Perryville History

Photo of Rodgers Tavern

The rich history of the Town of Perryville began in 1608 when Captain John Smith became the first European explorer to navigate the Susquehanna River and visit the area. Perryville was first settled in 1622 when Edward Palmer was granted a patent for a settlement on what is now Garrett Island. In the 1600s, Lord Baltimore granted George Talbot 31,000 acres of land which included the Perryville area. Before incorporation in 1882, Perryville was known as Lower Ferry, circa 1695, Susquehanna, circa 1700s, and finally Perryville was named after Mary Perry, the wife of John Bateman.

During the Revolutionary War, Perryville served as a staging area for the Continental Army. Colonel John Rodgers, who operated the ferry and tavern in Perryville, raised the 5th Company of the Maryland Militia. This company became part of the famous Flying Corps and was instrumental during the early stages of the Revolutionary War. Colonel Rodgers' son, John Rodgers, became Commodore of the American Navy and was instrumental in clearing the Tripoli Pirates from the Mediterranean Sea. Commodore Rodgers served with distinction during the War of 1812. George Washington frequently stopped at Rodgers Tavern on his trips from Virginia to New York.

During the 1800s, Perryville was the central point for the Wilmington to Baltimore Rail Line. During the War between the States, the rail line between Perryville and Baltimore was destroyed. To transport troops and munitions to Annapolis, the Union Army again began the operation of the ferry across the Susquehanna.

Throughout the 1900s Perryville continued to serve as a railroad town. The advent of the interstate highway system helped Perryville metamorphose into a highway town. Perryville is the home of the Perry Point Veterans Hospital, the Perryville Travel Plaza, and the Hollywood Casino-Perryville.

The Town of Perryville offers a variety of services to its citizenry. The Perryville Community Park is open and available for public use. Perryville is the second largest municipality in Cecil County and continues to expand and grow, anchoring the southwest corner of Cecil County. Please visit and explore the Town of Perryville; a trip through the town is a trip through the roots of America.