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Belated but fun: Celebrate Maryland Day in the Annapolis area this weekend

Date: Capital Gazette, April 5, 2018, E.B. Furgurson III

Well, better late than never, right?

Maryland Day falls on March 25. That’s the date on which we recognize the founding of the Maryland colony on St. Clement’s Island in today’s St. Mary’s County in 1634.

But, it will be this weekend that local historic sites and groups mark the arrival of the colonists’ ships Ark and Dove on these shores with a boatload of activities and events — all free or just $1.

You and the family can visit the State House, witness a Maryland Day flag-raising at Susan Campbell Park, try making rope at Historic London Town and Gardens, or take a guided tour of Brewer Hill Cemetery, the resting place of many members of the city’s African-American community. And there are more than a dozen other activities.

The first colonists landed on an island in the Potomac River after a four-month voyage from the Isle of Wight. Thankful, they erected a cross on St. Clement’s Island.They arranged to purchase land overlooking the nearby river, now the St. Mary’s River, from the local Yaocomaco peoples. St. Mary’s City was built on this site.

The colonists’ arrival day, March 25, became an official state holiday in 1916.

This weekend the folks at the Four Rivers Heritage Area have arranged with local sites to open their doors for free, or for a $1 fee.

Here’s a sampling of the events Friday through Sunday.


At the Annapolis Maritime Museum, 723 Second St., Annapolis.11 a.m. to 3 p.m.:

Did you know most oysters we eat are “made in Maryland”? Visit the museum’s docks and prepare to get wet and muddy as you discover oysters and learn about and touch these Chesapeake critters. Free admission, appropriate for kids and adults.

At Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, 801 Chase St. Annapolis. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., through Sunday:

Enjoy Maryland Hall’s first all-video exhibition, “Glistening: Nature Mirrored in Video Art.”

Glimmers in the vastness of outer space, tide side shadows, sun-drenched forests at dawn, shifts prompted by seasonal cycles — all are among the inspirations for this selection of new media artwork from the collection of Tom and Kitty Stoner.

Explore how artists from around the world bring the glories of the great outdoors inside at installations in and around Maryland Hall galleries.

Exhibition Curator Kelly Gordon said, “The diversity of the Stoner Collection provides a lively primer for anyone curious about this flourishing dimension of recent art.” Free.


Start the day with a Maryland Day flag-raising ceremony, 10 a.m. at Susan Campbell Park at City Dock. It will feature the Annapolis Drum and Bugle Corps and flag detail by the award-winning U.S. Naval Academy League Cadets of the Training Ship Mercedes. Free.

Historic London Town and Gardens, 839 Londontown Road, Edgewater. 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.:
The historic site of a port and vital transportation link in the early Colonial period is open for Maryland Day, Friday through Sunday, for $1 admission, free for members.

On Saturday and Sunday, you can visit and try making rope, watch musketry demonstrations, smell fresh Colonial-style hearth cooking, buy handmade furniture from a master carpenter and explore the site’s beautiful gardens.

Watermark Tours, Susan Campbell Park, City Dock, Annapolis. 10:30 a.m.:
At Susan Campbell Park, start a 2.1-mile ramble — the “Annapolis in 100 Memorials” Watermark Tour — with Squire Richard, aka former Annapolis Mayor Richard Hillman, as he leads a throng immediately after the flag-raising, highlighting 11 of the sites in Annapolis. Reservations are not required. Rain or shine. Free.

Banneker-Douglass Museum, 84 Franklin St., Annapolis. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.:
Take in the permanent exhibit: “Deep Roots, Rising Waters: A Celebration of African-Americans in Maryland.” Learn how African-Americans throughout Maryland, from 1634 through the present day, made lasting changes for all Americans.

Brewer Hill Cemetery, 802 West St. Annapolis. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.:
Guided tours on the hour of the cemetery. Learn more about those interred there, including founders, casualties of the Revolutionary and Civil wars, and other members of the African-American community. Learn more about research and preservation efforts.

The cemetery is gathering information about those buried there and encourages their descendants to bring photos, material from family Bibles and oral histories for inclusion in a memorial website. Free.

Hogshead, 43 Pinkney St. Annapolis. 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.:
Learn what life was like for the “lower and middling sort” in early Maryland through an interactive experience with guides dressed in Colonial attire. There will be opportunities to see and handle authentic and reproduction artifacts. Free.


Many events on Sunday are repeats of Saturday activities.

William Paca House and Garden, 186 Prince George St. Noon to 4 p.m.:
The year is 1781, and you are invited to a wedding: that of Julianna Jennings and James Brice, a union truly “made in Maryland.” After the wedding, meet Paca House’s living history interpreters and enjoy hands-on activities. There is a $1 fee.

Deale Area Historic Society, 389 Deale Road, Tracy’s Landing. 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.:
Get a glimpse into rural life in the late 1800s to early 1900s. Visit a two-room home, a one-room school, an African-American beneficial society building, an outhouse, a tobacco barn, a Russian Orthodox chapel and other smaller buildings that were all part of of life in the country. Free.

Galesville Heritage Society, 988 Main Street, Galesville. 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.:
Over 350 years of history of colonists, slaves, mariners and merchants can be found in this seaside village. At 2 p.m., John Murray Colhoun, a 12th- generation farmer and owner of Ivy Neck Farm, will talk about his great-great-great grandfather freeing 77 slaves upon his death, and the court battle that ensued.

At Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts will host its ninth annual ArtFest Open House form 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., with performances, art demonstrations, gallery events and hands-on activities, including children’s crafts. Events include a children’s drama and theater showcase; monoprinting: a hands-on children’s art project; the Maple Academy of Irish Dance; an on-stage showcase; hand-building and pottery wheel demonstrations; drawing and painting demonstrations; Ballet Theater of Maryland performances; plus food trucks and ice cream.

For further details on all the weekend’s events go to

Please click here to view the article on the Capital Gazette's website. 



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