Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Celebrate St. Mary's County's Heritage!

Mark your calendar now for St. Clement’s Island Heritage Day on Saturday, June 12.  St. Clement’s Island is the site of Maryland’s first colonial landing in 1634 and during Heritage Day, visitors will learn more about the founding colonists through fun interactive activities! 

Take a free boat ride aboard the historic wooden oyster buy boat to St. Clement’s Island, Birthplace of Maryland. Departures from the St. Clement’s Island Museum pier begin at10 a.m. and end at 2:30 p.m.  On the island, see the reconstructed Blackistone Lighthouse, a replica of the original built by John Donahoo in 1851, and the 40-foot commemorative cross dedicated by Governor Albert Richie in 1934 in honor of Maryland's 300th birthday, which recognizes St. Clement's Island as the birthplace of religious toleration in America.

Enjoy the scenic and natural beauty of the island, Potomac River, and waterfowl with a walk along the hiking trail or picnic at the pavilion or any of the tables dotting the island shore. The recreated Blackistone Lighthouse will be open and available for tours from 10:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wear comfortable walking shoes, sun screen, and bring plenty of water (available for sale on the island and in the museum store). Pack a picnic lunch and bring the camera for some scenic and relaxing island fun!

The kids will enjoy playing heritage games and listening to the folk tunes of Joe Norris from noon to 2 p.m. Other participants include Frank Maio with information and gear of the colonial militia, Coby Treadway from Historic St. Mary’s City with hands-on learning about the Native Americans, and colonial reenactors portraying the island’s first owner Dr. Thomas Gerard and his daughter Elizabeth. Don’t miss author Pete Imirie signing his book “Touch the Wind” and sharing his fond childhood memories of St. Clement’s. Books are available for purchase in the museum store.

In addition, the St. Clement's Island Museum will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is handicap accessible (the island is not handicap accessible). A 13-minute orientation film will give you a comprehensive history of the island and the building of the Blackistone Lighthouse replica. Admission to the museum is free for this event. Meet Maureen Appleby, an artist whose artwork depicts life near St. Clement’s Island. The Crab Claw Museum Store offers an array of unique gifts, souvenirs, home decor, clothing, jewelry, books, and so much more. 

Located on the museum grounds will be the St. Mary’s County Master Gardeners with free Black-eyed Susan seed packets and abundant information about how to raise and maintain Maryland’s official state flower.

The St. Clement’s Island Museum is located at 38370 Point Breeze Road in Colton’s Point, MD. For more information please call the St. Mary's County Museum Division at 301-769-2222 or visit
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