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STAR DEMOCRAT: “Master plan for Frederick Douglass park revealed” (by Bradley Dress) [September 21, 2021]

Visitor center day

EASTON — Architects unveiled the master plan for the Frederick Douglass Park on the Tuckahoe, presenting a grand vision of a towering visitor center, a memorial space, an overlook on the Tuckahoe Creek, meadowland, trails and kayak ramps — all spread across the entire 107-acre parkland.

LSG Landscape Architecture and Michael Marshall Design presented a draft of the master plan to the Talbot County Council on Sept. 14, pulling back the curtains on an initial layout of the park — which could cost $37.5 million to build — that will draw international attention and potentially become the county’s biggest tourism boom.

Cassandra Vanhooser, the director of economic development and tourism for the county, said the master plan realizes the dreams she first had for the project when she started it in 2018.

“When we hired this team, we said, ‘Here is a piece of property we would like to develop in honor of Frederick Douglass. It’s a blank canvas, there’s nothing there,'” she said. “From day one, we had a big dream for what could happen there, and I would say they met and exceeded my expectations. It’s a vision for what could be, and it gives us sort of a roadmap to getting there.”

Relatives of Douglass also applauded the master plan, noting it pays tribute to the famous abolitionist who was born on the parkland near the Tuckahoe Creek more than 200 years ago.

“It’s important for all of us to recognize and understand Frederick Douglass is one of our country’s greatest heroes,” said Kenneth Morris Jr, a descendant of Douglass. “To know he was born here on the Eastern Shore — and (have) the opportunity to recognize him with a beautiful visitor center and park — is the opportunity to bring tourism from all over the world.”

In the master plan, guests arriving at the park from Lewistown Road are greeted by a 20-acre field and meadowland, and make their way to a parking lot and a large visitor center — a 25,000 square foot, futuristic-looking facility overlooking the entire parkland.

The visitor center will act as a museum site. Inside the building, past the initial lobby, are offices for administrative and research departments, but also an auditorium, a study room and exhibit spaces featuring information about Douglass’ life. Atop the structure will be a viewing deck with a 360 degree view of the park.

Outside the visitor center is also a large amphitheater, while a memorial will be built across from the building. The memorial will host large marble slabs featuring quotes from Douglass along with his engraved image.

Michael Marshall, the lead designer, said the visitor center and memorial site are crucial to the overall park experience.

“This area shaped (Douglass’) thinking and his survival,” said Marshall. “We wanted some place really special to be expressed in the visitor center and the memorial aspect.”

Marshall also created enough of an open atmosphere for nature observance, much of which has stayed unchanged since Douglass’ time. Meadowland dots much of the park space, while the park will also host trails, a boardwalk near the Tuckahoe Creek, lookout points and launch points for small watercraft.

Each component is an integral part of the overall vision for the park. The inclusion of a large visitor center, along with nature, trail and water access, creates a hybrid design, which will offer a comprehensive experience — and one that will attract visitors from around the world, said Marshall.

“We’re trying to combine those into a hybrid experience of coming to this site, so they can come here and canoe or appreciate the environment as it is now and the wilderness of it,” he added.

The project could be scaled up or down, according to the designers. Preston Peper, the director of the Department of Parks and Recreation, said they wanted the designers to start big, and work from there.

“We told them to shoot for the stars,” he said, adding he was impressed. “As far as the visitor center itself goes, I think that’s more than anybody on this committee was envisioning.”

The Frederick Douglass Park on the Tuckahoe was first established in 2018, and is actually now open to the public. But a 14-member advisory committee, made up of county officials as well as relatives and scholars of Frederick Douglass, have been working to fully develop the parkland since its grand opening.

The committee held a hearing last October at the park, and opened up public comments for much of the time following that meeting (the committee is still encouraging public comment as the master plan is still a draft).

The release of the master plan is the culmination of a years-long efforts to create a blueprint for the parkland. Corey Pack, a county councilman who also sits on the committee, said the master plan presents a bold vision but one worthy of Douglass.

“Remember who you are honoring. We have to think big. If we have to go smaller then we will, but we want to make sure this center pays tribute to this man in a respectable way,” he said. “This will be an international destination. So when they come, they need to see something worthy of their time and respect.”

Pack plans to introduce a resolution that will form another committee, dubbed Friends of Frederick Douglass Park, that will continue to tweak the master plan, as well as fundraise.

The committee will look at state and federal grants, as well as some local dollars. Most of the money will come from corporate sponsorships and organizational partners who want to invest in a park that will one day attract international visitors. There are no interested partners as of yet.

The project will be built out in phases, with the memorial site, the Tuckahoe Creek overlook, and the pollinator meadows planned to be built out in the first phase, likely within two or three years. A second phase will include trails and small outdoor structures for the public to use, as well as more interpretive panels.

The visitor center is part of the final phase, and could take as long as a decade to construct. It’s estimated to cost $1,500 per square foot.

While Douglass is commemorated across the country, The Frederick Douglass Park on the Tuckahoe will be the first of its kind on this scale.

It will also connect to other historic sites commemorating Douglass, including smaller ones on the Eastern Shore and others in Annapolis, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., where Douglass lived out the latter years of his life at Cedar Hill.

The park will tell a structured narrative about Douglass and his relation to the Tuckahoe and the surrounding community.

The narrative presented in the interpretive plan is still open for discussion according to county officials, but it will tell the story of Douglass through the natural setting of the park, as well as panels and exhibits with detailed information.

The big theme in the interpretive plan: “During Douglass’ formative years, the people, experiences, and unique landscape of the interconnected Tuckahoe community in Talbot County helped to shape his world views and and ignited his lifelong quest for justice.”

Douglass was born into slavery as Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey. He was raised by his grandmother, Betsey Bailey, who served on a large  plantation called Holme Hill, owned by Edward Lloyd V in the Tuckahoe and Wye Mills region.

While his family was not free, around Tuckahoe there was a free community of African Americans that Douglass engaged with.

John Muller, a Douglass historian, said he wants the park to focus its storytelling not only on the natural environment and slavery aspect, but also the free community he was surrounded by, which included African American Methodists and Revolutionary War veterans.

“The focus on natural, archaeological resources are wonderful, but it doesn’t appear from the plan that there is a motivation and desire to tell a compelling story that would include the growth of methodism and how that impacted Bailey’s rearing in Tuckahoe region,” he said, “and the impact of the free black community in and around the Tuckahoe.”

Vanhooser said much is still up in the air regarding how the story will be told, and that the county “invites public input in every step of the process.”

For relatives of Douglass, whose lineage continues today, the park has a very personal impact. Tarance Bailey Sr., the five times great nephew of Douglass, recently spearheaded an effort to erect a mural commemorating Douglass’ life in Easton. The groundbreaking ceremony for the mural was held on Sept. 4.

With the mural and the Frederick Douglass Park on the Tuckahoe, Bailey said the connections of his ancestor’s roots on The Shore are finally being realized. He wants the park to remain in keeping with the master plan’s ambitious vision.

“This will be the biggest attraction (for Douglass) on the lower East Coast,” he said. “I think it should be something that Uncle Frederick would be proud of — he had grandiose tastes.”

Bailey wants Douglass’ story on the Tuckahoe to be told well and comprehensively, too. “You can put up a pretty building, but once you go in there it has to impress, it has to teach and it has to inspire,” he added.

Story LINK

Frederick Douglass Park on the Tuckahoe


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Star Democrat, “Community discusses long-term vision for Frederick Douglass Park” [front page, October 28, 2020]

STAR DEMOCRAT, “Community discusses long-term vision for Frederick Douglass Park”

Residents gathered Oct. 24 at Frederick Douglass Park on the Tuckahoe to discuss a long-term developmental vision for the new park. Supporters debated what the open land — which could attract visitors from across the country once fully developed — should offer the public, while also honoring the legacy of one of the most prominent Black Americans in history.

Many floated the idea of walking trails while others wanted more ambitious projects, such as a replica village to visually display how Douglass grew up.

The meeting was the last public hearing before the master plan for the park will be presented to the Talbot County Council in February. The Design Minds, one of a group of designers for the park, spearheaded the meeting.

“Our goal is not to create static exhibits or a static experience, but one that continues to grow and allows people to contribute stories,” said Michael Lesperance, the principal of Design Minds. “Whether that’s somebody recollecting an ancestor talking about what life was like here then or about boats coming up the river — we can capture those stories and integrate them into the displays.”

Lesperance suggested incorporating Douglass’ influence on the local area, because the historical figure inspired free black communities such as Unionville. He also said information about Anna Murray-Douglass, Douglass’ wife, will be displayed. She grew up on the other side of the Tuckahoe River.

Residents came up with a list of ideas as well.

After discussing ideas in groups, community members presented them to each other. Some asked for a picnic area, an auditorium, an educational center that showcases videos about Douglass’ life, even informational panels and lunch areas for children to gather at on school trips.

Others vouched for trail accessibility to the Tuckahoe River and panels along the way, explaining what water sources were like back then.

Local history researcher Priscilla Bond Morris said there should be a balance between the personal stories and the land, and there could be a garden or a symposium added to the park.

“The natural landscape and the verbal stories — they go hand in hand,” she said. “There’s a balance to be met. There’s an international scope. You can come here if you’re a local for an event, but if you’re a Douglass scholar you can experience his formative years.”

Though proposals from residents were numerous and ambitious, Cassandra Vanhooser, the director of economic development and tourism for Talbot County, said they will be collected and analyzed before drafting the master plan. She added that “all ideas are welcome” at this stage, and that more ambitious projects could be phased in over time.

“Right now, we’re all just talking in concepts,” she said. “We’re all dreaming, and we should dream big. We got big sky, big land, big water — we should dream big.”

Vanhooser, who sits on the Park Advisory Committee with eight others, said the first step is the interpretive plan, which “tells the stories” in the park, and then the master plan, which will go into detail about locations and pathways for each amenity. After the master plan is approved next year, the committee will begin to examine funding and grants.

The park means a lot to Terrence Bailey Sr., a descendant of Frederick Douglass’ brother. He said there should be “marble steps and pillars” and interactive, state-of-the-art amenities.

“You put this up, you can guarantee people will come from far and wide,” he said. “If it’s not up to the standards of a man who was the face of abolition — “ he paused — “you know, if there was no Frederick Douglass, where would we be at now? There are no limits to what you can do with this land.”

Frederick Douglass Park on the Tuckahoe was officially established in 2018, on the 200th birthday of the influential black leader and abolitionist. Most of the 107-acre land on the Tuckahoe Creek, located just south of the town of Queen Anne, was acquired by Talbot County in 2006 with the help of a $1.8 million grant from the state.

Douglass, a leader of the abolitionist movement and a prominent author and activist, was born near Tuckahoe in 1818, and the park serves to commemorate his legacy.

Vanhooser was the brainchild behind using the acquired land to honor Douglass near his birth home.

“When I first came here, I was like, ‘Isn’t this where Frederick Douglass was born?’ I could see possibilities,” she said. “There’s a wonderful opportunity here. It’s a beautiful, beautiful space. This is a celebration of how far we have come, and the world is our oyster.”

Since it was announced in 2018, the park has had little development. COVID halted the master and interpretive plan process in the spring, which just resumed with the Oct. 24 meeting.

Preston Peper, the parks and recreation director for Talbot County, pointed to three panels along an asphalt road, overlooking the Tuckahoe Creek. He said the panels are the first additions to the park, but they will serve as a gateway to the master plan.

“These went up about a month and a half ago,” he said of the panels, which explain in detail Douglass’ life. “For a long time people would show up and there was nothing here. So the first step is the placeholder for these panels. Now we can get people thinking about these in proximity to” their ideas.

One resident protested the direction the committee was taking.

Local scholar John Muller, who has written books about Frederick Douglass including The Lion of Anacostia, said more of Frederick Douglass’ personal history should be told, not a “nursery rhyme history.”

“A complete story cannot be told when the complete story is not known,” he said. “There are not efforts to reach out to subject matter experts who have the expertise and knowledge of Douglass here on the Eastern Shore.”

Muller said there should be a direct connection from the park to Cedar Hill, Douglass’ estate in Anacostia in his later years. In the panels, the park notes other historical sites, including Cedar Hill, and connects them on the map.

Still, most of the residents gathered were enthusiastic for the new park. Dale Green, a descendant of Bishop Alexander William, who was a relative of Douglass, noted that the comments today were “impactful.”

Green, who sits on the advisory committee, said the finalized plan will incorporate big ideas.

“We learned that there are those who want to see a building, and those that want to see the water,” he said. “It’s important to understand all the different dynamics we heard from people today.”

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David Blight: “We didn’t even get to talk about the older Douglass and all the rest of the women.” Washington College continues to disgrace intellectual and scholastic legacy of Dr. Douglass by dumbing down history, unable to uplift history of Douglass on the Eastern Shore without repeating Dickson Preston.

“Author to discuss Douglass trip to Denton” [Star Democrat, 6 Feb 2019]

“Douglass visited Cambridge, researchers say” [Star Democrat, 25 Sept 2018]

“Douglass’ college ties extended far and wide” [Star Democrat, 1 Feb 2018]

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Star Democrat: “Author John Muller to discuss Caroline County Frederick Douglass History” [A5, February 7, 2019]

Author John Muller to discuss Caroline County Frederick Douglass History

DENTON — John Muller, author of Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia, along with Denton Town Councilwoman Doncella Wilson will be discussing a previous unknown visit Douglass made to Denton.

flyer - fd in caroline county (feb 9, 2019) _ updated timeThe talk will be held at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 9 at the Caroline County Central Library in Denton.

Muller is known for producing a number of works, including Mark Twain in Washington, D.C.: The Adventures of a Capital Correspondent, and is currently working on Lost History: Frederick Douglass and Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Muller will detail a visit made by Douglass, where he arrived by train before departing by boat to return to Washington, D.C., in late October 1883. Muller also said his research found that Douglass’ grandmother was well known in Denton for selling fishing nets.

“She was very entrepreneurial,” Muller said. “Douglass talks about, in his 1845 autobiography, his grandmother was known in the town of Denton for selling fishing nets. … Basically, today where the Denton steamboat wharf is.”

Muller said his series of talks, speaking last September about a previously undocumented visit by Douglass to Cambridge, are a way to bring lost history to residents.

“Overall, the history of Frederick Douglass post Civil War in the state of Maryland has not yet been told, recognized, acknowledged published — it’s been hidden,” Muller said. “The history of Frederick Douglass in the state of Maryland includes Hagerstown, Cumberland, Frostburg.”

Muller said documenting Douglass’ visits to the Eastern Shore, along with what he does during those visits, help researchers make inferences about his personality.
Muller said one inference he has made, through researching Douglass’ speeches on the Eastern Shore, was that he was highly politically motivated and vocal within the Republican party. Muller said after the Civil War, Douglass knew many influential state politicians running for office.

“Douglass was very involved in local politics in the state of Maryland without ever running for election himself,” Muller said. “He speaks at the courthouse, which I think is very significant because he spoke at at least four courthouses on the Eastern Shore.”

Muller said highlighting the history of Douglass in select counties around the Eastern Shore is part of finding lost history about his life. Muller said the bicentennial celebration of Douglass’ life has motivated him to find more history about his life.

“Douglass had a connection to Caroline County at a very, very young age and maintained that connection through mutual friends and correspondence and physical visits to Caroline County,” Muller said. “I think it was really a culmination of his life.”

For more information on upcoming events, presentations, walking tours and newly discovered research, visit or

On Feb. 28, Muller will present “The Lost History of Frederick (Bailey) Douglass in Baltimore,” at the Enoch Pratt Central Library with Dr. Ida E. Jones, Morgan State University’s archivist.

Star Democrat _ 2.7.2019 _ Douglass visited Denton _ A5-page-001

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Star Democrat, “Douglass visited Cambridge” [Print edition, September 26, 2018; front page & p. 11]

Frederick Douglass visited Cambridge, researchers say

Photo by Jack Rodgers, Star Democrat

Douglass visited Cambridge, researchers say

Story by: Jack Rodgers

CAMBRIDGE — The Harriet Tubman Museum hosted two speakers Sept. 21, who spoke about newly found evidence that Frederick Douglass visited Cambridge in 1877.

Linda Duyer, a local Eastern Shore historian and John Muller, author of Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C: The Lion of Anacostia, both talked about their findings Friday, which point to a Douglass visit.

“We found it to be an extraordinary visit in a number of ways,” Duyer said. “This was a much more exciting visit.”

Duyer said Douglass came to Cambridge by steamboat overnight on Sept. 22, 1877, arriving in the early morning. Douglass was accompanied by John Mercer Langston, abolitionist and U.S. ambassador to Haiti.

The pair left from Long Wharf traveling up High Street, making arrangements to stay at the Cambridge Hotel. At that time, the hotel was on the northwest side of High Street, and was eventually moved to the other side, Duyer said.

Douglass and Langston then traveled to Bethel Church, where they were met by 400 to 500 people, Duyer said. Throughout their visit, Douglass and Langston were followed by bands as they walked through the area, she said.

Duyer said Douglass was not originally set to speak to the crowd, however, he ended up speaking for two hours. Douglass did not use a prepared speech, but spoke directly to both black and white audience members separately, she said.

“At one point he said, ‘Do a man a kindness and you will like him, do him an injury and you will hate him,’ which I thought was interesting,” Duyer said.

Duyer said the town commissioners also had invited Douglass to Cambridge in a proclamation, posted in a local publication. Douglass’ visit to Cambridge also came two months after his visit with his former slavemaster in the county.

Muller said Langston and Douglass had a complicated relationship, which at times may have been adversarial. This made their joint visit more unique, he said.

Muller said Douglass’ visit to Cambridge is groundbreaking and in some way changed his history.

“Frederick Douglass was an outlaw for justice and righteousness,” Muller said. “He was a very sought-after orator, writer and lecturer.”


Douglass visited Cambridge, researchers say

Editor’s Note:

I will be presenting at the Union United Methodist Church on Saturday, October 20 at the invitation of the St. Michael’s Museum and at the Easton Branch of the Talbot County Free Library on Thursday, November 1.

See you soon.


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Star Democrat: “Union United Methodist celebrates legacy of Frederick Douglass” (August 20, 2018)

On Sunday, August 20, 2018 Morgan State Professor and Eastern Shoreman Douglassonian Dale Glenwood Green addressed the congregation and visitors of Union United Methodist Church, a pillar in the African-American community of St. Michaels, Maryland since 1852.

With an uplifting message combining personal and local history, examples and testimonials of faith and Biblical verse Professor Green acknowledged the extensive network of his current family, which includes members of the Douglass Family and Bailey Tribe, and his ancestors which include Bishop Alexander Wayman and Reverend Samuel Green.

Thank you to Star Democrat for their continued thorough coverage of Frederick Douglass celebrations and recognition across Talbot County and the entire Shore.

Nice to meet and speak with Kayla Rivas yesterday. Hope to continue to speak with reporters of the Shore’s paper of record. Many years from now historians and family members will review these articles with assurance the Shore uplifted the legacy and heritage of its native son with the assistance of duty-bound information ministers such as Professor Green.




Union United Methodist celebrates legacy of Frederick Douglass,” Star Democrat, Monday, August 20, 2018. Front page, story p. 2. by Kayla Rivas.

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“Douglass’ college ties extended far and wide,” Letter to the Editor of the Star Democrat, February 1, 2018 [Paper of Record of Maryland’s Eastern Shore]

Letter to the Editor, Star Democrat, Feb. 1, 2018. Copyright of fact strictly enforced by the power of the 1st Amendment.

I told Washington College it’s not a game out here.

As an adolescent I ran with great-great grandsons of runaway fugitive slave-scholars. As a young Douglassonian I studied the work of GATH and Dickson J. Preston, two classic role models in the advanced Classics of Douglassoniana Studies.

I thank old school journalists and the editors and staff of the Star Democrat for understanding that if we don’t have accuracy in our reporting we have nothing.

It’s about respecting Dr. Douglass.

He is a native son of your soil and your pork. The mental and physical muscles Douglass stretched to escape slavery were first flexed on the Eastern Shore.

You understand.

Washington College and speculative historian David Blight do not.

[WC press release and “belief” not factually corrected as of 12 noon, February 1, 2018.]


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Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Events in Talbot County, Maryland – January & February 2018

FD 200 - Talbot County, MDThe Frederick Douglass Honor Society in partnership with the Talbot County Office of Tourism, have convened a committee of over 35 community organizations and churches to plan for a yearlong schedule of events to celebrate and honor the 200th birthday of Frederick Douglass and to highlight for our community and especially young people, his legacy, values and inspirational messages that is still resilient today.


January 2018


Talbot County Council and the Town of Easton proclamation to declare the Year 2018 “Honor Frederick Douglass – An American Hero and Our Native Son.”


National Historic Preservation Alliance will sponsor Living History Interpreter

Bill Grimmette at Waugh United Methodist Church in Cambridge, Maryland

“The Honorable Mr. Douglass returns home to Tuckahoe Creek”

Free admission

February 2018

3rd         11:30-1:00 pm:

Chesapeake College

Black History Luncheon, the Chesapeake College Multicultural Advisory Committee in partnership with The Frederick Douglass Honor Society Celebrates Black History Month.

Guest speaker – Simeaka Melton, Queen Anne’s County Native and Founder, of Dear Girls Academy, Inc.

For ticket information go to:

Historic Marker _ St. Michaels MD _ FD5th           Noon:

Talbot County Free Library – St. Michaels

Brown Bag program: “500 Years of African-American History”, using the magic carpet of original newspapers dating from the 17th through the 21st centuries, Dr. Stephen Goldman transports you through 500 Years of African-American history.  Coffee and dessert will be provided.

7th           5:30 pm:

Panel Discussion

Black History of Talbot County at Oxford Community Center sponsored by John Wesley Preservation Society and African American Museum.

10th        8 – 10 am:

Prayer Breakfast

The Milestone (Sponsored by Frederick Douglass Honor Society)

  •                 Speaker – Pastor Clarence Wayman
  •                 Master of Ceremony – Dale Green
  •                 Music provided by John Wesley Wright (Salisbury University)

10th        4 – 6 pm:

Joy Night @ Union Baptist Church (Talbot County Branch of the NAACP)

University of Maryland – Eastern Shore

Gospel Choir, Union Baptist Choir, The Covenant Choir and The Hill Choir

12th        6 pm:

  • Bill Grimmette a Frederick Douglass Re-enactor at the Academy Art Museum
    $15 Member, $12 Non-Member

14th        Noon:

Celebrate Frederick Douglass’ Birthday – Wreath Laying at Frederick Douglass Statue in front of Talbot Vounty courthouse

  • Guest Speaker – Lyndra Marshall

15th –      Noon:

Talbot County Free Library – Easton

Lunch and Learn about Frederick Douglass Bicentennial.

Coffee and dessert will be provided.

15th –      6:00 pm:

Talbot County Free Library – Easton

Come and learn about Frederick Douglass and the women in his life.

17th        10-1 pm:

Frederick Douglass Family Art Day at the Academy Art Museum

FREE (Registration suggested)

17th      10 a.m. to noon: 4 to 6 year-old children / 1 to 3 p.m.: 7 to 9 year-old children

Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum – STEAM Team class: “Digging into the Past: Happy Birthday, Frederick Douglass!”

17th       2:00 pm:

Talbot County Free Library – St. Michaels

“Putting Them on the Map:  Tracing African American Book History through GIS Technology”

Dr. Alisha Knight, Associate Professor of English and American Studies at Washington College

17th        7 – 9 pm:

Fred Morsel, Douglass re-enactor at the Historic Avalon Theatre in Easton, Maryland
Sponsored by Frederick Douglass Honor Society

23rd        3:30 pm:

Washington College Convocation – Honorary Degree given to Frederick Douglass

26th        12:00 pm -7:00 pm:

Talbot County Free Library – Easton

A day of films about people who shaped and inspired social change.  The day will conclude at 6:00 PM with a screening of Alice’s Ordinary People, a documentary about Alice Tregay, an unsung heroine of the Civil Rights Movement.

 For more information, Talbout County Free Library Winter 2018 Newsletter [PDF]

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Frederick Bailey walking tours … St. Michaels Museum at St. Mary’s Square presents historic walking tours

Dr. Dodson House in St. Michaels

Dr. Dodson House in St. Michaels

ST. MICHAELS — During its 2014 May to October season, St. Michaels Museum at St. Mary’s Square will continue to offer docent-led historic walking tours every Saturday at 10 a.m. 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, “Frederick 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.

These Saturday tours last about 90 minutes and are available for $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 6 to 17, with the fee including both the tour and museum entry fee. Detailed schedules can be found on the museum’s website, Email for reservations and information. Subject to docent availability, either of these tours can be offered at other times for groups of five or more. Email or call 410-745-0530 for information on schedules or special group rates.

The new “Historic St. Michaels: its People, Places and Happenings” tour will begin at the museum where a diorama highlights the British attacks on St. Michaels on Aug. 10 and 24, 1813, and the impact of these battles on the St. Michaels community. This will be followed by a walk through St. Mary’s Square to Muskrat Park and then on to Navy Point. Along the way, participants will see many original and restored houses from the 1800s while learning about life in a small waterfront village and the vibrant shipbuilding and seafood industries of that era. Featured are colorful stories of many of the people and events. Highlights include the history of the layout of St. Michaels by James Braddock, the cannon involved in the battle of St. Michaels and the Cannonball House that was struck by a cannon ball that rolled down the interior stairs and frightened a woman holding her baby.

At Muskrat Park, visitors will learn of the transition of Church Cove to Muskrat Green and see replicas of the cannons from 1813. Continuing down Locust Street, they will come to “Hells Crossing,” and at the foot of Carpenter Street is the Higgins Boatyard, the oldest continuously operated boat yard in town and one of several in operation in 1812. Then comes the Dodson House site of Frederick Douglass’ 1877 return to reconcile with his former master. Following on to Navy Point, visitors get a view of St. Michaels Harbor and will hear how Honeymoon Bridge was named, how the seafood industry developed on Navy Point and more about 19th century activities in the harbor.

On the “Frederick Douglass, a slave, in St. Michaels” tour, participants can follow in the footsteps of Frederick Douglass during his teenage years in St. Michaels. Arriving as Frederick Bailey, 15, in 1833 and leaving in 1836 determined to acquire his freedom, his years in St. Michaels were critical in the development of this great man.This tour will offer an historical perspective of Douglass’ life in enslavement and his return to reconcile with his former master.

For more information, call Chip Britt 410-745-0530.



The Star Democrat

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