Elkton is a town in and the county seat of Cecil County, Maryland, United States. The population was 15,443 at the 2010 census. It was formerly called Head of Elk because it sits at the head of navigation on the Elk River, which flows into the nearby Chesapeake Bay.
Elkton was once known as the Gretna Green of the East because of its popularity as a place for eloping couples to marry.
The town was founded by Swedish mariners and fisherman from Fort Casimir who settled the area in 1694. They called their settlement Head of Elk, as it was the head of navigation of the Elk River.
The town saw several actions during the American Revolutionary War. On Aug. 25, 1777, Sir William Howe's Anglo-German army (13,000 British soldiers and 5,000 Germans) landed on the Elk River and marched 11 miles north to Head of Elk. Howe soon advanced to the short and victorious campaign of the Brandywine, and thence to the capture of Philadelphia. On March 8, 1781, the Marquis de Lafayette embarked his troops there to attempt a capture of Benedict Arnold. Returning on April 9, he began his overland march to Virginia.