Southern Maryland has a rich history. But no matter what part of that history you’re studying, you’ll find one common denominator: The water.
From the Chesapeake Bay to the Patuxent and Potomac rivers and their tributaries, the water is central to past and present life in Southern Maryland. It even factors into the region’s prehistoric history!
At the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons, you can learn about Southern Maryland’s natural history and the maritime heritage of its people. Founded in 1970, the goal of the museum is the “collection, preservation, research, and interpretation of the culture and natural history of Southern Maryland.” The museum strives to present three themes: “[R]egional paleontology, estuarine life of the tidal Patuxent River and adjacent Chesapeake Bay, and maritime history of these waters.”
No matter what aspect of local history you’re interested in, you’ll find something fascinating at the Calvert Marine Museum. Pre-history lovers will revel in fossils, replica skeletons of mammoth whales and other animals, and a timeline of life. Fossils focus on the Miocene era, which is from when fossils found at Calvert Cliffs date.
Animal lovers have the chance to observe skates and rays up close, enjoy the silly antics of otters, and see native and exotic species of fish. Exhibits explain the different habitats of the local waters and the creatures that live in each. You’ll even meet some invasive species that have taken up residence in the Bay and how they affect native wildlife.
Local history buffs will be able to spend all day soaking up the past in the museum’s Maritime History Gallery, which details the way the people of Southern Maryland have interacted with their environment. You can tour the Drum Point Lighthouse, which was relocated to the museum’s property in 1975, and take a ride on the historic bugeye Wm. B. Tennison.
Bringing kids to the museum? There’s lots to see and touch! Hands-on exhibits throughout the museum encourage little visitors to experience history first hand. In the Discovery Room, kids can touch and learn about the creatures that live in Southern Maryland’s waters, pretend to pilot a boat, and climb a lighthouse. They can even dig in the sand for fossils and shark’s teeth, identify their find, and take it home!
There’s a lot more to see and do at the Calvert Marine Museum, including special events, family activities, and kids’ camps. Summer concerts bring well-known artists to the museum every year. The museum’s store is a treasure trove of maritime- and water-themed souvenirs and gifts.