Tag Archives: Religious Freedom Byway

Newtowne Neck State Park

Newtown Neck Road, Compton, MD 20627
Phone: 301-872-5688
http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/southern/newtowne.asp

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Cradled by Breton Bay, the Potomac River and St. Clements Bay, this 776-acre property of woodlands, wetlands and agricultural fields recently purchased by the State of Maryland offers low impact recreational opportunities such as biking, walking, birding and fishing. Capt. John Smith explored the waters surrounding the property in 1608. Newtowne was the first settlement in the Maryland province after St. Mary’s City. Its geographic location places it within view of St. Clement’s Island where the English colonists first landed in 1634. Prior to its settlement by the colonists, the Piscataway Indians and their forebears had occupied the site for many centuries. The park is open daily dawn to dusk. Check website for park opening dates.

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Tudor Hall

41680 Tudor Place, Leonardtown, MD 20650
Phone: 301-475-2467  •  www.stmaryshistory.org

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Tudor Hall was originally built in 1744 and was enlarged in the 1760s. This Georgian-style house became the home of Phillip Key, uncle of Francis Scott Key, author of the Star Spangled Banner. Unusual features of the house are the inset portico, the main hall’s hanging staircase, and a “triple fireplace” in the kitchen. Maryland War of 1812 Site. Tudor Hall serves as the research library for the St. Mary’s County Historical Society and also houses the Historical Society’s bookstore with books on genealogy, and local and regional history.

Piney Point Lighthouse Museum and Historic Park

44720 Lighthouse Road, Piney Point, MD 20674
Phone: 301-994-1471  •  www.stmarysmd.com/recreate/museums

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Climb the oldest lighthouse on the Potomac River, constructed in 1836.  The site was once a summer resort for Washington dignitaries including several U.S. presidents.  Today, a 6-acre park surrounds the lighthouse and keepers quarters with a picnic area, kayak launch, a boardwalk, pier and sandy beach.  The museum details that site’s history and also includes artifacts from the WW II U-1105 Black Panther German submarine which lies just offshore in an area designated as the state’s first Historic Shipwreck Dive Preserve.  A maritime exhibit of historic wooden boats that once plied the waters of the Chesapeake Bay is housed in a separate building.  Accessible by water, call for information.

Historic St. Mary’s City

18751 Hogaboom Lane, St. Mary’s City, MD 20686
Phone: 240-895-4990  •  http://www.hsmcdigshistory.org

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Historic St. Mary’s City is an outdoor museum located on the site of Maryland’s first colony and first capital.  The museum protects one of the nation’s finest colonial archaeology sites.  Decades of research are the foundation of living history exhibits assembled across the landscape.  Highlights include the Town Center, where visitors may tour Smith’s Ordinary, a 17th-century forbearer of the modern hotel, and the Print House, where they will hear the story of the first printer south of Boston.  Nearby, the Woodland Indian Hamlet details the lives of the Yaocomaco Indians who assisted the first colonists.  The Godiah Spray Tobacco Plantation is a working farm with first-person interpreters and heirloom livestock.  The Maryland Dove, a working representation of the square-rigged vessel that carried Lord Baltimore’s original expedition to Maryland is moored on the St. Mary’s River, which appears much as it was 375 years ago.  Discover Maryland’s legacy of liberty at the Brick Chapel, a symbol of the colony’s early practice of religious toleration, and the St. John’s Site Museum, which encloses the excavation of the house where the state’s first legislators met.  There is also a Visitor Center with exhibits, a museum shop, and a network of trails.  Accessible by water, call for information.

Smallwood State Park

2750 Sweden Point Road, Marbury, MD 20658
Phone: 301-743-7613  •  www.dnr.state.md.us
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Located on a Potomac River tributary, the 628-acre park features a marina, boat launch, camping, tournament level bass fishing, the Mattawoman Creek Art Center and Smallwood’s Retreat, home of Revolutionary War General William Smallwood.

Chapel Point State Park

Chapel Point Road, Port Tobacco, 20677
Phone: 301-743-7613
www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/southern/chapelpoint.html

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This little out of the way ramp has a very scenic setting and is ideal for car toppers, canoes or kayaks– no trailered boats allowed. Located on the beautiful and historic Port Tobacco River, the ramp is simply a low spot in the shoreline with a sand and gravel launch. No launch fee, parking is limited, gravel road to ramp. Route 301 to La Plata, take Route 6 West (Port Tobacco Road) left yield onto Chapel Point Road. Follow Chapel Point Road to park entrance on right (gravel road) and follow signs to the ramp.

Thomas Stone National Historic Site

6655 Rose Hill Road, Port Tobacco, MD 20677
Phone: 301-392-1776 • www.nps.gov/thst

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This site features Haberdeventure, the NPS-operated home of five generations of the Stone family, including Thomas Stone, one of Maryland’s signers of the Declaration of Independence.  The site includes a visitor center and family cemetery.

St. Ignatius Church, Cemetery and St. Thomas Manor House

8855 Chapel Point Road, Port Tobacco, MD, 20677
Phone: 301-934-8245 • http://www.chapelpoint.org

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Founded in 1641 and located on a 120-foot bluff overlooking the confluence of the Potomac and Port Tobacco Rivers, St. Ignatius Church is the nation’s oldest active parish with a continual pastorate and located on the Religious Freedom Byway National Scenic Byway.