St. Clement’s Island is located in the Potomac River, nestled neatly between Southern Maryland and Virginia, off the shore of Colton’s Point, MD. Originally about 400 acres, hundreds of years of erosion have left only about 10% of this land above water. Today, the 40-acre island features a 40-ft stone cross and a full scale replica of a lighthouse that burned on July 16, 1956.
During the War of 1812, the island played a very significant role as the base of British operations in the Potomac. Having used St. Clements similarly during the Revolution, on July 21, 1813, British soldiers landed on and took possession of the island. On August 27, 1814, Admiral George Cockburn of the Royal British Navy deployed 1200 marines and 40 sailors to launch an attack of neighboring lands from the island. John Kilgour’s farm, at the mouth of the St. Clements Bay, was just one of the many that were destroyed. British ships remained in St. Mary’s County waters throughout the war and the soldiers from these ships frequently raided farms and homes on the nearby mainland.
During the attacks on Baltimore and Washington, D. C. in 1814 the actions of troops around St. Clements Island were used as a diversion to detract attention away from the British fleets moving northward. So, the base at St. Clements was critical to the British invasion strategy.
When visiting St. Clements Island, make sure to visit the St. Clements Island Museum where you will find so much of Maryland’s history! One beautiful focal point in the museum is a 7 x 20 foot mural that depicts the first colonial landing in the state! http://www.co.saint-marys.md.us/recreate/stclementsisland.asp
Pictured below is the fun Water Taxi that provides transportation from the shores of Colton’s Point, directly in front of the St. Clements Island Museum, to the beautiful St. Clements Island. For more details on the taxis hours of operation, call the museum at 301-769-2222.
Another fantastic event that happens surrounding the majestic St. Clement’s Island is the Blessing of the Fleet. It takes place annually on the first weekend of October. For more information visit: http://www.blessingofthefleetmd.com/
The History Society of St. Mary’s County funded efforts over a 14 year span to prevent erosion by having large bolders place around the entire shore of the island.
For more information on the history of St. Mary’s County please visit: http://home.md.metrocast.net/%7Esmchs/
“A Peaceful and Simple Life Colton’s Point & St. Clements Island. Story by Kathy Warren..” Southern Maryland – This is Living Magazine. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2012. http://somdthisisliving.somd.com/archive/vol6num4/history_lesson.html.
“Blessing Of The Fleet .” Blessing Of The Fleet . N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2012. http://www.blessingofthefleetmd.com/home.
Myers, Dick. “War of 1812 Topic of Maryland Day Talk – Southern Maryland News, Charles County, Calvert County and St. Mary’s County News.” Breaking News,Classifieds,Events and Photos for St. Mary’s, Calvert Counties or Southern Maryland | TheBayNet.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2012. http://www.thebaynet.com/news/index.cfm/fa/viewstory/story_ID/26862.
“St. Clement’s Island Museum – Southern Maryland Arts & Culture.” Southern Maryland Arts & Culture – Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2012. http://www.somdarts.com/st-clements-island-museum.html.
“Saint Clements Island Things To Do – Attractions & Must See – VirtualTourist.” Travel Guides, Hotel Reviews, Photos, Forums, Deals – VirtualTourist.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2012. http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/North_America/United_States_of_America/Maryland/Saint_Clements_Island-803170/Things_To_Do-Saint_Clements_Island-TG-C-1.html.
“St. Mary’s County Government – Department of Recreation and Parks.” St. Mary’s County Government. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2012. http://www.co.saint-marys.md.us/recreate/stclementsisland.asp.