St Michaels Museum Celebrates 50th Anniversary
1964-2014St. Michaels Museum at St. Mary’s Square will observe its 50th Anniversary with a celebration on Sunday, October 26 from 3 to 5 pm on the Museum grounds. There will be an exhibit on the history of the museum with photos and documents. Former officers, board members, members, and the public are invited.There will be presentations and discussions of the early days of the Museum. Light refreshments will be served
During renovations 1964
St. Michaels Museum at St. Mary’s Square (Originally St. Mary’s Square Museum) was established in 1964 by the Town of St. Michaels. Using funds from the 1963 sesquicentennial celebration of the Battle of St. Michaels the Town established the Museum on the old St. Michaels High School site in order to preserve the Sewell House which was an historically important house falling into disrepair on Mill St. The house was moved to St. Mary’s Square on May 18, 1964 and restored. In 1968 it was joined by the Teetotum Building, an historic commercial building moved from Willow Street. Then in 2003 the Chaney House, the home of three free African American brothers, was moved from Fremont St.
Sewell-Chaney house today
During its 2014 May to October season, St. Michaels Museum at St. Mary’s will continue to offer docent led historic walking tours every Saturday at 10AM beginning May 3. The major tour “Historic St. Michaels: Its People, Places and Happenings” will be offered on the first three Saturdays of each month. This tour 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. On the fourth Saturday 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.
1970's Walking Tour brochure cover
The approximately 90 minute docent led walking tours will leave from the Museum every Saturday morning at 10 AM starting on May 3. These Saturday tours are available for $10 for Adults and $5 for Youth (6-17) with the fee including both the tour and museum entry fee. Detailed schedules can be found on the Museum’s website: www.stmichaelsmuseum.org. Reservations are appreciated. Please Email firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations and information.
Subject to docent availability either of these tours can be offered at other times for groups of 5 or more. Email email@example.com or call 410 745 0530 for information on schedules or special group rates.
St. Michaels Museum at St. Mary’s Square is open May through October, Fridays 1 to 4 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays 1 to 4 p.m.. Admission is $3 for adults and $1 for youth (6-17).
Sampling of the Walking Tour:
The Sewell House, ca. 1865, was the home of a local waterman Jeremiah Sewell and his family. It was moved to the site in 1964 when the museum was established. The house is furnished in period pieces reflecting life of a typical working family at that time.
Built in 1860 as a commercial structure, the Teetotem Building got its name because of its roof’s resemblance to a toy top of the period. Originally located on Willow St, the building served variously as a magistrate’s office, a town jail, a saddle shop, a mortuary, a bank and a barber shop. Today the building displays highlights of various aspects of St Michaels’ commercial life in the 18th and 19th centuries
The Chaney home stands independently from the other buildings. Built by three free African American brothers, circa 1850, the two room house is typical of its genre.
After the brothers were able to buy his freedom from slavery, their father came to live with them. Later their sister and her family also resided there once they were freed.
Partially restored, the home may be viewed. It will contain exhibits on African American life in the community and house a library on the second floor.
Thanks to the Walking Tour Map Committee, the museum has available, free, a new and expanded version of "A Walking Tour of St. Michaels." This brochure allows you to identify historically important buildings and learn a little about their history as you stroll through the historic areas of St. Michaels. Stop by the museum to pick up a copy or click on the brochure cover (left) to download a pdf of the walking tour guide.