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, www.stmichaelsmuseum.org. 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 five or more. Email email@example.com 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.