African American Heritage Walk and self-guided tour - download: Book Brochure

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Chestertown, Maryland: An American Hometown for More than 350 Years

July 28, 2024 2pm - 4pm

There's nothing like going to the movies on a hot summer day. Join us to watch a 1995 film documenting life in Chestertown at two moments in our history.

Our new site is still under construction. Stay tuned!

About Us

The Historical Society of Kent County is a non-profit organization dedicated to the collection and preservation of documents and information that aid in the interpretation of all aspects of Kent County’s history and of its people. The Society shares this information through its research library, museum, programs, publications, and website in order to foster a knowledge and understanding of the shared heritage of all parts of our community. The Society supports and encourages the preservation of historic buildings and sites throughout Kent County. The Society is the only organization dedicated to keeping the record of all aspects of Kent County history and offers its resources to the residents and visitors. The Society is determined that the history of Kent County remains an integral part of its future, and seeks not only to preserve but promote local history in such a way that it enhances the sense of place for both residents and visitors of Kent County. The organization also facilitates preservation efforts whenever possible.

The Historical Society was founded in 1936 to preserve and disseminate information pertinent to local heritage. In 2014, the Society was gifted a building in the heart of historic downtown Chestertown by the family of Ellen Bordley Schottland, whose family operated a men’s clothing store there until the mid-1960s. Opened in 2015 as the Bordley History Center, the Center commands the principal corner of the Chestertown Historic District, sitting at High and Cross Streets immediately across from Fountain Park.  The Center houses the Society’s museum, gift shop, research library, and administrative offices.

The Board

The Society is a membership organization, governed by officers and directors elected by its members.  Officers are elected annually; directors are elected to staggered three-year terms. Historical Society of Kent County Board of Directors 2024-25  

Barbara Jorgenson, President

Victoria W. Smith, Vice President

George Corey, Treasurer

Erik Gulbrandsen, Secretary  

Robert Bryan, Jr.

LaMonte Cooke

Nivek Johnson

Michelle Pilliod Carroll

Ashley Flory

Mary Alice Ball

Curtis Cheney

The Staff

Maria Wood | Executive Director | | 410-778-3499

Joan Andersen | Librarian | | 410-778-3499

Carol Roe Combs | Administrative Assistant | | 410-778-3499

Lana Faber | Archivist | | 410-778-3499


History Lovers! We are rely on volunteers to help us carry out our mission of keeping Kent County history. Some ongoing volunteer opportunities include:

Docent at the Bordley History Center: You don’t have to be an expert to be a docent! Learn as you help us share Kent County’s history. You’ll meet people of all types, welcoming them to the Historical Society’s museum and gift shop.

Grant writing: Grant funding is essential to our programs and operations. Can you help identify grant sources and complete grant applications?

Special events and programs: Help with programs and events in a variety of ways, from planning to hospitality, from logistics to legwork.  

Exhibit planners: With 4-6 exhibits every year, we welcome help with research, writing, design, and installation. 

Outreach and communications: Your assistance with social media, staffing a table at community events, designing event posters, or writing news releases can all help us get the word out about what we’re doing. 

Please call 410-778-3499, or email to get involved!  


The Historical Society welcomes new members from Kent County and anywhere in the world. If you are a local resident we hope you will become a member, attend our events and activities, and consider volunteering. We offer a welcoming place for community involvement for all ages. Members receive:

– Unlimited personal use of our Genealogy and Local History Research Library by appointment

– Discount on Research Services

– Members’ Newsletters

– Discount on books in the museum gift shop

– Invitations to pecial members’ only events, including previews of our new exhibits, Historic House Parties, and other programs

Become a member by making a donation of $25 for an individual, and $40 for a family.

Student memberships are always free.

Join online now using Square, or mail your check to our office:

P.O. Box 665, Chestertown, MD 21620. 

Please include your email address as we communicate with our members primarily by email.

Student can join for free by filling out the student membership form.