; born in Prince Frederick, MD, in 1913. Known for his phrase "God Bless Y'all Real Good".
  • Roger Brooke Taney, the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court in the Dred Scott decision was born and raised on a farm near Prince Frederick.
  • Former U.S. House of Representatives member Augustus Rhodes Sollers lived and practiced law in Prince Frederick.
  • Character actor Michael Willis, whose credits include Men in Black and HBO's The Wire, and former Maryland state senator and Patuxent River advocate Bernie Fowler both reside in the nearby community of Dares Beach, which utilizes the Prince Frederick zip code.

Notes and references

  1. "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau (2005-05-03). Retrieved on 2008-01-31.
  2. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved on 2008-01-31.
  3. Template:Cite book
  4. Calvert County Department of Planning and Zoning (March 6, 2007). "Town Center Update".
  5. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA). "La Plata Tornado - April 28, 2002".
  6. Calvert County Department of Public Works. "Ongoing Road Projects Status Report".
  7. "Wastewater Treatment Plant".
  8. American Chesnut Land Trust. "[ Position Statement of the American Chestnut Land Trust Regarding the Proposed Parkers Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant]".
  9. Sevensixfive at "Giant Triangle set photos".

External links

Template:County Seats of Maryland

nl:Prince Frederick pt:Prince Frederick vo:Prince Frederick