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Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum

The Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum was established in 1983 as a state museum of archaeology and history. The property comprising the park and museum was donated to the state of Maryland by Mary Breckenridge Patterson in memory of her late husband, Jefferson Patterson. JPPM includes more than 500 acres of farmland along both the Patuxent River and St. Leonard's Creek in Calvert County. More than 70 archaeological sites, dating from c. 6500 B.C. to the 1940s, have been located on the property. One of the missions of the museum is to locate, document, preserve, and interpret these archaeological sites.

The visitors' center, formerly a barn for showing cattle, has been converted to a museum of colonial artifacts and ice age fossils. It also serves as a classroom for teacher training workshops, hands-on archaeology, public lectures, school groups, and Boy Scouts seeking to earn their archaeology badge. Future educational program are being designed to provide undergraduate and graduate students experience in archaeological collections management, laboratory analysis, and interpretation.

Click here to see an aerial photo of Jefferson Patterson Park.

The Farm Museum

The original post-colonial farm, Point Farm, was owned by the Peterson family from 1832 to 1932. Dr. Peterson also provided medical care from his office located next to the farm house.

In 1932, Jefferson Patterson acquired the farm and built a large brick house on the site of the old farm house. The design of the house was based on the architectural traditions of tidewater Maryland. The farm and cattle operation was managed, and the Pattersons otherwise used their country home as a retreat between Foreign Service assignments.

Mrs. Patterson has bequeathed the property to the State of Maryland for the park and museum, but retains the house and surrounding acres for her lifetime.

The Maryland Archaeological Conservation (MAC) Laboratory

The nearly completed state-of-the-art conservation and curation facility for the state's archaeological collections, is the centerpiece of JPPM's research programs. The MAC Lab comprises more than 38,000 square feet of laboratory, collections storage, and office space, and includes a Material Sciences Lab and a Paleonenvironmental Lab. Artifacts and records from thousands of archaeological sites throughout Maryland are housed at the new lab. The MAC Lab's 4,000 volume library represents one of the most extensive holdings in history, archaeology, and anthropology in Maryland and will shortly be on-line. The MAC Lab has recently acquired the Re:discovery software package and efforts are underway to create a computerized data base of the state's archaeological collections. All of the resources of the MAC Lab are available to archaeologists, students, and educators, and accommodations for visiting researchers are extensive.

Lists of potential student research projects utilizing the artifacts at the MAC Lab are now being developed. An intensive, hands-on summer field school in archaeological collections management, analysis, and interpretation is also being developed and will be offered beginning in 1999.

Exerpted from their brochure.
Photographs by Calvert County Living

Jefferson Patterson Park now has its own website, including a calendar of special events. It may be found at http://JEFPAT.ORG.

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