Galena is located in Kent County, on Maryland's Eastern Shore. It was founded in 1763 and was originally known as Downs' Cross Roads in recognition of a local tavern owner, William Downs. The name was later changed to Georgetown Cross Roads. When silver was discovered near the town in 1813, a mining operation started. However, fearing that marauding British troops might capture the mine in the course of hostile activities of the War of 1812, the owner soon closed it down. Despite the episode's short life, the town got its permanent name "Galena," after the type of silver that was found in the mine.