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DARLINGTON, MARYLAND- Home of the Conowingo Dam


To get to Darlington from I-95, John F Kennedy Memorial Hwy,Take the MD-24 exit, (Exit # 77B) on the right towards BEL AIR. Drive 0.3 miles. Merge onto EMMORTON RD/MD-24 N. Drive 7.0 miles. The current road becomes BEL AIR BYP/US-1/MD-24. Drive 1.6 miles. BEL AIR BYP/US-1/MD-24 becomes BEL AIR BYP/US-1 N. Drive 0.3 miles. Turn left onto CONOWINGO RD/US-1 N. Drive 10.9 miles. Turn right onto MAIN ST/MD-161. Drive 0.7 miles. Turn left onto SHURESVILLE RD. Drive a short distance to your destination at Darlington.

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History
Due to the presence of Indians in the Susquehanna hills and nearness to their villages at the mouth of Octoraro Creek, land was taken up in this area somewhat later than in lower Harford. Little settlement was in evidence before 1700. During the eighteenth century, land in the vicinity of Darlington was occupied by the Rigbie, Worthington, Stump, Coale, Silver, and Hopkins families.

One of the most influential settlers was Colonel Nathan Rigbie. His estate in the neighborhood of Darlington included a tract of 2,000 acres called "Philip's Purchase." It extended from Shure's Landing to Glen Cove and included what is now the village of Darlington. In 1728 he sold 100 acres to Thomas Jones and 500 acres to Gerard Hopkins. Another 200 acres was sold to Henry Coale in 1731. Colonel Rigbie retained 1,200 acres for himself and resided in the residence now owned by John E Clark. This spot became famous as the camping ground of Lafayette?s Army on April 13,1781. It was there that a mutiny was quelled, and the army moved by way of Trappe Church, Churchville, Bush, and Abingdon, to Yorktown.

The famous old house built by Colonel Rigbie has a huge kitchen fireplace about 6 feet long, and the paneling of the living room and stately stairways are things of beauty. James Rigbie, son of the Colonel, lived in the family residence and became one of the prominent citizens of the Darlington area. He was a Captain of Militia and High Sheriff of Baltimore County.

Just how Darlington got it name is uncertain. The name may have come from the Darlington family, but there is also a possibility that it came from a town by that name in northern England. As the area grew more populous, Darlington became a busy village with a stagecoach line to Baltimore. It was on the route of the Conestoga wagons from York and Lancaster Counties to the fisheries on the lower Susquehanna. Much traffic to and from the Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal passed through this village.

An important early industry was the paper mill located just below Glen Cove known as The Susquehanna Power and Paper Company. This represented a $3,000,000 investment and was one of the most important centers of trade on the canal. The mill worked continuously three shifts a day for seven days a week and employed at time as man as 3000 people.

Community welfare was always in evidence in the village. It boasted of a Good Road League about 1900, the first of it's kind in America. Through the efforts of such public spirited citizens as D.C. Wharton Smith, Dr. Forward, E. M. Allen, Sr., Daniel Shure, Isaac Thompson, Philip Silver, John Scott, and John Scott, and Joshua Gilpin, the streets of Darlington were paved for one mile in all directions.

Residents have also displayed a great interest in public education. The Darlington Academy, built in 1836, was one of the leading centers of education in Harford County.

The building of the Conowingo Dam in 1928 added greatly to the welfare of the Darlington community. Through the years, many engineers and executive have made their homes in the neighborhood and added their support to the business, religious, and educational institutions of the section of Harford County.1

The village of Darlington has had continuous postal service since 1826. However, the post office first operated 1819-1821. At that time the postal service was discontinued and turned over to Woodlawn, Cecil County for five years. Darlington post office is third in the county, behind Havre de Grace and Bel Air, in length of time in service. The post office is located along Maryland Route 161 south of US Route 1 in the old village.2

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1 Our Harford Heritage by C. Million Wright, published 1967
2 History of Post Offices of Harford County, Maryland by Frank M. Stewart 1991

Links

Pro-Curb Landscaping and Lawn Service
PO Box 375, Darlington 21034
(410) 836-3546

   
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