10 Sites to Visit to Learn About Southern Maryland History

Kimberly Bean
Published on July 24, 2016

10 Sites to Visit to Learn About Southern Maryland History

Image via Historic St. Mary's City on Facebook.

State House at Historic St. Mary’s City. Image via Historic St. Mary’s City on Facebook.

Southern Maryland is full of history, playing important roles in the founding, independence, and shaping of this country. There are so many amazing sites here to help you learn the history of the region, which in many ways is also the history of the nation.

Add these 10 sites to your must-see list.

Historic St. Mary’s City, St. Mary’s City

Marking the location of the fourth permanent English settlement in the New World – and the first city in Maryland — Historic St. Mary’s City lets you step back in time and feel like you were there. Costumed interpreters work the land and tend to the buildings as you take your tour, and you can ask questions about their lives and their work. You’ll see what life was like in 17th Century Maryland for the colonists and the Native Americans.

Website: https://www.hsmcdigshistory.org/

National Colonial Farm, Accokeek

The National Colonial Farm is a living history museum that shows the life of a typical middle-class farming family in this part of Maryland just before the Revolutionary War. It is part of Piscataway Park, run by a partnership between the National Park Service and the Accokeek Foundation. The park preserves the view of Mount Vernon, which is across the Potomac River from the farm. The colonial farm is also engaged in many conservation efforts, including caring for heritage breed livestock and planting heirloom crops.

Website: https://www.nps.gov/pisc/planyourvisit/ncf.htm

The Dr. Mudd House Museum, Waldorf

When he finished his medical training, Charles County native Dr. Samuel Mudd returned home to start his practice and a family. He gained notoriety following the assassination of President Lincoln in 1865 after he splinted the leg of assassin John Wilkes Booth, who had broken his leg while fleeing the scene. You can take a guided tour of the house, which some say has ghosts.

Website: http://drmudd.org/

Drum Point Lighthouse. Image via the Calvert Marine Museum on Facebook.

Drum Point Lighthouse. Image via the Calvert Marine Museum on Facebook.

Calvert Marine Museum, Solomons Island

Much of Southern Maryland’s history is tied to the water, and the Calvert Marine Museum recounts the area’s maritime history through hands-on exhibits. The museum also tells the region’s history through paleontology with fossils. Touch tanks and other animals allow visitors to learn more about the critters that live in our local waters.

Website: http://www.calvertmarinemuseum.com/

St. Clement’s Island Museum, Colton’s Point

St. Clement’s Island Museum tells the story of Maryland’s first colonial landing point in 1634. It recounts the religious and political reasons why the people who landed here left England and details their treacherous journey across the ocean.

Website: http://www.co.saint-marys.md.us/recreate/stclementsisland.asp

Smallwood State Park, Marbury

Charles County native William Smallwood was the highest-ranked Marylander to serve in the Revolutionary War. He rose to the rank of major general, and after the war, he was governor of the state and served in the state senate. His grave is in Smallwood State Park, and his Retreat House has been restored for visitors to tour.

Website: http://dnr2.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/southern/smallwood.aspx

Sotterley Plantation. Image via the plantation's website.

Sotterley Plantation. Image via Sotterley Plantation on Facebook.

Sotterley Plantation, Hollywood

Sotterley Plantation is known for its sweeping views of the Patuxent River and its exquisite gardens. It is the only tidewater plantation in Maryland that is open to the public, allowing a unique opportunity to see plantation life. You can take a tour of the house and visit the restored slave cabins to see how both sides lived.

Website: http://www.sotterleyplantation.com/

Thomas Stone National Historic Site, Port Tobacco

Successful planter and lawyer Thomas Stone believed in the cause of the Revolutionary War. As a delegate for Maryland, Stone was one of 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence. His home, Haberdeventure, is open for tours.

Website: https://www.nps.gov/thst/index.htm

Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum, St. Leonard

Go back in time and learn about the early history of Maryland through the museum’s interactive exhibits and educational programs. Visitors can learn how the early settlers lives and take tour the Indian Village. The museum is home to the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory, which houses more than 8 million artifacts. Annual events get visitors even closer to history.

Website: http://www.jefpat.org/

Point Lookout State Park, Scotland

Point Lookout lies where the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay meet. Its unique location means it was a British target during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. During the Civil War, Point Lookout was home to a prison for Confederate soldiers. Learn about the point’s history at the visitor’s center and museum, and tour the lighthouse and grounds, where you will find the earthworks from Fort Lincoln.

Website: http://dnr2.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/southern/pointlookout.aspx

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