Sunday, December 4, 2011

Mount Calvert, Prince George's County


During the summer I took a drive over to Prince George's County to see the historical and archaeological park at Mount Calvert.

Mount Calvert, as the name suggests, was originally part of Calvert County, when it was established as a town in 1684. It had a vibrant trading community. It later became part of Prince George's County when it was formed in 1696. Renamed Charles Town, it became the county seat. It remained so until 1721 when the seat was moved to the nearby town of Upper Marlboro (which is not worth a visit, trust me). Mount Calvert is today considered part of Greater Upper Marlboro.

Indictment of Fowler.
In the 1680s, two witch accusations were made in this area.
In 1685, a former indentured servant, Rebecca Fowler, was indicted for using witchcraft at Mount Calvert and surrounding areas. Arrested, tried before a jury at the Provincial Count in St. Mary's County, and convicted, she was hanged on October 9, 1685. Less than a year later, Hannah Edwards was also accused of using witchcraft at Mount Calvert and other places around the county. She was also tried, but later acquitted. I am currently working on a book about alleged Maryland witches.

Dig site at Mount Calvert. Covered due to a brief rain storm.
On the site of the park there is an archaeological dig taking place. The supervising archaeologist there when I was visiting indicated that they were looking for (among other things) witch bottles, but so far had not found any.

In the 1780s a tobacco plantation was built on the grounds and today a mansion stands facing the Patuxent River. The mansion was damaged during the earthquake and is not currently open to the public. If it ever reopens, it is worth a visit inside. There is a brief outline of Maryland history and exhibits showing some of the items recovered from the grounds, including this collection of tobacco pipes.

Entry to the grounds and mansion was free and the archaeologists working there seemed reasonably happy to answer questions about the history of the place. I recommend visiting, especially if the mansion ever opens up again.

Additional pictures:

The mansion at Mount Calvert  


An exhibit in the mansion.


A view of the Patuxent River from the grounds.



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