Queen Anne's County is a county located in the U.S. state of Maryland. As of the 2010 census, the population was 47,798. Its county seat and most populous municipality is Centreville. The census-designated place of Stevensville is the county's most populous place. The county is named for Queen Anne of Great Britain who reigned when the county was established in 1706.
Queen Anne's County is included in the Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA Combined Statistical Area. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge connects Queen Anne's of the Eastern Shore to Anne Arundel County on the Western Shore.
Queen Anne's County has two hundred sixty-five miles of waterfront area, much of that being the shores of Kent Island, which stands out from the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay. From the waters of this county, watermen have brought oysters, crabs, and terrapin. Migrating waterfowl overwinter here, and hunting for geese and ducks has been an important part of the county's history. The first settlement in Maryland was on Kent Island in August 21, 1631, and included twenty-five settlers in a manor house, a fort, and other buildings. The settlement was referred to as Winston's Island. The first houses were built similar to log cabins. Although the county has a number of properties on the National Register of Historic Places, the original settlement no longer exists. One of the oldest towns still existing is Stevensville, earlier known as Broad Creek.
In 1650, Kent Island had the first recorded fox hunt in America. Queen Anne's County was organized under a sheriff in 1706, bounded by Talbot, Kent, and Dorchester Counties. In 1713, Queen Anne's County became an English postal district where the sheriff was the postmaster and would travel to Annapolis by boat to obtain mail. In 1773 a part of Queen Anne's County, together with a portion of Dorchester County, was taken to form Caroline County. The county now is enclosed by Talbot, Caroline, and Kent County as well as the Chesapeake Bay.
By the time of Independence, the county had several churches, a government, school, and a postal system.
In 1876, Queen Anne's County had the first printed independent paper called the Maryland Citizen, and a bank, located in Centreville; the Centreville National Bank exists to this day. When the Railroad Company was finished in 1868 it operated from Baltimore around the top of the Chesapeake Bay down to Queenstown, and connected with other railroads that continued east into Delaware as far as Rehoboth, and southward to the Eastern Shore of Virginia.
In the 20th century, Queen Anne's County was the home of baseball Hall of Famer Jimmie Foxx. There is a statue and small park in Sudlersville, where Foxx grew up.