Town History

Antique sketch of Augustine Herman

Augustine Herman

The town of Cecilton owes its existence to Augustine Herman, an immigrant to America in 1633 and some-time friend and ally of New Amsterdam Governor Peter Stuyvesant. He was the builder and first Lord of Bohemia Manor* in Cecil County, founder of a long line of distinguished descendants, and subject of heroic legend. Herman made several attempts to establish a town named for his friend Cecilius Calvert in lower Cecil County, but, uncharacteristically, he was not successful. Several generations later, a descendant again took up the task and founded a town that survived. That was Cecilton, incorporated in 1864.

Today, Cecilton remains a quiet residential community supported by agriculture and summer residents. The town is surrounded by active farmland, much of which has been placed in agricultural preservation programs, ensuring that the area will maintain its rural character. With the Chesapeake Bay to the west and the Sassafras and Bohemia Rivers only a few miles away to the south and north, respectively, Cecilton attracts a great deal of seasonal tourism.

Old sketch of Peter Stuyvesant

Gov. Peter Stuyvesant

At the largest crossroads south of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, Cecilton is the hub of most of the community and public facilities and services in the lower county. The town has an elementary school, recreation facilities, athletic fields, and the area’s only public library. It has a standing planning commission, board of appeals, and park advisory board all made up of community volunteers. Daily operations are handled by a staff of four—administrator, clerk-treasurer, maintenance worker, and water/sewer operator.

The heart of the town is West Main Street, where the Town Hall, local bank, post office, small shops, and restaurant are located. It is likely that the public is well informed and that the checks-and-balances process is healthy when residents can chat with the mayor or a council member while picking up their mail or eating lunch. One of the bonuses of living and working in a place like Cecilton is that everyone knows each other.

Cecilton relies on the work of volunteer organizations both in town and in the surrounding area to organize events and activities that bring the community together—Cecilton Volunteer Fire Company, Cecilton Lions Club, Cecilton Upper Bay Ruritans, Union Bethel AME Church, and Zion United Methodist Church.

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