The Calvert Marine Museum brings the maritime history and ecology of Southern Maryland to life through exhibits, programs, lighthouses and boats. Located in Solomons, where the Patuxent River joins the Chesapeake, the museum is a focal point for the many visitors coming to the area. The museum is also home to the Solomons Visitor Center, a visitor center which will help you find your way to Chesapeake Gateways in Southern Maryland and to this beautiful town's other attractions.
Exhibits tell the story of the region's fascinating past and present. Fossils from millions of years ago show how a shallow ocean once covered what is now the Chesapeake Bay. Other exhibits depict human life along the Patuxent from the seventeenth-century to the present with over five hundred artifacts and photographs, including a twenty-eight-foot three-log canoe, a tobacco press, and boats from Solomons shipyards.
Fifteen aquariums, from 50 to 3,500 gallons, explore the aquatic life of the Chesapeake estuary, displaying plants and animals from the salty waters of the Bay, and the fresh water of the upper Patuxent River. The museum exhibition building includes three permanent exhibits focusing on these themes: Miocene era fossils, a 13-tank aquarium that shows marine life from the Patuxent River and Chesapeake Bay, and a maritime collection that includes two lighthouses and a 113-year-old bugeye that takes visitors out on the Patuxent River. The museum also includes an oyster house, small craft shed, and carving shed.
Open every day of the week 10 AM to 5 PM, except New Years, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
(Note: Many places fill to capacity on busy, nice weather days, especially holiday weekends. Please call ahead or visit the official website to get the most up-to-date information before visiting.)
Adults are $9, Senior Citizens (55 and older) $7, Children (ages 5 to 12) $4, under 5 free. Admission for members is free.
The museum offers a regular series of events including youth programs, field trips, Elderhostel events, outdoor and indoor concerts, boat building classes, clubs, camps, cruises, an historic WWII re-enactment, an antique boat and engine show, and many family festivals such as Family Discovery Days, Sharkfest, and the Patuxent River Appreciation Days.
There are public programs and tours daily as well as both museum educators and trained docents onsite to answer questions. Check the website calendar for details, www.calvertmarinemuseum.com
Solomons, Maryland, is located where the Patuxent River meets the Chesapeake. The Patuxent was the stage for several important War of 1812 events.
In June 1814, after a skirmish with Com. Joshua Barney’s US Chesapeake Flotilla, the British blockaded this “mosquito fleet” of gunboats and barges into the Patuxent.
What followed became known as the First Battle and Second Battle of St. Leonard Creek (a major tributary of the Patuxent). The second battle was the war’s largest naval engagement on Maryland waters.
Then, in August 1814, nearly 50 British vessels carrying more than 4,000 troops sailed up the Patuxent River, landed at the town of Benedict, marched overland, defeated the Americans at the Battle of Bladensburg, and captured Washington, DC.
Calvert Marine Museum features artifacts recovered from a US Chesapeake Flotilla ship and the battles of St. Leonard Creek.