ST. MARY'S COUNTY, MARYLAND

HISTORICAL CHRONOLOGY


1633, Nov. 22. English settlers, led by Leonard Calvert, set sail on Ark and Dove from Cowes, England, for Maryland. Calvert had been appointed Maryland's first Governor by his brother, Cecil Calvert, Second Lord Baltimore, following grant of Maryland Charter by Charles I, King of Great Britain and Ireland.

1634, March 25. Landing of settlers at St. Clement's Island (Maryland Day). Calvert party celebrated Feast of Annunciation (March 25); later purchased land from Yaocomaco tribe, and built "Fort at St. Mary's City."

1634-1694. St. Mary's City, established March 27, 1634, served as capital of Maryland.

1634/5, Feb. 26. First General Assembly (law-making assembly of freemen) met at St. Mary's City.

1637. St. Mary's County first cited in provincial records.

1638. Assembly claimed protections of English law; Assembly and courts met at John Lewger's St. John's.

1639. First elections in province for delegates to Assembly ordered by Governor Leonard Calvert on Kent Island, and in hundreds of Mattapanient, St. Michael's, St. Mary's, and St. George's.

1641, Aug. 13. Governor Leonard Calvert surveyed and patented 100-acre plot of land, thereafter known as Governor's Field, for tobacco plantation at St. Mary's City.

1642. Governor's residence in St. Mary's City, Calvert House, completed by this time and Assembly began to meet at that location.

1645, Feb. 14-1646, Dec. Ingle's Rebellion: Richard Ingle led rebellion against proprietary government.

1647/8, Jan. 21. Margaret Brent (1601-1671) denied right to vote in General Assembly.

1649, April 21. Religious toleration law (An Act concerning Religion) enacted.

1652, March 29. Parliamentary commissioners displaced proprietary regime.

1654, Oct. 20 General Assembly established Court in St. Mary's County.

1654, Dec. 5. Provincial Court authorized courthouse to be built on property of John Hammond near Leonardtown.

1657. Lord Baltimore reestablished proprietary authority over Maryland.

1662. Maryland Assembly bought former Calvert House, thereafter called Country's House, for use as State House. At same time, it operated as an ordinary, a government-regulated inn or tavern, in order to maintain building.

1664. Construction on Secretary's Office or Council Chamber (later Van Swearingen Ordinary), St. Mary's City, probably begun by this date.


[photo, State House of 1676, Historic St. Mary's City, St. Mary's City, Maryland] 1667. St. Mary's City incorporated.

1669. St. Clement's Island renamed Blackistone Island.

1676. Brick State House completed at St. Mary's City, replacing Country's House.

1679. Philip Calvert (1626-1682) began construction of St. Peter's, largest brick structure in province.

State House of 1676, Historic St. Mary's City, St. Mary's City, Maryland, May 2009. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


1681. Josias Fendall (c. 1628-1687) found guilty of conspiracy by Provincial Court, which fined and banished him.

1685, Aug. 31. Printing press of William Nuthead (1654-1695) used at St. Mary's City by this date.

1689, July 27. Maryland Revolution of 1689. Protestant Associators under John Coode overthrew proprietary officers.

1692, April 6. Sir Lionel Copley, appointed 1st Royal Governor of Maryland by William III and Mary II on March 12, 1691, arrived.

1694/5, Feb. Capital moved from St. Mary's City to Anne Arundel Town (now Annapolis).

1695, May 20. Act directed former State House at St. Mary's City to be used for County Courthouse and Church.

1698, Oct. 20. General Assembly authorized purchase of land adjoining Coole Springs in Charlotte Hall and building a hospital.

1708, Dec. 16. Seymour Town, formerly Newtown, established as new county seat at Shepherd's Old Fields.

1710, Oct. First log Courthouse opened at Seymour Town.

1728, Oct. General Assembly authorized Leonard Town to be built at former Seymour Town.

1735, Nov. 8. George Plater (1735-1792), Governor of Maryland, born at Sotterley.

1736. Second brick Courthouse at Leonard Town completed.

1774, April. General Assembly ordered consolidation of free schools in Charles, Prince George's, and St. Mary's Counties into Charlotte Hall School (1774-1976), to be constructed at Coole Springs in St. Mary's County.

1776, July 17. Lord Dunmore (1732-1809), last royal governor of Virginia, and his British fleet reached St. George Island, but were prevented from crossing to mainland by Maryland militia under command of Capt. Rezin Beall.

1785, March 11. James Thomas (1785-1845), Governor of Maryland, born at De La Brooke Manor, in Oraville.

1796. Charlotte Hall School, delayed by American Revolution and economic depression, completed and opened.

1814, Summer. British occupied Blackistone Island.

1814, June 1-10. Joshua Barney's Chesapeake Flotilla skirmished with British naval forces off Cedar Point and St. Jerome's Creek; British raided surrounding areas.

1814, July 30. British forces looted Chaptico.

1814, Aug. 2. British raid at Breton Bay.

1814, Aug. 11-12. British raid at St. Mary's River.

1830, Sept. 20. Point Lookout Lighthouse built by John Donahoo.

1831, March 8. Second Courthouse at Leonard Town destroyed by fire.

1831, Aug. 6. Cornerstone of third Courthouse laid at Leonard Town.

1836. Piney Point Lighthouse, first lighthouse on Potomac River, was built by John Donahoo at Piney Point.

1838. John Pendleton Kennedy's Rob of the Bowl: A Legend of St. Inigoes, set in St. Mary's County, published.

1840, March 4. General Assembly authorized lottery drawing in order to build St. Mary's Seminary.

1846, Feb. 25. St. Mary's Seminary incorporated as St. Mary's Female Seminary.

1851, Nov. 13. Blackistone Island (St. Clement's Island) Lighthouse completed.

1852. Charlotte Hall School renamed Charlotte Hall Military Academy, following adoption of military training and curriculum.

1858. Leonardtown incorporated.

1861, Summer. Union troops occupied Courthouse at Leonardtown, and camped at Sheep Pen Woods.

1862, Aug. 17. Hammond General Hospital for Union Army patients opened at Point Lookout.

1863. Union prison camp at Point Lookout established for Confederate prisoners.

1864, April 9. U.S. Representative Benjamin G. Harris, District 5, censured for treasonable remarks by U.S. House of Representatives.

1865, May. U.S. Representative Benjamin G. Harris, tried and convicted by military court for harboring paroled confederate soldiers. Sentence later remitted by President Andrew Johnson.

c.1880. Potomac River dory boats built in St. Mary's County.

1887, June 17. Benjamin Hance lynched in Leonardtown.

1901, Oct. Fourth Courthouse at Leonardtown completed.


[photo, Amish family, horse, and buggy, south of Hughesville, Maryland] 1939. Amish families from Bird-in-Hand (Lancaster County), Pennsylvania, move to St. Mary's County.

1943, April 1. U.S. Naval Air Station Patuxent River opened in St. Mary's County.

1945, June 16. Naval Air Test Center established at Patuxent River.

Amish family, horse, & buggy on Route 5 south of Hughesville, Maryland, November 2017. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


1947. First St. Mary's County Fair began at Camp Calvert on Breton Bay, Leonardtown.

1947. Slot machines allowed by law in St. Mary's County (Chapter 32, Acts of 1947 Special Session).

1949. St. Mary's Female Seminary reformed as St. Mary's Seminary Junior College.


[photo, St. Mary's County Courthouse, 41605 Courthouse Drive, Leonardtown, Maryland] 1953, Jan. 7. WKIK in Loveville, first radio station in County, began to broadcast on 1370 AM until Jan. 1992.

1953, Feb. 4. WPTX in Lexington Park began to broadcast on 1570 AM.

1954. WPTX moved to 920 AM.

1957. Courthouse rebuilt at Leonardtown.

Courthouse, 41605 Courthouse Drive, Leonardtown, Maryland, May 2009. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


[photo, Kent Hall, St. Mary's College of Maryland, St. Mary's City, Maryland] 1960. Blackistone Island renamed St. Clement's Island.

1963. Legislation passed to outlaw slot-machine gambling.

1964. St. Mary's Seminary Junior College reorganized as St. Mary's College of Maryland.

1966. St. Mary's City Commission formed.

Kent Hall, St. Mary's College of Maryland, St. Mary's City, Maryland, May 2009. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


[photo, Governor Thomas Johnson Bridge, Solomons, Maryland] 1976, June. Charlotte Hall Military Academy closed.

1976, Dec. WMDM in Lexington Park began to broadcast on 97.7 FM.

1977. State of Maryland bought Charlotte Hall Military Academy property.

1977, Dec. 17. Governor Thomas Johnson Memorial Bridge opened across Patuxent River, connecting St. Mary's and Calvert Counties.

Governor Thomas Johnson Bridge, Solomons, Maryland, April 2019. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


1985, Jan. 29. Charlotte Hall Veterans Home, first and only State facility of its kind in Maryland, opened at former Charlotte Hall Military Academy site.

1994. Southern Maryland Higher Education Center authorized to serve St. Mary's, Calvert and Charles counties.

2001. WPTX moved to 1690 AM.

2004, March 2. Electronic voting system used during primary elections at polling places and for absentee ballots in all counties and Baltimore City.

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