If you are coming down to visit St. Mary’s College of Maryland, why not also visit the St. John’s Site Archaeological Museum located at the South end of the admissions parking lot.
The home that was built here in 1638 for Maryland’s first provincial secretary was one of the largest enclosed spaces in the colony. It was where colonial legislators met to hammer out policies supporting the Proprietor’s mandate to separate church and state–150 years before the U.S. Constitution guaranteed religious freedom. Of the English colonies, this was the place where a woman first asked for the right to vote and where the first individual of African descent participated in a general assembly.
The St. John’s Site Museum preserves the foundation of the home that stood here throughout the 17th-century. Original artwork illustrates the evolution of the house, the surrounding plantation, and Tidewater earthfast architecture. Some of the remarkable artifacts that have been found at the site are on display. Exhibits dramatize the events that shaped Maryland and the nation’s first freedoms and video installations introduce individuals and colonial lifeways. Visitors can examine the contents of a trash pit and gain a unique perspective on life in another time. State-of-the-art exhibits guide guests towards understanding the ways scholars use archaeology, historical documents, and oral traditions to decipher the past.
Click here for the Washington Post article announcing the opening of the museum in September of 2008.
For more information on Historic St. Mary’s City feel free to explore their virtual tour.