Elkton, in Cecil County, once was the most popular destination for weddings with passenger train cars called the “honeymoon express” frequenting the town.
Right before the start of World War I, marriage laws in the Northeast became more restrictive with longer waiting periods for marriages to be performed. Maryland, unlike other surrounding states, did not adopt the restrictive laws until much later. During this time, couples came in droves to be married in Elkton as it was the most Northeast place in Maryland to do so. In the 1920s and 30s, Elkton was even known as the elopement capital of the East Coast.
A 48-hour waiting period was implemented in 1938, and now all that remains of the elopement capital is a single chapel on Elkton’s Main Street – a tribute and reminder of years gone by and love stories of the past.