Downtown Ridgely in March 2015.
|Motto(s): "Dream City"|
Location of Ridgely, Maryland
|o Total||1.78 sq mi (4.61 km2)|
|o Land||1.78 sq mi (4.61 km2)|
|o Water||0 sq mi (0 km2)|
|Elevation||59 ft (18 m)|
|o Estimate (2016)||1,624|
|o Density||920/sq mi (360/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|o Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0586831|
|Website||Town of Ridgely, Maryland|
The town was established on May 13, 1867 by the Maryland and Baltimore Land Association. The land around present day Ridgely was purchased by the Maryland and Baltimore Land Association from Thomas Bell and the Reverend Greenbury W. Ridgely. The town was named after the Rev. Greenbury W. Ridgely.
A railroad boom in the 1860s on the Delmarva Peninsula was fueling land speculation. Civil engineer J.J. Sickler from Philadelphia was commissioned to design the town's layout. The Land Association began construction and built four buildings, including a railroad station, hotel, and two private residences during the first year. James K. Saulsbury constructed a combined store and residence, now known as the Ridgely Ho
During the Land's Association's first year, it went bankrupt; Ridgely was left unfinished and sparsely populated. Most properties were sold at public auction, and Ridgely began to grow gradually as a result of its location on the railroad line now called the Maryland and Delaware.
Ridgely's economy flourished as a result of its local crop production, including strawberries, huckleberries, vegetables, eggs, and poultry. Most crops were processed in Ridgely or sent to various locations on the railroad. As the nation began to rely on highways instead of railroads for transportation and industry began to concentrate in larger urban areas, Ridgely's economy declined.
Ridgely became known as the "Strawberry Capital of the World" as a result of its prosperous agricultural business. Every May, Ridgely hosts the Strawberry Festival to celebrate its past. A Ridgely Historical Society was created in 2005 for the same purpose.
Ridgely is located at (38.944896, -75.883489).
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,639 people, 604 households, and 412 families residing in the town. The population density was 920.8 inhabitants per square mile (355.5/km2). There were 667 housing units at an average density of 374.7 per square mile (144.7/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 77.1% White, 16.3% African American, 0.9% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 2.5% from other races, and 3.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.9% of the population.
There were 604 households of which 44.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.9% were married couples living together, 16.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 31.8% were non-families. 27.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71 and the average family size was 3.26.
The median age in the town was 32 years. 30.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 30.4% were from 25 to 44; 22.9% were from 45 to 64; and 8.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 47.0% male and 53.0% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,352 people, 513 households, and 349 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,269.0 people per square mile (487.9/km²). There were 553 housing units at an average density of 519.1 per square mile (199.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 81.58% White, 15.61% African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.59% Asian, 0.96% from other races, and 1.04% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.18% of the population.
There were 513 households out of which 39.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.5% were married couples living together, 15.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.8% were non-families. 26.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.21.
In the town, the age distribution of the population shows 30.4% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 31.1% from 25 to 44, 19.6% from 45 to 64, and 10.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 89.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.1 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $35,750, and the median income for a family was $38,929. Males had a median income of $27,356 versus $19,844 for females. The per capita income for the town was $15,581. About 7.8% of families and 11.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.4% of those under age 18 and 14.6% of those age 65 or over.
Ridgelyites boast of the widest main street of any town in Maryland; it was once considered "The Strawberry Capital" and still holds a Strawberry Festival each May.
Commissioners: Anthony Casey, John Hurley, and Leonard John Buckle
Clerk-Treasurer: Stephanie Berkey
Assistant Clerk: Melissa Leonard
Zoning Administrator: Melissa Leonard
Director of Public Works: David Crist
Chief of Police: Gary Manos
The main ZIP code for Ridgely is 21660, but is assigned eight other "216" zip codes due to its status as a home to fulfillment companies that receive and ship mail-in offers.
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