Fun Fact: In Which County Was the Oldest Colonial Site in Maryland Recently Discovered?

On Monday, archeologists announced they had discovered, at long last, the outlines of a palisaded fort erected by European settlers in 1634 in what is now St. Mary’s County.

A conjectural drawing of the 1634 fort at the St. Mary’s settlement in Maryland. (Jeffrey R. Parno/Historic St. Mary’s City via The Washington Post )

Archeologists had been searching for the fort since the 1930s, discovering other amazing artifacts along the way. The remains of former Maryland colonial Gov. Philip Calvert were discovered in 1990, along with those of his first wife, Anne, and his 6-month-old son.

The search for the fort continued through the ’90s but stalled as St. Mary’s focused on other projects.

Archeologist Travis Parno and archeological geophysicist Tim Horsley resumed the search in 2017. The discovery was deemed conclusive in late 2019, but the announcement was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Parno stated in a recent interview with the Washington Post:

“This is our moment. This is the earliest colonial archeological site in Maryland. This is it.”

Historic St. Mary’s City will premier the official announcement on Maryland Day (March 25, 2021) at 7:00 pm. Follow the learn more button on the museum homepage or visit the Maryland Day event listing to tune in.

For other fun facts about St. Mary’s County, read the Conduit Street Blog.

Do you have a fun fact to share about your county? If so, please send it to Allison Valliant to be featured in MACo’s weekly Fun Fact on Conduit Street.