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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Elkton in Cecil County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Elkton, Wedding Capital of the East

 
 
Elkton, Wedding Capital of the East Marker Photo, Click for full size
By William Pfingsten, July 30, 2007
1. Elkton, Wedding Capital of the East Marker
Inscription. In the early 20th century, Maryland had no waiting period for issuing marriage licenses, and couples from throughout the Northeast flocked to Elkton—the first county seat south of the State line—where they could be married without delay. Independent wedding chapels lined Main Street. In 1936, the town issued 11,791 marriage licenses. Two years later, the State adopted a 48-hour wait, but the tradition endured. As late as the 1970’s as many as 6,000 couples were wed here in a year.
 
Erected by Maryland Historical Trust & Maryland State Highway Administration.
 
Location. 39° 36.498′ N, 75° 49.706′ W. Marker is in Elkton, Maryland, in Cecil County. Marker is on East Main Street near across from Cecil County Court House, on the right. Click for map. The marker is parallel to the street directly in front of the chapel. Marker is at or near this postal address: 142 E. Main St., Elkton MD 21921, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Mitchell House (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Elkton (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Fighting Back (about 400 feet
Elkton Wedding Chapel Photo, Click for full size
By William Pfingsten, July 30, 2007
2. Elkton Wedding Chapel
This is the only wedding chapel remaining in Elkton. It is still in use. Many famous people were married in Elkton, including Cornel Wilde, Joan Fontaine, Debbie Reynolds, Martha Raye, John and Martha Mitchell, and even the Rev. Pat Robertson. Weddings are also held in the courthouse where Willie Mays and Charles Barkley married their wives.
away); War in the Chesapeake (about 400 feet away); "O! say can you see..." (about 400 feet away); “Partridge Hill” (approx. 0.2 miles away); Cecil County Doughboy Monument (approx. ¼ mile away); Holly Hall (approx. half a mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Elkton.
 
Also see . . .  Elkton, Marry-land. 2002 Washington Post article by Marshall S. Berdan. “In those days, the train and bus stations were staked out by aggressive cabbies, who scoured arrivals for those tell-tale sheepish looks, and then pounced with offers for special ‘package deals.’ ” (Submitted on August 1, 2007.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. Restoration of Elkton Wedding Chapel
Hello,

I am the youngest daughter of Steve Psomas. I was born in the U.S.A and grew up in Elkton. I graduated from Elkton High School in 1985. My father and mother came to the United States in 1966 from Greece. We lived at 467 Bow Street, Elkton Md.

The restoration of the stone work of Elkton Wedding Chapel was done by my father. I'm sorry I don't remember the date. It was some time in the 80's. I remember he had his sign hanging on the front of the chapel and couples used to call our home asking my father to marry them.

My father was a general contractor in Elkton. He did a lot restoration of stone homes. He was born in Andros, Greece. My parents and I have been living in Greece for over the past twenty-five years. He died on December 6, 2009.

I hope that you would like to mention his name. The Chapel will stand for years and years to come due to his craftsmanship.

Thank you,
Ellen Psomas

Editor's Note: Thank you for sharing a bit of history about the Elkton Wedding Chapel and your father's role in restoring it. Note To Editor only visible by Contributor and editor    
    — Submitted April 29, 2010, by Ellen Psomas of Almiropotamos, Evia, Greece.

 
Categories. 20th Century
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 7,620 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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