Drive two hours south from Washington, D.C. through Maryland, and you come the beautiful rural St. Mary’s City, which is mostly farm land bounded on either side by water–the Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River. St. Mary’s City was one of Maryland’s earliest colonial settlements, and was the state’s original capital, before the governing bodies moved to Annapolis.
The settlement is considered the birthplace of American religious freedom, having been set up as a haven for Catholic and Protestant settlers to live together in peace (we forget how the different Christian denominations saw each other as different religions–even the enemy–until other immigrants groups gave them a common group to hate). Historic St. Mary’s City is a work in progress, with frames built on the historic site to mark the original town, as revealed through archeology. There have been 200 archeological digs in St. Mary’s City in the last 30 years!
St. Mary’s University is a beautiful state-funded and nationally ranked liberal arts college. Sitting on the water, this isolated university and its many historic buildings make for an ideal (in my opinion) setting for studying.
Aleksi and I drove down this summer to explore and wander around the historic site. It’s a great drive if you like looking at farm fields and Amish farms (punctuated by the occasional Amish horse and buggy). I actually found out in the last few years that my ancestors (on my dad’s side) first lived in St. Mary’s County when they came to America in the 1600’s, which was really interesting since my dad’s family is from Tennesee and and he grew up in California. My parents only moved to Maryland in the 80’s.
[35mm taken with my Canon EOS Rebel 2000. Click here for more pictures of Maryland.]