I'm glad you asked...
A railroad boom in the 1860s on the Delmarva Peninsula was fueling land speculation. Civil engineer J.J. Sickler from Philadelphia was commissioned to design the town's layout. The Land Association began construction and built four buildings, including a railroad station, hotel, and two private residences during the first year. James K. Saulsbury constructed a combined store and residence, known as the Ridgely House. It now serves at the Town Hall Building.
During the Land's Association's first year, it went bankrupt; Ridgely was left unfinished and sparsely populated.
Ridgely's economy boomed as a result of its flourishing local crop production, including strawberries, huckleberries, vegetables, eggs, and poultry. Most crops were processed in Ridgely or sent to various locations on the railroad. Ridgely became known as the "Strawberry Capital of the World" as a result of its prosperous agricultural business.
As the nation began to rely on highways instead of railroads for transportation and industry began to concentrate in larger urban areas, Ridgely's economy declined.
Every May, Ridgely hosts the Strawberry Festival to celebrate its past.