Where to Celebrate Maryland Day in Every County
Maryland Day is the anniversary of when the first European settlers landed in Maryland on March 25th, 1634. Celebrate Maryland Day by visiting a historic place in each of our state’s 23 counties and one independent city.
Allegany County: George Washington’s Headquarters
Located in Cumberland, this log cabin was home to George Washington during the French and Indian War. The cabin was built by General Edward Braddock’s men for colonel Washington during the conflict; Washington used it then and once again in 1794. The cabin itself is closed to the public, but visitors can walk the grounds to learn more about the history of the structure.
Anne Arundel County: Historic London Town & Gardens
London Town was founded in 1683 as the seat of Anne Arundel County. Buildings and businesses opened up as the town grew during the colonial era. Today, visitors to Historic London Town & Gardens in Edgewater can tour the William Brown House, Carpenter Shop, Lord Mayor’s Tenement, kitchen garden, ropewalk, and tobacco barn.
Baltimore City: Edgar Allan Poe House & Museum
The Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum is a National Historic Landmark. Visitors can tour the home of the acclaimed Baltimore poet by appointment only. The house is expertly preserved as the original fabric that lined the walls from when Poe lived there (1833-1835) still remains. Exhibits in the house speak about Edgar Allan Poe’s life and death in Baltimore.
Baltimore County: Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum
Located on Oella Avenue in Baltimore, the Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum tells the story of Benjamin Banneker, a sixteenth-century mathematician, astronomer, abolition advocate, and much more. He is oftentimes considered the first African American man of science.
There is a colonial log cabin, a restored 19th-century farmhouse, and an herb garden in the park. Click here for ideas on things to do nearby.
Calvert County: Calvert County Marine Museum
This museum exhibits the history of the Chesapeake Bay as it relates to the Calvert County area. It has displays on the first Indigenous Peoples’ interactions with the water, the colonial settlers’ impact on the land, and the tools used by the various inhabitants of the region over the years.
Bring the family and hunt for shark teeth at Calvert Cliffs while you’re in the area.
Caroline County: Museum of Rural Life
Located in Denton, the Museum of Rural Life discusses the significance of agriculture in Caroline County’s history. There are four historic houses that visitors can explore: the Taylor-Brown House, Painter’s Range, Chance’s Desire, and Skillington’s Right. All the houses were built towards the end of the eighteenth century.
Carroll County: Carroll County Almshouse and Farm
Also called the Carroll County Farm Museum, this historic farm in Westminster consists of 15 houses. While some of the buildings were used for residence, others were used as a blacksmith, a smokehouse, and an ice house. The Almshouse was founded in 1852 and the Farm museum opened in 1965.
Cecil County: John F. DeWitt Military Museum
Located in Elkton, the John F. DeWitt Military Museum houses military memorabilia from the Revolutionary War up to Desert Storm. The museum is named after Sheriff John F. DeWitt, who collected military items for much of his life. The museum is now run by the Historical Society of Cecil County.
Charles County: Thomas Stone National Historic Site
The Thomas Stone National Historic Site was home to Thomas Stone, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Stone bought the plot of land in 1770; construction of a house began soon later. The house was occupied by the Stone family until 1936 and became a National Historic Landmark in 1971. Learn more here.
Dorchester County: Harriet Tubman Museum and Educational Center
This Cambridge museum is a tribute to Harriet Tubman and her life. and tells the story of Tubman’s courage and bravery as she operated on the Underground Railroad. It also houses a beautiful mural of the abolitionist.
Frederick County: National Museum of Civil War Medicine
Located in Frederick, the National Museum of Civil War Medicine displays the tools and practices used by doctors and nurses during the Civil War. The museum came about after husband and wife Gordon and Karen Dammann collected civil war artifacts for many years.
They later turned their collection into the museum that now exists in Frederick County; the doors were first opened to the public in 1996. Learn more about the museum here.
Garrett County: James Drane House
James Drane House, which resides in Accident, was constructed in 1798 by Colonel William Lamar. It was the first log structure built in the town. The Colonel gave the house to his sister Pricilla and her husband, James Drane, both of whom were the first settlers in Accident. The James Drane House was last occupied in 1952, and in 1985, it entered the National Register of Historical Places. Reconstruction began soon after and the dedication for the restored house was held on September 24, 1994. Tours of the James Drane House are available by appointment.
Harford County: Historic Jerusalem Mill Village
Historic Jerusalem Mill Village is located in Kingsville. The village consists of Grist Mill, Miller’s House, Blacksmith Forge, a Tenant House, McCourtney’s General Store, Jerusalem Mansion, Bank Barn, Springhouse, a two-story Smokehouse/Dairy, and another residence.
All the buildings were constructed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and were once run by a Quaker community.
Howard County: The Baltimore and Ohio Ellicott City Station Museum
Located in Historic Ellicott City, this depot, built in 1831, is the oldest remaining passenger railway station in the nation and one of the oldest in the world. Visitors can see the freight agent’s living quarters, the Provost Marshall’s Office, Telegraph/Ticket Office, Men’s Waiting Room, and Car House. The Freight House contains an HO-scale model of the first thirteen miles of track from Baltimore to Ellicott’s Mills (now Ellicott City), and a 1927 Caboose, which once operated on the B&O Line.
Kent County: Massey Air Museum
The mission of the Massey Air Museum is “to preserve for public enjoyment and education the history of small-town grassroots aviation in the United States.” The museum resides in Massey, Maryland. There are many small aircraft that visitors can examine, and planes are flown at the airport outside the building even today. The museum also restores antique aircraft.
Click here for a sample itinerary on how to spend a weekend on Maryland’s Upper Shore.
Montgomery County: C&O Canal National Historical Park
Spanning 184.5 miles, the C&O Canal National Historic Park is open year-round to visitors. The canal was one of the first large-scale civil engineering projects in the country.
There are ample opportunities for hiking, walking, touring, and learning at this historical park. Fun fact: you can even book a stay in a historic lockhouse along the canal!
Prince George’s County: Marietta House Museum
The Marietta House Museum once belonged to Supreme Court Justice Gabriel Duvall and is located in Glenn Dale, Maryland. The museum exhibits the history of multiple generations—both free and enslaved—who lived and labored on the grounds of Marietta Manors. The grounds and library are open to the public. The mission statement of the group is to nurture “social justice advocacy through understanding current social inequities and their historical origins.”
Queen Anne’s County: James E Kirwan Museum
Located in Chester on Kent Island, this museum was once home to James E. Kirwan, a Maryland State Senator. Kirwan served from 1900 to 1908. The house, with the store next door, was the middle ground for trade as coal and lumber were transported through the Chester and Dominion communities to other locations. Kirwan’s granddaughter granted the house to the Kent Island Heritage Society.
St. Mary’s County: St. Clement’s Island Museum
This museum resides on the island where the first European settlers arrived in Maryland. The St. Clement’s Island Museum tells the history of the English settlers who left Europe to escape political and religious persecution; it also tells the story of how the First Lord Baltimore led those settlers to make a colony. Also detailed is the passage of the Ark and Dove as the two ships sailed across the Atlantic to reach Maryland.
Somerset County: Teackle Mansion
Located in Princess Anne, Maryland, Teackle Mansion is a nineteenth-century estate. Built in the Neoclassical style, the mansion housed some of the wealthiest individuals on the Eastern Shore.
The venue is mainly used for weddings and meetings, but visitors can still tour the mansion on the weekends to get an understanding of the life lived by the wealthy eighteenth-century inhabitants.
Talbot County: The Classic Motor Museum
The Classic Motor Museum in St. Michaels exhibits the history of America’s automobile innovation.
Unique automobiles displayed in the museum include a child-friendly 1931 American LaFrance Firetruck, a 1917 Maxwell, a 1969 Boss 429 Mustang, and much more. The Exhibit Barn, which houses the cars, was completed in 2014.
Click here to read about one family’s trip to the Classic Motor Museum.
Washington County—Antietam National Battlefield
Antietam National Battlefield in Sharpsburg was the location of the bloodiest day of battle during the Civil War.
Visitors to the battlefield can hike some of the various trails or learn more about the history of the war by touring the Pry House Field Hospital Museum, Dunker Church, or National Cemetery.
Wicomico County—Poplar Hill Mansion
A public property of Salisbury, Maryland, Poplar Hill Mansion is a historic house and museum. Poplar Hill is a remnant of eighteenth-century Salisbury, as the museum exhibits different artifacts from the Federal Era. The Keeping Room, the Parlor, the Smokehouse, and Dr. Huston’s Surgery room are but some of the rooms available for tours.
Worcester County—Furnace Town
Furnace Town Historic Site encompasses the Nassawango Iron Furnace. The furnace was used by miners, sawyers, colliers, molders, draymen, and bargemen in the early 1800s.
The town granted jobs to hundreds of workers at the furnace. Although the site decayed in the subsequent decades, restoration began in the 1960s. A group called Furnace Town Foundation Inc. was formed in 1982 to run and manage the historic site.
Click here to read more about Maryland’s industrial history.
The original version of this article was first published on PreservationMaryland.org.
Lead Photo: Katie Lomax
About the Author
Dana Cohen is the director of communications at Preservation Maryland. She works with their team and partners to tell the stories about their important preservation work and highlight what makes Maryland’s historic buildings, communities, and landscapes special. She currently lives in Towson with her husband, two kids, and two cats in a quaint cape cod.