St. Michaels Museum Annual Meeting on April 8

The St. Michaels Museum Annual Meeting will take place at the Community Room of the St. Michaels Library on Sunday, April 8th from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. There will be a short business meeting followed by a presentation by Harriette Lowery. Ms. Lowery is on the board of the Frederick Douglass Honor Society and is the Chair of the Frederick Douglass 200th Anniversary celebration committee. Her presentation will include slides about the celebration activities and the Frederick Douglass Honor Society. After her presentation, refreshments will be served.

The public is invited to attend.The St. Michaels Museum promotes the unique history of St. Michaels and the Bay Hundred area and is located at 201 East Chestnut Street. The Museum will reopen May 1st or by appointment for walking tours. For more information, please call 410-745-9561 or visit

St. Michaels Harvest Community Supper Is Back by Popular Demand

After a successful first year the St. Michaels Museum will hold its second Harvest Supper on Saturday, October 21, at 4pm at the Union United Methodist Church Hall next to the church on Fremont Street in St. Michaels.

Chef and Spirit Grower, Jena Paice, will again provide a hearty autumnal soup, and Chef Jeannie Butler will provide fresh baked breads. Other volunteers will round out the meal with homemade salads and desserts.

Advertising and Folk Art on a building in St Michel in early 1900s.

This celebration of St. Michael’s past emphasizes the early 1900s.  There will be a collection of the museum’s historic photos of St. Michaels on display.  After the meal there will be a presentation that continues on the theme “St. Michaels, a Watermen’s Village”, delivered by local historian Betty Seymour and museum curator, Kate Fones.  Topics presented will include early maps of St. Michaels, town streetscapes, churches, schools, businesses, plus photos of early homes.

This event will be a wonderful way to learn more about St. Michaels lively history and to enjoy a gathering of old friends and new.

You can make reservations through our email address: or by calling 410-745-0530.  Tickets are $25 per person and should be sent to:  St. Michaels Museum, Box 714, St. Michaels, MD 21663.  To become a sponsor of this event and receive two tickets, send $75.  Your contribution helps support the many programs of the museum.

St Michaels to Celebrate An Old Fashioned Independence Day

Join the festivities at St. Michaels Museum on Tuesday, July 4 at 10am in Historic St Mary’s Square in St Michaels.  Events begin with a Children’s Parade.  Patriotically dressed entrants are encouraged to bring decked-out bicycles, tricycles, wagons, and pets. Parade participants are asked to arrive at 9:30.

Uncle Sam leads the parade, followed by Maggie, an antique fire engine supplied by the St Michaels Fire Department.  Cars will be re-routed away from the five-block parade route through town.

Back at St. Michaels Museum the program will begin at 11am.  Boy Scouts from Troop 741 will raise the flag and lead the Pledge of Allegiance.  Following a benediction, patriotic and folk songs will be performed by the Royal Oak Musicians.   Guest speaker, Pete Lesher, Chesapeake Maritime Museum Curator, will speak on “Independence and America’s Open Door”.  After we close the program, Magician John Dodge will perform, and the Phillips Wharf Fishmobile will be on hand to show the kids many of the creatures that live in around the bay.  The St Michaels Museum will be open free of charge, and refreshments will be available from the St Michaels Fire Department and the Highland Creamery.

For more information call 410-745-0530

St. Michaels Museum Opening on May 6

Betty and Gerge Seymour, 2016

St. Michaels Museum will open for its 2017 season on Saturday May 6th.  An official opening reception will be held from 2 to 4 PM and will include information of the events plans for the 2017 season.  This will be followed by guided tours of the Museum led by the Curator, Kate Fones.  There will be an old-time Social with light refreshments and time for neighbors, part time residents and visitors to get together with the Museum Board members.  This event is open to everyone and is free of charge.

The opening exhibit will be on George and Betty Seymour, two St. Michaels’ natives who have contributed so much to St. Michaels’ Museum and Talbot County.  The Museum and St. Michaels are fortunate to have two such talented and dedicated people in our community. This exhibit will be a chance to learn a great deal about St. Michaels and Talbot County.

George, born in St. Michaels, went to public schools in St. Michaels and Baltimore.  He graduated from Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College) in 1950 and earned a masters degree in social work from the University of Pennsylvania in 1952. During his retirement George became fascinated with Frederick Douglass’s early ties to Talbot County especially his three years in St. Michaels (1833-1836) and his post Civil War visits to St. Michaels and Easton.  George researched and created a 2007 Frederick Douglass Walking Tour in St. Michaels under the auspices of the St Michaels Museum. It became a popular fixture for the museum and is still offered by the museum.  George went on to start a campaign in 2008 to have the State Highway Rt. 33 to be dedicated to Frederick Douglass.  The state officially adopted the dedication in October 2009 at the St. Michaels Museum’s fundraiser at Wye House (Frederick Douglass’ Return to Wye House).  At the same time George went on to write the 24 page booklet, A Walk With Frederick Douglass Around St. Michaels that was published in 2009. George paid for the printing and then gave the rights to the booklet and several copies of the booklet to the St. Michaels Museum. The Museum still sells the booklets.

Betty went to St. Michaels’ elementary school in 1938 when it was still on St. Mary’s Square and graduated from St. Michaels High School in 1949. She studied nursing at Easton hospital and graduated there with a nursing degree in 1952.  George and Betty married in 1952 after they received their degrees and worked on the western shore for nineteen years before they were able to move back to their hometown, St. Michaels in 1971.  They continued their careers here, George as a social worker and Betty as an operating room nurse at Memorial Hospital in Easton.

In 1984 Betty began researching her family history.  Betty’s family goes back to the early days of Talbot County.  She is a descendent of the Harrison Family, Blades family, and Morris family of St. Michaels, that intermarried with several local families.  Betty began volunteering for Talbot County Free Library’s Maryland Room in Easton.  During the 1990s she became involved with publishing historical records and became active in the Upper Shore Genealogical Society.  In 1999 she became active at the St. Michaels Museum.  She has served as a board member and curator.  She was a popular walking tour guide for the museum and created a St. Michaels in 1813 walking tour.  Recently she has put together a St. Michael’s Civil War walking tour.

Museum Entrance

During 2017 the existing Frederick Douglass Exhibit “Frederick Douglass – His World 1818-1895” will remain on view in the museum’s hyphen with a few minor changes.

Plans are underway for a summer museum exhibit that will deal with St. Michaels’ Dodson family (privateer William Dodson and his father, Robert A. Dodson, boat builder and packet operator) who were active in defending our town against the British in 1813.  We will also highlight the next generation of Dodson’s, two physicians (Dr. Robert A. Dodson and Dr. C. Marion Dodson) who fought to preserve the union during the Civil War, one in the army and the other in the navy.  We are hoping to have a civil war reenactment group camping on our Museum grounds sometime this summer to complement this exhibit.

Our walking tours will continue on Saturday mornings at 10AM with alternating themes:  “Historic St. Michaels: its People, Places and Happenings” and “Frederick Douglass, a slave, in St. Michaels 1833-1836.”  Special tours for groups will continue to be available for groups at $10 per adult.  There is a minimum of $50 for small group tours) Groups of more than ten can get special rates.  Please call 410-745-0530 for information.

St Michaels Museum Annual Meeting

The St Michaels Museum will hold its annual meeting on Sunday, March 26 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the St Michaels Library.

The purpose of the meeting is to nominate and elect officers for 2017-2018 and to present an overview of activities for the upcoming year.  The museum opening will be Saturday, May 6.

Everyone is welcome to attend this informative meeting.  You do not need to be a museum member.

Our speaker for the annual meeting is Becky Riti, the Librarian of the Maryland Room at the Easton Branch of the Talbot County Free Library.

Becky will speak on the treasures of the Maryland Room and will teach us how to use them.

Some of the treasures include: a manuscript of James Michener’s CHESAPEAKE with detailed notes and drawings, an extensive collection of Maryland genealogy researched by people all over the country, and a robust vertical file that includes hard copies of local history, biographies, historic and current events.

A native of southern New Jersey, Becky has been the head librarian of the Maryland room since 2007.  She studied library science at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Light refreshments will be served.  For further information contact museum president Lynn Freeburger on 410 745-4332 or at

St. Michaels Fall Harvest Community Supper

St. Michaels Museum’s First Annual Fall Harvest Community Supper will be held Sunday, September 11th at 4 PM at the Union United Methodist Church Hall next to the church on Fremont Street. A Harvest meal prepared by Chef Jena Paice will be served. A program on St. Michaels, A hundred years ago, A unique waterman’s village will follow.

The highlight of the Supper is a hearty, harvest soup made by Jena Paice. Museum Board members will prepare salads and desserts. Baked goods will be obtained from local sources. A truly community effort!


“Three Cheers for the Red, White and Blue, St. Michaels, MD” Postcard by Thomas Sewell, 1909.

Jena Paice is a local organic farmer in McDaniel, MD. She recently began her own business – Spirit Grower at Wades Point Inn, now 2 years strong. Her main focus is organic vegetables and grass- fed lambs. Spirit Grower’s produce is sold to many of the finest farm-to-table restaurants in the area. You can also find her products every Saturday at the Saint Michaels Farmer’s Market.

A celebration of St. Michael’s past emphasizing the early 1900’s with a collection of Museum photographs will be on display in the Church Hall. In addition, after our meal there will be a power point presentation “St. Michaels: a Waterman’s Village” by local historian Betty Seymour and St. Michaels Museum Curator Kate Fones. Topics covered will be early maps of St. Michaels, town streetscapes, churches, our schools, activities, businesses, and a section of homes gathered over the years.

This is a wonderful way to learn more about St. Michaels lively history and enjoy a gathering of old friends and new. There will be time for discussions and mingling of “Natives” and “Come Heres” in the Bay Hundred region.
Reservations can be made at our email address: or by phone (410-745-0530). The cost for the event is $15 per person or consider being a sponsor @ $50 which includes two tickets. Checks can be sent to: St. Michaels Museum, PO Box 714, St. Michaels, MD 21663.

St. Michaels Traditional Independence Day Celebration On July 4th

2015 parade kids

Last year’s July 4th celebration

On Monday, July 4th, St Michaels Museum will again sponsor a traditional Independence Day Celebration at the Museum on the corner of East Chestnut Street and St. Mary’s Square.

Events will start at 10 AM with a Children’s Parade. Children and parents should arrive at 9:30 AM. We encourage festively dressed participants with decorated bicycles, tricycles, wagons and pets. Uncle Sam will lead the parade followed by the St. Michaels Fire Dept’s Antique Fire Engine, Maggie. The emphasis is having a good time and showing off for your parents, grandparents, neighbors and friends. In order to simplify and accommodate the younger children we will again use last year’s shorter route. The parade starts at St. Michaels Museum and the route is East Chestnut west to Talbot, Talbot north to Willow (just past Christ Church), Willow to Church, Church to Mulberry, Mulberry to St Mary’s Square and back to St. Michaels Museum. Additionally there will be no floats or other vehicles. It will truly be an event for the kids.

At 11AM the Traditional Program will begin with Boy Scout Troup 741 raising the flag and leading a Pledge of Allegiance at the Flag Pole in front of the Museum. A formal program will follow on the new Teetotum Porch with a benediction, patriotic and folk songs by the Royal Oak Musicians, and a speaker. This year Robert Forloney will speak on “Freedom Lies in Being Bold.”. Music will be provided by the Royal Oaks Musicians. Following the program the magician John Dodge will perform for everyone. The Phillips Wharf Fish Mobile will be available to entertain and educate the children. St Michaels Museum will be open with free admission. Refreshments will be available from the St. Michaels Fire Department and the Scottish Creamery.

For further information call 410 745 0530

St. Michaels Museum at St. Mary’s Square Opening Reception

St. Michaels Museum at St. Mary’s Square will celebrate the opening of their 2016 season with a reception at the Museum on May 7, 2016 from 2 to 4 PM with light refreshments and Free Admission. Everyone is welcome and time will be available for socializing with your neighbors, new residents and visitors. Part time residents are particularly encouraged to come and learn more about the unique waterside village that has become their adopted community. For information call 410 745 0530.

The program will include a preview of this year’s events and special exhibits. The curator will lead a tour and discussion of the 2016 highlights including the continuing popular 2015 exhibit “Frederick Douglass: His world 1818-1895 “ and the introduction of a new exhibit “St. Michaels African-American Community”.

The Exhibit St. Michaels African-American Community will highlight and honor three of the communities’ civic leaders: Judge James E. Thomas, Rosella Brooks Camper and George W. Wilson, Jr. All three served as town Commissioners. Judge Thomas and Mr. Wilson were elected Chairmen of the Commissioners during their terms. Mrs. Camper acted as town Treasurer during her term (1986-1990). All three were also active in other community organizations.

The Exhibit will emphasize the importance of Fremont St. as an early center for the schooling of the youth. The first black school was on Fremont St. in the 1860s. The first Methodist Church for the community was on Fremont St. dating back to 1852. The growth of Union United Methodist Church will be covered. The social center of the community on Fremont St. was consolidated with the establishment of the Freedom’s Friend Lodge in 1867. The lodge had an active women’s group there with the Household of Ruth. Fremont St. had a bustling commercial life from the early 1900s to the mid-20th century with an assortment of restaurants, bars and grills and beauty shops. Homes of the community with photographs will also be included.

St Michaels Museum to Offer Info Meeting for Docents and Walking Tour Guides

Do you like to interact with interesting, diverse groups of people? Do you enjoy learning more about the colorful history of our unique little town? If so then please come and join existing docents and walking tour leaders for a session on Town and Museum history at St. Michaels Museum on April 16, 2 to 4 PM at the Museum.

This information meeting is open to anyone who has an interest in possibly becoming a docent or tour leader, anyone curious about the Museum programs, or anyone who might just like to get some background on the Museum programs and local folklore.

Docents are expected to be the welcoming face of the Museum for a 3-hour monthly session. Or possibly to be a substitute when needed. Tour leaders are expected to lead a tour a month or one the special tours requested by small groups. There are currently 2 approximately 90 minute tours available. They cover Frederick Douglass and the St Michaels Waterfront. These tours include 1/2 to 3/4 mile walking. We also offer 2 other 60-minute tours, which involve the Museum and a minimal walking in St. Mary’s Square. One tour focuses on St. Michaels’ history using the Museum’s collection and the structures and stories of St Mary’s Square. The other tour uses the special Museum exhibit on Frederick Douglass and various stops in St. Mary’s Square to tell the story of Frederick Douglass’ youth as a slave in St. Michaels.

Anyone interested in becoming a tour leader will pair with an existing tour leader to get started. You do not have to be an expert to do this just an interest in St Michaels and it’s past. Becoming a docent or tour leader can be a good opportunity for new arrivals or weekenders to get involved with the town’s history. There will be follow-on meetings for those interested in pursuing these opportunities further.

For further information please contact Chip Britt at 410 745 0530 or

Heads Up: St. Michaels Museum Alters Walking Tour Schedule

Due to a shortage of tour leaders for a variety of reasons, St. Michaels Museum will change the Saturday Morning, 10 AM tour schedule.

The new schedule will feature the classic 90 minute tours for $10 per person as follows:

“Historic St. Michaels: its People, Places and Happenings”
*1st and 5th Saturday, August 1 & 29, September 5 and October 3 & 31

“Frederic Douglass, a slave, in St. Michaels 1833-36”
*4th Saturday, August 22, September 26 and October 24

Then on the 2nd and 3rd Saturdays we will feature our shorter 45 min tour with minimal walking, “St Michaels Museum and St. Mary’s Square – The core of St. Michaels History” for $7 per person as follows:
*August 8 & 15, September 12 & 19 and October 10 & 17

The cost will include admission to the Museum. Walk ups are welcome. Tours leave from St. Michaels Museum at the corner of E. Chestnut St. and St. Mary’s Square (409 St Mary’s Square). For further information e-mail or call 410-745-0530.

About the tours:

The general tour “Historic St. Michaels: its People, Places and Happenings” will give highlights of St. Michaels during the 19th Century, chronicling the rise and fall of the shipbuilding industry, the War of 1812 and battles of St. Michaels, and the rise of the seafood industry. These stories will be told by viewing many restored structures from that era and describing life of famous and typical residents of these times, including Frederick Douglas.

The Museum’s signature tour “Frederic Douglass, a slave, in St. Michaels 1833-36”, will give a more detailed view of the early life of St. Michaels’ most famous 19th century resident and probably the most important African American Abolitionist in the Civil War Era. This will fit well with the 2015 expanded exhibit on Frederick Douglass; “Frederick Douglass: His world 1818-1895”

The new “short” tour, “St Michaels Museum and St. Mary’s Square – The core of St. Michaels History” will involve a visit to the museum and it’s exhibits along with a leisurely stroll in St. Mary’s Square which is the original “Town Green” laid out by James Braddock in 1778. There will be discussions of the History of St. Michaels Museum and its exhibits, on life in the 19th Century, Frederick Douglass, and the 1813 Battles of St. Michaels. Then will follow awalk in St. Mary’s Square where the participants will hear about the History of St. Michaels starting with the original plat by James Braddock. The tour will discuss, the Town Bell, the ceremonial cannons, various buildings currently or previously on St Mary’s Square and how they relate to the Town’s history including the Battles of St. Michaels, the Civil War, Frederick Douglas, and other highlights.

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