April is Maryland Archeology Month—No Fooling!

2013 Maryland Archeology Month booklet that highlights the diagnostic website and archaeology activities for 2013.

2013 Maryland Archeology Month booklet that highlights the diagnostic website and archaeology activities for 2013.

For many years, April has been designated as Maryland’s Archeology Month. During this month, the public can enjoy the number of free events that focus on the state’s rich archaeological heritage. Here at Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum, we celebrate the opening of our annual public season, as well as Archeology Month, with an event called Discovering Archaeology Day.

This year, the free event will be held on April 20 from 10 AM to 5 PM. Visitors can enjoy a variety of hands-on activities sponsored by archaeological organizations around the state, visit an ongoing excavation at an eighteenth-century plantation site and take tours of the MAC Lab. Continue reading

Complete Vessels Emerge from Fragments at Huntingtown High School

This week’s blog is an update on our project with Huntingtown High School’s Introduction to Historical Investigations class. If you read the earlier blog entry (December 10, 2012), you might remember that the students are analyzing the household garbage discarded in a Baltimore privy (aka outhouse) during the mid-19th century. Continue reading

Hands-On History

JPPM enjoys a productive relationship with Huntingtown High School and Social Studies teacher Jeff Cunningham. In previous years, Jeff’s archaeology classes, under the supervision of Education Director Kim Popetz, produced three cell phone tours for the park. The students worked on the audio tour projects at every level, including conducting oral history interviews, developing tour themes and scripts, recording the tours and writing press releases about the projects. Continue reading

Kids’ Work

What do making ice cream, doing laundry and playing marbles have in common? They are all part of an exciting new program for fourth graders, created by and being run by JPPM docents, under the guidance of Education Director Kim Popetz. Entitled “Kids’ Work”, this program takes a look at what life was like for African American children growing up in post-Civil War Calvert County. Continue reading

1812 Fair and Reenactment this Saturday. Come Early and Stay for Tavern Night!


By Erin Atkinson

JPPM War of 1812

Each September, JPPM holds a War of 1812 Reenactment. This event honors the battle that took place right on St. Leonard Creek in 1814. This year, thanks to Continue reading

April is Maryland Archeology Month

Be on the lookout for archaeology events this month! Throughout Maryland, opportunities to attend lectures and exhibits, take part in hands-on activities and workshops, participate in children’s activities, and see excavations will be offered as Maryland celebrates Archeology Month!

Bring the kids

Visit an excavation

Check out an exhibit

War of 1812 Event

On September 24th, from 10am to 5pm, discover The Battle of St. Leonard Creek – JPPM’s War of 1812 Reenactment! Taking place at the site of Maryland’s largest Naval engagement, this living history event includes battle reenactments, demonstrations of 19th-century crafts and camp life, exhibits, and hands-on activities. Admission is $3 per person or $10 per vehicle. And don’t forget about Tavern Night after the event! The same evening from 6pm – 10pm, you can celebrate the spirit of 1812 in our version of a 19th-century tavern. Play games, sing songs, and prepare for lively entertainment! Food and beverage will be available. Tavern Night admission is $10 per person or $8 for Friends of JPPM members. Dress in period costume for a $2 discount on admission!

See reenactors in battle

Discover camp life

Join in!

Campers Abound

Every year, summer campers from all over Maryland come to Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum to experience history and archaeology first-hand. Whether they are participants in our own JPPM camps or they are visiting the Park and Museum with other summer programs like The Center for Talented Youth or an outdoor adventure camp, they are treated to all that JPPM has to offer. Learning excavation techniques at the Smith’s St. Leonard archaeology site, experimenting with native skills in the Indian Village, and working with conservators to preserve artifacts in the MAC Lab are only a few of the activities. This year, JPPM Dirt Alert campers not only used their green thumbs in our native garden, but they also surveyed an archaeological site. And JPPM’s Colonial Survival campers learned all about building fires and cast iron cooking as they prepared a colonial feast for their families!

Using a transit.

Electrolytic reduction activity at the MAC Lab.

Having lots of summer fun!

2011 Public Archaeology Season Comes to a Close

Although we have bid the volunteers goodbye, JPPM archaeologists continue their excavations at Smith’s St. Leonard and we will continue to inform you about new discoveries in the coming months. We’ll even bring you site news throughout the fall and winter because our archaeologists will be spending the cold months in the MAC Lab processing, researching, and writing about the artifacts that were unearthed this summer. We would like to thank everybody who volunteered this year at the excavations and in the Lab – it was a pleasure working with you! And, if you haven’t had the opportunity to join us yet, go ahead and mark your calendar for the 2012 Public Archaeology season (May through July) and we’ll see you next year!

Cool stuff.

General silliness (yes, those are paper crowns).

Excellent volunteers!

Public Archaeology Unearthes Pin/Needle Case

Recently, archaeologists and volunteers excavating the kitchen area at the Smith’s St. Leonard site unearthed part of a shell midden and found a fragment of a pin (or possibly needle) case made out of bone. A pin or needle case is a small container designed for storing straight pins or sewing needles. A similar bone case was found during excavations of the 17th-century plantation site on JPPM property called King’s Reach. The King’s Reach container is believed to be a needle case because of its length. The Smith’s St. Leonard case could have held sewing needles or brass and steel straight pins that would have been used, not only to secure pieces of fabric together for sewing, but also for keeping many layers of clothing closed at the seams and other strategic places where buttons would be too bulky. One of the MAC Lab’s curators noticed that the decoration on this case is similar to that found on the handle of a tambour hook (a tool with a tiny hook at the end that is set in a handle, used for embroidery or for attaching beads to fabric) discovered at “Ferry Farm”, the site of George Washington’s boyhood home. Were pin and needle cases, hook handles, and other bone sewing implements purposefully decorated with similar designs? Were they sold in sets? We don’t know all the details yet, but JPPM archaeologists are excited to start their research on this interesting artifact!

Bone case fragment with scale.

Detail of pin/needle case.