Photos by Megan Goodell

Visitors can spend anywhere from two to four hours exploring the four living history sites located across the campus of Historic St. Mary’s City (HSMC).

Throughout their journey through time visitors have the opportunity to see original architecture at St. John’s Site Museum, explore the town center, listen to stories from colonists living on the plantation, and learn about the Native Americans at the Indian Hamlet.

Director of Education Peter Friesen said that HSMC is multi generational and can accommodate groups of all ages.

HSMC does not sell food but according to Friesen it is a great place to bring a picnic, there are many tables and benches located across the campus that visitors can use.

Visitors have the option to schedule a tour with a group or school or come on their own. If coming without a group, visitors have many resources and guides located throughout the campus to help make their experience more enjoyable.

Throughout the different sites visitors are able to not only observe, but also interact with many of the exhibits.

As a living history museum HSMC visitors are able to interact with costumed interpreters who “bring the past to life” according to HSMC.

The only site that does not have interpreters in costume is the Indian Hamlet. All other sites have people of the past to help visitors along their journey.

Many of HSMC’s exhibits are created by using archaeological findings from the original grounds of the colony.

Everything displayed in glass throughout the different sites has been found through archaeological ventures on the campus.

During the summer HSMC holds a 10 week Field School in Historical Archaeology for college students to participate in for course credit.

Many of the finds of these students during the 10 week period are used in HSMC exhibits.

In addition to normal everyday operation at HSMC there are also many events held at the different sites throughout the year.

An event that is popular with the older crowd is “’Adults Only’ at the plantation”.

“We discuss all those things that people are interested in but don’t always feel comfortable to ask especially if there’s lots of kids around,” said Friesen. “So we discuss some of the more R-Rated type stuff that happened in the colony.”

There are several other adults only events including adult tours that can be found here.

There are many events that are fun for the entire family, such as Tidewater Archaeology Days where visitors have the chance to take a guided tour of excavations and are able to explore the archaeology laboratory.

Different events that give visitors an inside look take place at HSMC throughout the entire year and a full list can be found on their calendar.

HSMC has something for everyone and whether you want to take an hour or an entire day a lot can be learned about Southern Maryland’s history.