CSM, Charles County Celebrate 350 Years

Friday Night Lectures on County’s History Finale

The College of Southern Maryland and the Charles County 350th Celebration Committee, in cooperation with the Charles County Heritage Commission present St. Mary’s College of Maryland professor and archaeologist Julia King Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. on CSM’s La Plata Campus, as part of the CSM Friday Lecture series focusing on the history of Charles County.

King’s lecture, “The Search for Charles County’s First Court House,” will focus on the search to discover the original county seat for Charles County. Led by Charles County resident Michael Sullivan, King was part of a team that included Sullivan, genealogist Diane Giannini and surveyor Kevin Norris. The team researched land patents, deeds and plots. 

After narrowing the search to a 150-acre parcel, King and her students began the excavation work.  Nearly three centuries after it was abandoned, the first center of Charles County government has been rediscovered. “This project was one of the most exciting archaeological projects in the state this year, and the materials recovered this past summer are now part of the county’s collective history,” said King. 

King’s lecture will not only reveal the findings of the work and the location of the courthouse but also detail the experience and work involved, from the research to the field work of sifting soil and seeking clues such as ceramic fragments, pipe stems and old nails. “The rediscovery of the county’s first courthouse comes at a very important time for the county–the occasion of its 350th anniversary. Most people know that Charles County has a rich history, but what they may not realize is that much of that history still survives, hidden beneath the surface of the county’s farms and fields,” she said.

This is the last lecture in the series, which began in January and has focused on various aspects of Charles County history from its role, and the role of its citizens, in the Revolutionary War, The Civil War and slavery, the everyday lives of county residents and concluding with the discovery of the original courthouse. The lecture begins at 7 p.m. and will be held on the La Plata Campus in the Center for Business and Industry Bui lding, Room BI-113.

As Charles County celebrates 350 years during 2008, CSM’s lecture series is just one of many events, publications and displays that are planned throughout the year for all ages. For information as Charles County “Celebrates the Past and Embraces the Future” to honor its 350th anniversary, call 301-885-1342 or visit www.thenationsbackyard.com/350th/.





Calendar Listing

CSM Friday Lecture Series: The Search for Charles County’s First Courthouse. Nov. 7, 7 p.m., College of Southern Maryland, Center for Business and Industry, BI-113, La Plata Campus, 8730 Mitchell Rd, La Plata. As part of the CSM Friday Lecture Series, the Charles County 350th Celebration Committee, in cooperation with the Charles County Heritage Commission present professor and archaeologist Julia King. Her lecture, “The Search for Charles County’s First Courthouse,” will focus on the location of Charles County’s first county seat. After several years of research, the location of the original courthouse has been rediscovered. Free. 301-934-7703 or 301-870-2309, ext. 7703 for Charles County; 240-725-5499, Ext. 7703 for St. Mary’s County or 443-550-6169, Ext. 7703 for Calvert County or visit  www.csmd.edu or  www.thenationsbackyard.com/350th/.