Southern Maryland has played a role in much of America’s history, from settlement to independence and beyond. Several historic homes and buildings are still standing, and you can visit many of them to learn more about the region’s role in U.S. history.
Lore Oyster House, Solomons: Now part of the Calvert Marine Museum, the Lore Oyster House in Solomons was home to J.C. Lore and Sons, which was once one of the largest seafood packing companies in Southern Maryland. The current building, which was built in 1933 to replace an older building destroyed by a hurricane, houses exhibits about every aspect of the oyster packing process. It is a National Historic Landmark. The company closed in 1978.
The Dr. Mudd House Museum, Waldorf: Charles County native Dr. Samuel Mudd gained notoriety after the assassination of President Lincoln in 1865. Mudd splinted the leg of assassin John Wilkes Booth, who had broken his leg while fleeing the scene in Washington, DC. You can take a guided tour of the house, which some say has ghosts.
(Image via the local Lincoln assassination history blog BoothieBarn.com)
Smallwood State Park, Marbury: During the Revolutionary War, Gen. William Smallwood was the highest ranking Marylander to serve. He also served as the state’s governor and was in the state senate. Smallwood’s retreat house has been restored and is open to visitors. His grave is also on site.
Thomas Stone National Historic Site, Port Tobacco: Did you know a Southern Marylander signed the Declaration of Independence? You can learn more about signer Thomas Stone when you visit Haberdeventure, his home within the Thomas Stone National Historic Site. The home has been restored and is open for guided tours. Stroll the grounds where several outbuildings still stand, and pay your respects and family cemetery plot.
(Image via National Park Service.)
St. Mary’s County
Point Lookout State Park, Scotland: You’ll find Point Lookout State Park where the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay meet. The Point Lookout Lighthouse, which is within the park, went into service in 1830 to warn ships of the shoals and to mark the entrance of the Potomac River. Several families tended the lighthouse throughout the years, and once a month, you can tour the lighthouse and keeper’s quarters. The lighthouse remained in service until 1966.
Sotterley Plantation, Hollywood: With amazing views of the Patuxent River and grand gardens, Sotterley Plantation is the only tidewater plantation in Maryland that is open to the public. This gives you a unique opportunity to see plantation life from both sides; the home and restored slave cabins are open for tours.
(Image via Sotterley Plantation on Facebook.)
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