Exploring Maryland

Originally Posted August 25, 2009

Southern Maryland consists of three counties which include Calvert, Charles and St. Marys county. I will also discuss Anne Arundel County since it is the nearest county to all three counties. Each county holds it own importance to Maryland’s early history. Regardless what county you live in Southern Maryland you live between 15 minutes to 3 hrs away from any major city or historic city. If you’re interested in science, art and history it takes about 45 min. to 1 hr to Washington D.C where you can view all the major museums and explore the small town charms of Alexandria Virginia. To travel to the big city of Baltimore it takes about 1hr & 30 min. to 2 hrs. If you’re thing is traveling to a battlefields every weekend you’re about 3 to 4 hrs away from the major triangles of Antietam, Gettysburg & Harpers Ferry or Manassas, Fredericksburg & Petersburg or Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown. The same amount of time will take you to other major cities such as Richmond and Philadelphia.

St. Mary’s County:

At the lowest tip of Maryland sits the county of St. Mary’s. “It was founded when Governor Leonard Calvert and about 140 passengers on the Ark and the Dove sailed from Isle of Wight, England on November 22, 1633 and erected a wooden cross on nearby St. Clement’s Island, Maryland on March 25, 1634. After a century or more of war, persecution, and intolerence over the conflict between Catholicism and Protestantism in England, St. Mary’s was founded on the principle of “Freedom of Conscience” and religious tolerance. Thus, a large number of its early settlers were Catholics, seeking the freedom to worship under the religion of their choice. Freedom of religion was made law in 1644 at St. Mary’s City, then the capital of Maryland.” http://www.genealogysource.com/stmarys.htm

St. Clement’s Island Museum

Coltons Point

St. Clement’s Island State Park

Coltons Point

St. Mary’s River State Park

Great Mills

Greenwell State Park


Sotterley Plantation


Old Jail Museum


Tudor Hall


Piney Point Lighthouse Museum & Park

Piney Point

Point Lookout State Park


Historic St. Mary’s City

St. Mary’s City





Calvert County:

As you cross the river you come to Calvert County which is filled with farms, parks and beaches.  “Established in 1654, Calvert County is one of the oldest counties in the United States. Native people lived in Calvert County 9,000 years ago, according to evidence unearthed by archaeologists at Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum. Calvert County’s earliest identified settlers were Piscataway Indians. Indian tribes established villages at intervals along the river with the largest being at the mouth of Battle Creek. They grew corn and tobacco on rich farmlands that were to prove very attractive to colonists arriving from England in the early 1600’s.John Smith is reported to be the first Western man to lay eyes on Calvert County’s peninsula, describing it in his journal as he saw it in 1608 during his exploration of the Chesapeake Bay. The first English settlement in Southern Maryland dates to somewhere between 1637 and 1642, although the county was actually organized in 1654. Established by Cecelius Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore, English gentry were the first settlers, followed by Puritans, Huguenots, Quakers and Scots. In 1695, Calvert County was partitioned into St. Mary’s, Charles and Prince George’s, and its boundaries became substantially what they are today.” http://www.co.cal.md.us/visitors/profile/history/

Chesapeake Beach Railroad Chespeake Beach
Kings Landing Park Huntingtown
Calvert Cliffs State Park Lusby
Cove Point Lighthouse Lusby
Flag Ponds Nature Park Lusby
Bayside History Museum North Beach
Battle Creek Cypress Swamp Prince Frederick
Linden/ Historic Socity of Calvert Prince Frederick
Annmarie Gardens Solomons
Calvert Marine Museum Solomons
Drum Point Lighthouse Solomons
Jefferson Patterson Park St. Leonard


Charles County:

“It was established in 1658 and was named for third Baron Baltimore, Charles Calvert. Waldorf, Maryland started as a rural crossroads originally called Beantown. The Balitmore and Potomac Railroad added a station to Waldorf in 1872. Benedict was established in 1683 and was one of the first ports on The Patuxent River. The town of La Plata, Maryland was name by Colonel Samuel Chapman, after the La Plata river. Indian Head, Maryland was established 1920 and is named for the Algonquin Indian Tribe. Port Tobacco was established in 1634, and is one of the oldest towns on the East Coast.”     http://www.charlescountywebsite.com/index.php

Purse State Park Indian Head
La Plata Train Station La Plata
Mattawoman Creek Art Center Marbury
Smallwood State Park Marbury
Port Tobacco Port Tobacco
Thomas Stone Historic Site Port Tobacco
American Indian Culture Museum Waldorf
Dr. Samuel A Mudd Museum Waldorf



Anne Arundel:

45 minutes will take you to two major shopping districts of Annapolis and Bowie. Anne Arundel is the home of Annapolis but it also holds a historic Annapolis town that has a small town feeling that is the home to specialized shops and museums and takes you away from the traffic that is brought upon the shopping mall. Anne Arundel has its own historic landmarks and is also the home of the Maryland Renaissance Festival which is currently in the town of Crownsville.

“The first European settlers arrived in present-day Anne Arundel County in 1649. Seventeen years earlier, King Charles I signed the Charter of Maryland granting the colony to Cecil Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore. Cecil Calvert and his father, George, who died two months prior to the charter, envisioned the colony as both an economic enterprise and a place where fellow Roman Catholic royalists could escape the religious strife that was increasingly prevalent in England. After the death of his father, Cecil Calvert was materially aided in his enterprise by his father-in-law, Thomas Arundell, first Baron Arundell of Wardour. A wealthy and influential Catholic, he was able to fulfill his dream of establishing a colony in North America through his son-in-law. In 1642 the English Civil War broke out between the Roman Catholic royalists supporting Charles I and the Protestant Parliamentarians. Cecil Calvert, whose patronage came exclusively from the monarchy, became understandably concerned about his ability to maintain control over his colony. To solidify his position, he took several steps that would prove pivotal in the history of the Maryland Colony and what would soon become Anne Arundel County.” http://www.aacounty.org/AboutAACo/history.cfm

Annapolis Maritime Museum


Banneker- Douglass Museum


Chase- Lloyd House


Hammond- Harwood House


Historic Annapolis Foundation


Sandy Point State Park


William Paca House and Garden


Historic Society of Deale


Historic London Town and Garden


Smithsonian Environment & Research Ctr


Fort George G. Meade Museum

Fort Meade

Galesville Heritage Museum


Frederick Douglass Museum “Twin Oaks”

Highland Beach

Benson- Hammond House


Historic Baldwin Hall


Hancock’s Resolution


Captain Salem Avery House

Shady Side



This is the final installment of exploring Maryland.  Next I’ll will be exploring the historic sites of Washington D.C. and then Northern Virginia.  There is a lot of history in Northern Maryland and some of the best places to tour in Northern Maryland are between 45 to 2 hours away from historic sites of Gettysburg, PA and Harpers Ferry, WV.

Prince George’s County:

No one is sure when people first set foot in Prince George’s County. Some archaeologists believe the first Indians came to Southern Maryland 10,000 years ago; others would say it was long before that. Whatever the case, this land was occupied for thousands of years before the first Europeans sailed to these shores. The first recorded visit to Prince George’s County by a European came in the summer of 1608, when Captain John Smith sailed up the Potomac River, probably as far as Great Falls. Two groups of Indians inhabited the county in Smith’s time the Piscataways, whose villages ranged from the Anacostia River southward into Charles and St. Mary’s counties and the warlike Susquehannocks, who roamed and hunted in the northern part of the county, constantly pressing the Piscataways for more and more land.

John Smith’s visit in 1608 was an exploring expedition only no settlement was intended. Over the next 25 years, English traders paid frequent calls upon the Indians here, sometimes to trade, sometimes to fight. But the most significant early contact came in 1634, just days after the first Maryland colonists landed near the mouth of the Potomac River. Advised by an English trader to seek permission from the Piscataways before establishing a settlement there, Governor Leonard Calvert sailed up the Potomac to the tribe’s principal town, located on Piscataway Creek in the southern part of Prince George’s County. Governor Calvert established good relations with the Piscataways, and with their permission he returned downriver to found St. Mary’s City, Maryland’s first settlement.  
Written by: 
Alan Virta

National Colonial Farm Accokeek
Belair Mansion Bowie
Belair Stable Museum Bowie
Bowie Train Museum Bowie
Cedarville State Forest Brandywine
Poplar Hill Clinton
Surratt House Museum Clinton
Fort Washington Park Fort Washington
Marietta House Museum Glenn Dale
Northampton Plantation Lake Arbor
Fort Foote Park Oxon Hill
Oxon Hill Farm Oxon Hill
Oxon Hill Manor Oxon Hill
Riversdale Riverdale Park
Billingsley House Museum Upper Marlboro
Darnall’s Chance House Museum Upper Marlboro
Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary Upper Marlboro
Mount Airy Mansion Upper Marlboro


Baltimore County:

Baltimore is an independent city and the largest city in the state of Maryland. The city is located in central Maryland along the tidal portion of the Patapsco River, an arm of the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore is sometimes referred to as Baltimore City in order to distinguish it from surrounding Baltimore County. Founded in 1729, Baltimore is a major U.S. seaport and is situated closer to major Midwestern markets than any other major seaport on the East Coast. Baltimore’s Inner Harbor was once the second leading port of entry for immigrants to the United States and a major manufacturing center. The harbor is now home to the Harborplace, a shopping, entertainment, and tourist center, and the National Aquarium in Baltimore. After a decline in manufacturing industries, Baltimore shifted to aservice sector-oriented economy. Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Hospital are now the city’s largest employers.
Written by: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltimore

Ballestone/Stansbury House Baltimore
Baltimore City Baltimore
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum Baltimore
Carroll Mansion Baltimore
Cromwell Valley Park Baltimore
Edgar Allan Poe Museum Baltimore
Fort Howard Park Baltimore
Fort Mchenry Baltimore
Garrett Jacobs Mansion Baltimore
Mount Clare Museum House Baltimore
Star-Spangled Banner Flag House Baltimore
Westminster Hall & Burying Ground Baltimore
Banneker Historical Park and Museum Catonsville
Oregon Ridge Park and Nature Center Cockeysville
Battle Acre Park Dundalk
Perry Hall Mansion Perry Hall
Fort Garrison Pikesville
Hampton National Historic Site Towson


Hartford County:

Harford County was formed in 1773 from the eastern part of Baltimore County. It contains Tudor Hall, birthplace of Abraham Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth. Harford County also hosted the signers of the Bush Declaration, a precursor document to the American Revolution.

The county was named for Henry Harford (ca. 1759-1834), illegitimate son of Frederick Calvert, 6th Baron Baltimore. Harford was the last Proprietary Governor of Maryland, but did not inherit his father’s title because of his illegitimacy.  Havre de Grace, an incorporated city in Harford County, was once under consideration to be the capital of the United States rather thanWashington, D.C.. It was favored for its strategic location at the top of the Chesapeake Bay; this location would facilitate trade while being secure in time of war. Today, the waterways around Havre de Grace have been silted, one of the primary environmental issues of Harford County.  Written by:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harford_County,_Maryland

U.S. Army Ordnance Museum Aberdeen
Liriodendron Bel Air
MA & PA Heritage Trail Bel Air
Concord Pt. Lighthouse Havre de Grace
Havre de Grace Decoy Museum Havre de Grace
Maritime Museum Havre de Grace
Stepping Stone Museum Havre de Grace
Susquehanna Museum Havre de Grace
Susquehanna State Park Havre de Grace
Jerusalem Mill Village Kingsville
Rocks State Park Jarrettsville
Ladew Topiary Gardens Monkton
Eden Mill Park Nature Ctr Pylesville


Frederick County:

Frederick County was created in 1748 from parts of Prince George’s County and Baltimore County. In 1776, Frederick County was divided into three parts. The westernmost portion became Washington County, named after George Washington, the easternmost portion became Montgomery County, named after another Revolutionary War general, Richard Montgomery. The central portion remained Frederick County.  In 1837 a part of Frederick County was combined with a part of Baltimore County to form Carroll County.
Written by: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_County,_Maryland

Fort Frederick Big Pool
Brunswick Railroad Museum Brunswick
Gathland State Park Burkittsville
South Mountain Heritage Society Burkittsville
National Shrine Grotto of Lourdes Emmitsburg
National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Emmitsburg
Barbara Fritchie House Frederick
Beatty Cramer House Frederick
Bjorlee Museum Frederick
Hessian Barracks Frederick
Jug Bridge Monument Park Frederick
Laboring Sons Memorial Ground Frederick
Monocacy National Battlefield Frederick
Mount Olivet Cemetery Frederick
National Museum of Civil War Medicine Frederick
Roger Brooke Taney House Frederick
Rose Hill Manor Museums Frederick
Schifferstadt Architectural Museum Frederick
C&O Canal National Historical Park Hagerstown
Catoctin Aqueduct Jefferson
Lander Lock House Jefferson
Central Maryland Heritage League Middletown
Fox’s Gap Middletown
South Mountain State Battlefield Park Middletown
Washington Monument State Park Middletown
Point of Rocks Railroad Station Point of Rocks
Catoctin Furnace State Park Thurmont
Cunningham Falls State Park Thurmont
American Red Cross Frederick Chapter Walkersville



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