Volume 14, Issue 47 ~ November 23 - November 29, 2006

Chesapeake Museums Have Lots to Be Thankful for

So do we, as they keep track of what we are and where we’ve been

by Ben Miller, Bay Weekly Museum Reviewer

For Thanksgiving we give thanks not for what we own, but for what we have. In Chesapeake Country we have a heritage of history and culture in a setting of natural beauty.

With full hearts we review places — and people — preserving the Chesapeake’s heritage.

The Annapolis Maritime Museum celebrates the maritime history of Annapolis from the era of colonial ships through the heyday of the Chesapeake seafood industry to the city’s place as sailing capital of the world.

Jeff Holland, Annapolis Maritime Museum Director:

“I’m thankful for the wonderful support the community has shown over the past several years in helping us in our recovery from Hurricane Isabel and bringing us into the future.”

Banneker-Douglass Museum preserves Maryland’s African American heritage, especially for those communities south of Baltimore, in Southern Maryland and on the Eastern Shore.

Wendi Perry, Banneker-Douglass Museum Director:

“I’m grateful for our new building, our new exhibitions, including a quilt exhibit in association with the Northern Arundel Preservation Society, and a 10-fold increase in museum visitors since 2004.”

The Bayside History Museum in North Beach communicates how the Chesapeake Bay environment shaped the cultures of the Bayside communities from Galesville to Plum Point, especially for the recreational era of the early 1900s.

Grace Mary Brady, Bayside History Museum President:

“I love my little museum,” Brady said. She is thankful for receiving strong support for the museum from former mayor Mark Frazer and the town council of North Beach. Brady is also grateful to the people who donated artifacts to the museum, including a small coal stove from a vacation cottage, a roulette wheel from an amusement arcade, ashtrays and menus from restaurants of the 1930s and a neon sign from Stinnett’s Restaurant donated by the Donovan family.

Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons preserves, researches, and interprets the culture and natural history of Southern Maryland.

C. Douglass Alves Jr., Calvert Marine Museum Director:

“I’m thankful for lower gas prices [which enables people to drive the distance to the museum], the support of the community and a growing membership. The otters are healthy, and the fish are alive and well.”

The Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum tells the stories of the Chesapeake Beach Railway and the towns and resorts of Chesapeake Beach and North Beach and preserves the Chesapeake Beach Railway Station.

Harriet Stout, Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum Chief Curator:

“I’m thankful for a $31,500 grant from the Maryland Heritage Area Authority to restore Dolores, an old Chesapeake Beach Railway rail car.” Calvert County has allotted $33,000 for this work, as well. Stout is also grateful for “the enthusiastic friends and volunteers” who support the museum.

Four Rivers: The Heritage Area of Annapolis, London Town & South County is a partnership of governments, historic sites and museums and business to promote preservation and heritage tourism:

Donna Tully Dudley, Four Rivers Executive Director:

“I am thankful to live in an area with such a wealth of historical, natural and cultural resources and with people so dedicated to preserve and interpret them.”

The Galesville Heritage Society celebrates the history and heritage of the Galesville community with a driving tour and exhibits at the Galesvlle Heritage House Museum.

Roberta Cassard, Galesville Heritage Society:

“I’m thankful for the efforts of members and volunteers and am looking forward to the completion of a project funded by the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network to create a parking area, a wetlands garden, a native plant garden and a walkway to the museum with six beautiful panels on wetlands and Galesville history.”

The Historic Annapolis Foundation preserves and interprets the historical and cultural heritage of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County.

Dr. Greg Stiverson, Historic Annapolis Foundation President:

Stiverson is thankful for a “banner year with the opening of History Quest [on Main Street] which is a way to introduce residents, visitors and school children to the history of our capital city.”

Historic London Town and Gardens recreates through education and archeology the time in the 1700s when London Town was a bustling tobacco port.

Donna Ware, Historic London Town and Gardens executive director:

“I am deeply appreciative of all the supporters, and wonderful volunteers and people who really care about history and bringing it to life at London Town. Every day is a discovery experience. The work is fresh and exciting, and people have responded.”

Shady Side Rural Heritage Society preserves and celebrates the history and heritage of Southern Anne Arundel County while contributing to the cohesiveness of the community.

Janet Surrett, Shady Side Rural Heritage Society Director:

“Raising $100,000 to match and surpass a National Endowment for the Humanities challenge grant this year, and the generosity of our community in helping us do that. It’s a dream come true.”

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