The Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum is a destination about 45 minutes south of the Washington Beltway. Located in Calvert County, Maryland the park is home to a history and archaeology museum that allows visitors to learn about the Chesapeake Bay region's history over the last 12,000 years. Visitors to the park and museum have access to exhibits and experiences that allow them to explore history through trails, farmland, farm buildings, and educations programs and exhibits. More than 70 archaeological sites exist on the land and date back to 9,000 years ago through the Colonial times. The site of the 1814 Battle of St. Leonard, Maryland's largest historical naval engagement can be toured. It is the history and archaeology of this area that helped to create the park.
The former owner of the park, Mrs. Patterson, was so intrigued by the archaeological sites on her farm she wanted them preserved and shared. She donated the park to the State of Maryland in 1983. Surveys of the area have revealed numerous sites relevant to 9,000 years of human history. The home was that of Maryland's first Attorney General, Richard Smith, and his descendant who became the wife of President Zachary Taylor.
The park is part of the Maryland Historical Trust, an agency that is part of the Maryland Department of Planning. They offer a variety of special programs including heritage celebrations, tours, concerts, children's activities, dances, lectures, and educational programs. The park is also the home of the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Library.
Parents will love sharing this location with their children, and learning about the history themselves. The park offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, and is a great place for learning about the preservation of history. The Chesapeake Bay region of the state is an area that has been home to a diverse variety of cultures over the years. The park is set on 560 acres and is located along the Patuxent River Waterfront. There is a Visitor Center that offers exhibits and hands-on discovery activities for children. There is also the Show Barn Museum Shop and The Farm Exhibit Building, which houses a collection of historical Southern Maryland farm equipment. A wide variety of educational programs are offered and designed to reach children, families, and adults. They occasionally host special events throughout the season including the African-American Family Community Day, the Celtic Festival of Southern Maryland, Children's Day on the Farm, the War of 1812 Reenactment and Tavern Night, and Native American Technology Day.
The Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory is located at the park and is a 38,000 square foot, state of the art, archaeological research, conservation, and collections storage facility. The lab is home to over 4.5 millino artifacts that have been found on sites in Maryland. The collections are availble for education, research, and exhibit purposes, and can be used by students, museum curators, scholars, and educators. The research library contains over 10,000 references that cover topics including Native American life, history, agrictulture, and the conservation of artifacts. Those seeking an educational, historic experience should consider a trip to Jefferson Patterson Park.