Category Archives: Museums and Historic Sites

Southern Maryland Heritage Area Awards $40,000 in Seed Grants!

Hughesville, MD – The Executive Director and the Board of Directors of the Southern Maryland Heritage Area Consortium (SMHAC) are pleased to announce $40,000 in Seed Grants awarded to significant heritage tourism projects in Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s County. These grants reflect more than a doubling of the award amount from the previous year ($15,000 in 2017 to $40,000 in 2018). The Heritage Area had its greatest response to the Seed Grant Program to date, with over $60,000 in grant requests. In keeping with the mission of SMHAC, this granting opportunity is focused on preserving the heritage of Southern Maryland through innovative tourism, excellence in cultural and natural resource conservation, and unique educational opportunities.

Of the many excellent proposals received, the SMHAC Board of Directors selected the following organizations and programs to receive the 2018 Seed Grant Awards:

Calvert County
American Chestnut Land Trust – $3,000
In Your Own Backyard
Annmarie Sculpture Garden – $2,000
Tree-mendous Trail
Arts Council of Calvert County – $1,000
Calvert Barn Quilt Trail
Calvert Marine Museum – $3,000
Megalodon Jaws Encounter

Charles County
Piscataway Conoy Tribe (Cedarville) – $5,000
We are Singers
Piscataway Conoy Tribe (Cedarville) – $5,000
Mini Pow Wow
Charles County Fair – $1,000
Historic McConchie One-Room School brochure
Historical Society of Charles County – $1,000
Holiday Trail brochure
Chapman State Park – $1,500
18th- 19th Century Cemetery Preservation
Farm Heritage Conservancy – $3,000
Dendrochronological Study of 1800’s Log Tenant House

St. Mary’s County
St. Mary’s College of Maryland – $3,500
Commemorating Our Shared History: Slavery in Southern Maryland
Historic Sotterley — $3,000
Outdoor Classroom
Lexington Park Rotary — $1,000
National Oyster Cook-Off and Cookbook
Patuxent River Naval Air Museum — $1,000
Spirit of Jazz & Democracy
St. Clement’s Island & Piney Point — $2,500
Museum and Historic Sites brochure
St. Mary’s CDC — $2,500
Lexington Park Arts Park – Manor Street Signs
Unified Committee for Afro-American Contributions of St. Mary’s County — $1,000
Preserving Oral Histories

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St. Mary’s Chapel

12960 Point Lookout Road, Ridge, MD 20680

In 1884, Trinity Church, located in St. Mary’s City, sold a portion of its land to the State and used some of the proceeds to establish a chapel of ease in Ridge for its members who had to travel long distances to services.  The stained glass windows installed in 2002 were designed in a “Victorian/Art Nouveau” style.  Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Trinity Episcopal Church

16855 Point Lookout Road, St. Mary’s City, MD 20686
Phone: 301-862-4597  •  http://www.trinitysmcmd.com/

Originally established in 1638, the first Trinity Church was a wooden structure located on Smith Creek.  In 1642, it was moved to St. Mary’s City and in 1694, when the state capital was moved from St. Mary’s City to Annapolis, the local State House served as the church for 134 years.  The present-day church was constructed in 1829 using brick salvaged from the original 1676 State House.   Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

St. Ignatius Catholic Church, St. Inigoes

17682 Grayson Road, St. Inigoes, MD 20684
Phone: 301-862-4600

The first chapel of St. Ignatius was built in 1641 in St. Mary’s City.  In 1704, the colony’s early policies of religious toleration were abolished and the chapel was closed.  The church was dismantled and the bricks taken down river to land owned by the Jesuits.  After the American Revolution, in 1785, the present day St. Ignatius Church was built.  Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

St. Andrews Episcopal Church

44078 St. Andrews Church Road, California, MD 20619
Phone: 301-862-2247  •  http://www.standrewsleonardtown.org/

Built in 1767, the church was designed by William Boulton who crafted the woodwork at nearby Sotterley Plantation.  It is an outstanding example of colonial architecture.  The church’s brick exterior has an unusual inset portico, a large Palladian window, and two towers.   The interior features balconies, and original box pews.  A hand-lettered altarpiece, or reredos, was painted in 1771, and is one of three surviving in the country.  Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Christ Episcopal Church, Chaptico

23590 Maddox Road, Chaptico, MD 20621
Phone: 301-884-3451  •  http://www.cckqp.net/

Built of red brick with Flemish bond and glazed headers, significant interior features include a semi-circular chancel, arched ceiling, crowned columns, and boxed pews.  During the War of 1812, the British vandalized the village of Chaptico, doing extensive damage to Christ Church and desecrating its cemetery.  Several members of the Francis Scott Key family are buried in the Key Family vault.  The church is on the National Register of Historic Places.

St. George’s Episcopal Church

19167 Poplar Hill Lane, Valley Lee, MD, 20692
Phone: 301-994-0585  •  http://www.stgeorgesvalleylee.org/

The first wooden church was built here between 1638 and 1642.  The current church built in 1799, is home to the oldest Episcopal Parish in Maryland and has held continuous services on site since 1638.  Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church

21370 Newtowne Neck Road, Leonardtown, MD 20650
Phone: 301-475-9885 • http://www.stfrancisxavierchurch.org/

Built in 1731, St. Francis Xavier Church replaced the original Newtown Chapel (1662).  Unusual features include the barrel vault ceiling and two octagonal-shaped brick ends.  Also on site is Newtowne Manor (1789) whose Flemish bond brickwork indicates its early construction.  The church and manor, and the 700-acre farm that surrounds it, is an example of a self-contained Jesuit community.  Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

St. Clement’s Island State Park

38370 Point Breeze Road, Colton’s Point, MD 20626
Phone: 301-872-5688
http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/southern/stclements.asp

Religious Freedom National Scenic Byway PHT logo CAJO-LOGO-high-res-jpeg Star-Spangled Banner NHT
MUTCD_RS-068_svg Hiking Trail MUTCD_RS-044_svg Picnic Site MUTCD_RS-114_svg Interpretive Trail

Visit the site of Maryland’s birthplace.  In 1634, English settlers landed here to establish a colony of religious freedom.  Enjoy a hike around the 40 acre island, a relaxing picnic at the pavilion, and scenic views of the Potomac River.  The Island also features the newly reconstructed Blackistone Lighthouse.  Educational panels provide island history.  St. Clements Island Museum is located nearby on the main shore.  Pier and docking facilities are available.  A seasonal water taxi to the island runs on select weekends from the museum.

St. Clement’s Island Museum

38370 Point Breeze Road, Colton’s Point, MD20626
Phone: 301-769-2222  •  www.stmarysmd.com/recreate/museums

Star-Spangled Banner NHT PHT logo
CAJO-LOGO-high-res-jpeg MD Civil War Trails logo
 MUTCD_RS-063_svg Fishing Area  MUTCD_D9-6_svg Handicapped

The museum’s exhibits and new orientation film trace the history of St. Clement’s Island and the English colonization in Maryland with emphasis on the landing of the first 140 colonists on near-by St. Clements Island in 1634.  The museum also holds artifacts that tell the story of life on the Potomac River in earlier times.  On the grounds is a 19th-century one-room school used until the 1960s and relocated from nearby Charlotte Hall.  Maryland Civil War Trails Site.  The museum has a pier and docking facilities, and offers seasonal water taxi service to the island, weather permitting.  Also visit the reconstructed Blackistone Lighthouse on St. Clements Island. Group and student tours available.  Call for dates of water taxi service and Blackistone Lighthouse tours.