Discover the Smallest Town in Maryland
Curious about the smallest town in Maryland? It’s pretty small, both in population and area! Every single person living here could actually fit on a 78-foot yacht with plenty of room to spare. Or stick them on a school bus and you could multiply the group by 3 and still have room.
Let’s take a look at the smallest town in Maryland, a surprisingly historic and rich town in Charles County.
How Big is the Smallest Town in Maryland?
The smallest town in Maryland has the smallest population and one of the smallest square miles areas in the state. The Census Bureau declares the town of Port Tobacco as having only 0.16 square miles in land and only 25 residents as of its last check in 2023. The entire population of the tiny town would not even half fill a school bus. If you’ve got some extra cash lying around, the whole town of Port Tobacco, Maryland, could fit inside a 78-foot yacht with room to spare.
Where is the Smallest Town in Maryland Located?
The smallest town in Maryland, Port Tobacco, rests in central Charles County near the intersection of Chapel Point Road and Maryland Route 6. The town rests along the Port Tobacco River, just a little bit north of the Potomac River. Officially, the town goes by the name of Port Tobacco Village.
Many historic buildings dating back to the early 19th Century still exist in Port Tobacco, including the former courthouse which is now a historical museum. You’ll also find the St. Ignatius Church, a manor house, and cemetery at the St. Thomas Manor. These comprise the National Historic Landmark complex in the town. You’ll also find even older structures at the Jesuit Mission Center which was established in the 1600s and believed to be the oldest continuously operating Roman Catholic Parish in the original Thirteen Colonies.
History of the Smallest Town in Maryland
The smallest town in Maryland, Port Tobacco Village, once was inhabited by Indigenous peoples of North America. At the time of European settlement, the Potapoco people specifically lived in the area. As Europeans flocked into the area, the First Nations people left the area leaving behind the influence for the name of the town. Potapoco was adapted into Port Tobacco.
The earliest immigrants of the place came from religious turmoil in England, seeking a safer, happier life in the new world. Residents held important positions in early formation in the country and later became a stronghold for Confederate sympathizers, unfortunately. Union troops then occupied the town.
What remains today of the once thriving town is more of a village, with an abrupt decline felling the numbers of residents in the 1800s post-Civil War. Archeological sites have been preserved for study of Native and colonial culture together, as well as former slavery.
Some notable historic sites include:
- Port Tobacco Courthouse
- Multiple 18th Century homes, including Rose Hill, Retreat, and Stagg Hall
- Thomas Stone National Historic Site
- St. Thomas Manor
- Cemetery at Chapel Point
- Mulberry Grove
Folklore of Port Tobacco, Maryland
Every town has its legends and Port Tobacco is no different. Here, the legend of the blue dog has piqued curiosity enough that Thuc Doan Nguyen, author, has determined to develop a film based on the story. The legend is even said to be taught in the local schools. For more than 100 years, the tale of the blue dog has passed from generation to generation.
The legend follows the story of the spirit of a large, blue dog. He has stayed behind to protect the treasure left behind by his murdered master, and supposedly this treasure lies buried and hidden somewhere along Rose Hill Road just outside town limits. Supposedly, the dog remains in the spot because both he and his master were killed at this rock in the cemetery. Olivia Floyd, a noted Confederate spy and owner of the cemetery told tales in 1897 of seeing the spirit of the dog. The man murdered was Charles Thomas Sims, a soldier, killed there on a February day in the eighteen century after the America Revolutionary War had ended. Supposedly, the man and his dog were killed for the treasure but the murdered could never recover the treasure because of the terror of the blue dog’s ghost.
Notable People from the Smallest Town in Maryland
Despite being so tiny, several notable people have lived in Port Tobacco, Maryland.
- Gustavus Richard Brown, physician who attended George Washington’s death bed
- George Atzerodt, a co-conspirator with John Wilkes Booth
- Josian Henson, abolitionist, former slave, minister, and inspiration for Uncle Tom’s Cabin
- William Matthews, early American Roman Catholic priest
- Anne Teresa Mathews, founder of the first Catholic convent in the United States
- Thuc Doan Nguyen, author
- Timmy Hill, NASCAR driver
- Tyler Hill, NASCAR driver
- John Hanson, first president of the Continental Congress
- Daniel of St. Thomas Stone, signer of the United States Constitution
- Charles H. Stonestreet, Jesuit leader and early president of Georgetown University
- Barnes Compton, state legislator, State Treasurer, US congressman