LA PLATA, Md. – Charles County Government is excited to partner with the Maryland Historical Trust and the Charles County Historical Society to announce the publication of, “In the Midst of These Plains.” This book documents nearly four centuries of settlement in Charles County, describing its shift from a relatively isolated rural agricultural community to an exurb of Washington, DC.

The book highlights the history of Charles County through its historic buildings and landscapes. From the County’s iconic tobacco barns and substantial dwellings to the buildings of everyday life, such as schools, churches, and stores, the authors paint a vivid picture of Charles County’s built environment. “In the Midst of These Plains” is the result of many years of historical research and surveys funded by Charles County Government and the Maryland Historical Trust.

The authors are Cathy Hardy Thompson and Nicole A. Diehlmann. Thompson is the Planning Supervisor for Charles County Government and has administered the County’s historic preservation program for over a decade. From 1999-2005, she worked as the Historic Sites Surveyor for Charles County under a grant from the Maryland Historical Trust to update and expand the Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties.

Diehlmann is Senior Architectural Historian for RK&K in Baltimore, responsible for documenting historical sites throughout the mid-Atlantic region. She previously served as a freelance architectural historian, editor, and historic preservation specialist. In this role, she recorded various historic sites in Maryland, including many buildings, locations, and structures in Charles County.

Thompson said, “This is a celebration of Charles County’s rich cultural heritage, and hopefully, it will inspire others to preserve the ordinary and extraordinary buildings that together reflect our unique and shared history.”

All proceeds from the sale of this book will go to the Charles County Historical Society to rehabilitate Historic Rich Hill. The cost of the book is $49. Books can be purchased at:

• Martin’s (309 Charles Street, La Plata)

• Historic Stagg Hall (8450 Commerce Street, Port Tobacco) on Wednesday – Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

• By mail to Historical Society of Charles County, Inc., P.O. Box 2806, La Plata, MD 20646.  $55.00 (includes postage & handling). Make checks payable to the Historical Society of Charles County, Inc.

For more information, please email