Unlike most towns, Ridgely did not “just grow”– it was planned. But it wasn’t planned to be the small, country town that it is today. It was actually planned to be a large and prosperous city, capitalizing on the Eastern Shore’s railroad boom immediately following the Civil War.
This “Dream City” wasn’t meant to be. The Maryland and Baltimore Land Association, which planned to develop the city, overextended itself and went bankrupt in its first year. Only four buildings had been constructed at that time: a railroad station, a hotel, and two private residences. One of these residences, known today as Ridgely House, is where the Town Office is housed today.
The founders’ dreams for the city are evident today in the wide main street running through town, Central Avenue. Although Ridgely never became the bustling city its founders envisioned, today’s residents love its small-town charm and tight-knit community.
You can learn more about Ridgely’s history by visiting the Ridgely Historical Society website. Please also visit the Historical Society’s website with information about the Town’s 150th Anniversary, which is being celebrated throughout 2017.
See & Do
Ridgely is centrally located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The town enjoys many benefits of its rural setting, with an abundance of outdoor and family-friendly activities. For additional information about things to see & do in Ridgely, please visit the Caroline County Office of Tourism website.
Education & Libraries
Caroline County Board of Education
Children in Ridgely are educated in the Caroline County Public School System. The Board of Education is comprised of five members, three of whom are elected. Ridgely is located in school board District 1.
Ridgely Elementary School – 118 N Central Ave, Ridgely | 410.634.2105
Lockerman Middle School – 410 Lockerman St, Denton | 410.479.2760
North Caroline High School – 10990 River Rd, Ridgely | 410.479.2332
Caroline Career & Technology Center – 10855 Central Ave, Ridgely | 410.479.0100
The Benedictine School
Benedictine provides individuals with disabilities with educational, residential, and vocational and day services. The school serves both children and adults from throughout the Eastern Shore region. Benedictine is a fully approved, non-sectarian service provider caring for individuals with special needs without regard to racial, ethnic, or religious background.
14299 Benedictine Lane, Ridgely | 410.634.2112 | www.benschool.org
Caroline County Public Library
The Caroline County Public Library system has three branches located in Denton, Greensboro, and Federalsburg. The Library’s mission is to bring people, information, and ideas together to enrich lives, increase knowledge, and build community. Please visit the Caroline County Public Library website to learn more.
Caroline County has a robust business community. Leading local industries include agriculture, manufacturing, and logistics & fulfillment. The Mid-Shore Regional Technology Park is located in Ridgely and is poised for future development. Caroline County has four other industrial parks located in Federalsburg and Denton. Caroline County Economic Development has recruited several new businesses to the County in recent years. The Caroline County Chamber of Commerce has a very active board and membership.