Monday, January 25, 2010

CSM's Friday Night Lecture Series: The Civil War Comes to St. Mary's County

On January 29 at 7 p.m., the College of Southern Maryland Friday Night Lecture Series will present CSM President, Dr. Bradley Gottfried, who will speak about "The Civil War Comes to St. Mary's County."  St. Mary’s County played an important role in the Civil War and his lecture will describe the events that occurred in St. Mary’s County from the landing of Federal troops at Leonardtown in 1861 through the release of the Confederate prisoners at Point Lookout Prisoner of War Camp in 1865. Using illustrations and maps, Dr. Gottfried will describe the occupation of St. Mary’s County by Federal troops, smuggling activities, arrests of local citizens, recruitment into the armies, and the economic hardships during this turbulent period in St. Mary’s County’s history. This is an “encore performance” as Dr. Gottfried’s presentation at the Sotterley Plantation was filled to capacity in November.

The lecture will be held in the Auditorium in Building A at the College of Southern Maryland's Leonardtown Campus, which is located at 22950 Hollywood Road in Leonardtown.  For more information, contact CSM at 301-934-7703, 240-725-5499, 443-550-6199, 301-870-2309 ext. 7703 or visit

Friday, January 22, 2010

Maryland to Kentucky Reunion Will Be Returning to St. Mary's County

On July 16th, 17th, and 18th, the Maryland to Kentucky Reunion will be back in St. Mary's County, the home of their forefathers, for the 2010 reunion.

The story begins back in 1785 when a group of families from the Southern Maryland counties of St. Mary's, Charles, and Prince George's formed a "league" pledging to migrate to Kentucky.  Their reasons for moving included plundering by the British during the Revolutionary War, depletion of available land in Maryland, and anti-Catholic bias.  John Carroll, the Bishop of Baltimore, told them if they would settle together he would do what he could to supply them with a priest.  These pioneers settled in what are now the Kentucky counties of Nelson, Washington, and Marion, an area still known as the "Kentucky Holy Lands."

The descendants of the Maryland to Kentucky pioneers began holding reunions back in 1990 as a way to meet each other and share family stories.  The first reunion, which was held in Nazareth, Kentucky, was so successful that the group has held reunions once every two years ever since.  The reunion draws genealogists of all faiths, bringing together an average of 500 researchers and their families from more than 40 states.  The reunion was held in St. Mary's County in 1992, 2000, and 2006.

The reunion will be returning to St. Mary's County from Friday, July 16 through Sunday, July 18.  The Maryland to Kentucky planning committee would like St. Mary's County residents to join them in "welcoming home" the returning descendants.  The reunion participants, who will be traveling from all over the country, are coming not only to see the land their forefathers left behind but to meet their St. Mary's County "cousins" as well.  They will want to talk to the "stay behinds" and will be seeking help from local community members as they research their roots.

Those who are interested in participating in the reunion events, which include a Welcome Home reception on Friday night, dinner Saturday night, and breakfast on Sunday morning, can register on the Maryland to Kentucky Reunion website at  All events will take place at the Leonardtown Volunteer Fire Department Social Hall, which is located at 22733 Lawrence Avenue in Leonardtown.

For more information, please visit or stop by the Leonardtown Town Office, which is located at 41660 Courthouse Drive in Leonardtown.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Black History Celebration Kicks-off Sotterley's 2010 Speaker Series

The 2010 Speaker Series at Sotterley will kick-off with “FREE at Last! Black History Celebration!” on Saturday, February 6th, 2010 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. This event is free to the public and recounts the days of slavery, as well as the impact of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s. There is something for all ages - dramatic portrayals, a spirit lifting gospel choir performance, hands-on learning, children’s activities, and tours of the original 1830’s Slave Cabin.

Sandi English will revive her character performance of “Mammy Reminiscence” at 11 a.m. in the Customs Warehouse. Having mastered the art of African-American storytelling, she and her daughter Liana English will transport guests back in time to when slaves risked all to make their way to freedom. At 1 p.m. and
3 p.m., Ms. English will take on the persona of “Grandma Wisdom,” who recounts the significance of the more modern-day revolution for equality to her questioning granddaughter.

Lifting their voices in soulful praise, members of the St. Peter’s Claver Gospel Choir from Ridge will perform. Established in 1977, this well-known choir combines old and new age gospel, raising the spirits of all.

Education Director Carolyn Hoey will give Slave Cabin Tours featuring slave inventories, new findings from this past summer’s restoration, and a hands-on exhibit of tools and household items used by the slaves.

The 2010 Speaker Series at Sotterley Plantation is sponsored by the Boeing Company.

For more information, contact Sotterley Plantation at 800-681-0850 or 301-373-2280 or visit

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Leonardtown First Friday and Valentine's Special

Leonardtown businesses will stay open late for the February First Friday on February 5.  From 5 p.m. until 9 p.m., browse historic Leonardtown's art galleries, restaurants, cafes, gift shops, antique shops, bookstores, and more.  Many of the shops and restaurants also showcase live music, local artists, and/or offer specials during First Fridays.  The event includes shops located in downtown Leonardtown as well as stores along Route 5 in the Maryland Antiques Center buildings, Breton Marketplace, and Leonardtown Shopping Center.

From now until February 5, participating businesses are accepting raffle tickets to enter to win a Valentine's Special - a Valentine's Get-Away Weekend Give-Away.  The giveaway includes one night’s stay at the Executive Inn and Suites in Leonardtown, dinner at Cafe des Artistes, lunch at the Vineyard Cafe and Tea Room, gift certificates from North End Gallery, Maryland Antiques Center, and Shelby’s Framing & Turning Leaf Gallery, and a weaving demonstration at Treadles Studio.  The winning name will be drawn during the February 5 First Friday. 

Pick up a free raffle ticket at one of these participating businesses: Arizona Pizza Company, Southern Maryland Artisans Center, Brewing Grounds, Cafe des Artistes, Church of the Nazarene, Colleen's Dream, College of Southern Maryland, Fenwick Street Used Books and Music, Good Earth Natural Foods, The Shops of Maryland Antiques Center, Creekside Gallery, Leonardtown Galleria, Vineyard Cafe and Tea Room, North End Gallery, Old Towne Crafters, On A Roll, Quality Street Kitchens, Shelby's Creative Framing, Treadles Studio, White Rabbit Children's Bookstore.

For more information, contact the Town of Leonardtown at 301-475-9791 or visit

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Grand Opening Celebration at Olde Towne Stitchery

The Olde Towne Stitchery, a new quilt and fabric shop in Leonardtown, will be holding a Grand Opening Celebration on January 15 and 16.  During the celebration, customers will be able to do "make it and take it" projects and will also receive 20% off all items in the store.  Plus, on Friday, January 15, at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m., the Vice President of Sales for AvLyn Fabrics will give demonstrations on how fabrics are made and will have a "trunk show" featuring new fabrics that will be available for purchase soon.

The Olde Towne Stitchery is located at 41665 Fenwick Street in Leonardtown and, in addition to selling quilt-making materials and fabrics, the store offers classes and other special events throughout the year.  Each month, the store is featuringf a Block of the Month, which is where the store chooses a quilt block and customers can get directions and materials for making the block.  Then, at the end of the year, the customer has 12 blocks and can create a quilt from them.  Customers can also reserve a Group Shopping Hour, which gives groups of five people or more an hour in the store with the undivided attention of the store's staff, ensuring that the group gets the advice they need from other quilters.  The Olde Towne Stitchery is also going to participate in First Fridays in Leonardtown, so be sure to stop by during First Fridays.

For more information, contact the Olde Towne Stitchery at 301-475-0005 or visit

Annual Store-Wide Sale at Traditions

Traditions of Loveville is holding its annual January store-wide sale!  From now until January 31, customers will receive anywhere from 10% to 50% off of items throughout the store including furniture and home accessories.  At Traditions of Loveville, you will find beautiful home furnishings and lifestyle pieces to add character and style to your home.  Traditions sells manufacturers' lines including Butler, Flexsteel, Hickory Chair, Lane, Sherrill Leather, and many more.

For more information, contact Traditions of Loveville at 301-475-8280 or visit

Friday, January 8, 2010

Chanteys and Chowder Benefit Maryland Dove

On January 16, Jane Meneely and Paul DiBlassi, playing together as Calico Jack, will perform in the State House at St. Mary’s City. The dynamic duo from Annapolis offer traditional and original music inspired by the Chesapeake Bay. Chanteyman Don Kenefick will offer a rousing “warm up” for the winter event. The evening’s proceeds will benefit the Maryland Dove, the iconic tall ship at Historic St. Mary’s City.

The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. Soups and sausages will be on sale beginning at 6:30. Plan to come early and dine in the company of friends and the cozy State House ambiance. Admission to the concert is $15 ($12 for Friends). A la carte entrée items are $4.

Please R.S. V.P. by contacting Will Gates at For more information about Historic St. Mary’s City, visit, or call 240-895-4990.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Legends and Lore Tours at Sotterley Plantation

Over the years, many have lived at Sotterley Plantation … and died. Some have gone to their rest, yet others continue to be restless. On Saturday, January 23rd, Education Director, Carolyn Hoey will lead guests on this eerie after-hours tour experience through the over 300 year old Mansion.

Over the past few years, the Legends and Lore Tours have grown in popularity, with visitors coming from both near and far. At various times, some have had “experiences” of their own while taking this tour. For those who have longed to hear about actual spirit sightings from past to present at Sotterley Plantation, this is the tour to take. Stories of unexplained happenings will be shared, providing guests with enough information to decide whether or not they believe.

Space on the tours is limited and visitors must be ages 16 and up.  Tickets are $20 per person.  There will be two tours.  The first tour begins at 5 p.m. and the second tour begins at 7 p.m.  Reservations are required.  For more information, contact Sotterley Plantation at 301-373-2280 or visit