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Historic House Cocktail Party

September 22, 2019 3pm - 5pm


Diane Daniels, The Ghosts of Chestertown and Kent County

October 04, 2019 5pm

Strange encounters and ghostly presences haunt the historic streets of Chestertown and the back country roads of Kent County. The centuries-old Kent County Courthouse may be home to the ghost of Esther Anderson, who was sentenced to burn at the stake in 1746. Strange lights float above Caulk’s Field, where fallen British marines were buried during the War of 1812. The scent of lavender accompanies the ghost of Aunt Polly at the Geddes-Piper House, while the spectral Tall Man waits for passersby on a lonely country bridge. Author Diane Saylor Daniels explores the historic events behind the ghost lore of Chestertown and Kent County. Diane Saylor Daniels served for seven years as executive director of the Kent County Historical Society. Prior to working at the society, she had been the director of the public library in her hometown, having returned to rural life following twenty years of working in nonprofit and university administration in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and New York City. Originally from the mountains of rural Somerset County, Pennsylvania, along the border of Garrett County, Maryland, she understands what it is like to truly be “from” a place and enjoyed having an “in” to the centuries of stories woven into the fabric of life in Kent County.


Cruise on the River Packet with Historical Societies of Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties

October 13, 2019


Donald Shomette, The Haunting Mallows Bay, Graveyard of Wooden Ships

November 01, 2019 5pm

On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson issued a national call to arms against Imperial Germany. What followed in the United States was a frenzied effort to build hundreds of merchant ships to replace those being destroyed in Germany’s campaign of unrestricted submarine warfare. The newly created U.S. Shipping Board Emergency Fleet Corporation embarked on a course that, in the span of a few pivotal years in American history, came to exhibit mankind’s genius, ignorance, avarice, drive–and folly–for the largest portion of that fleet came to rest on the muddy floor of Mallows Bay. Donald G. Shomette recounts fascinating tales of the wonders that lie beneath the bay. An accomplished underwater archaeologist, Shomette describes the cutting-edge technology used in ship excavations, the underwater hunts for the earliest English colony in Maryland, and stories of the great fleet that now rests in eternal slumber beneath the waters of Mallows Bay.


Wassail Party

December 06, 2019 5pm

Join us for our annual Wassail Party.

Our new site is still under construction. Stay tuned!

Programs and Events

Walking Tours Recurring

One of the best ways to explore almost four centuries of Kent County and Chestertown history is by taking to foot and walking in the footsteps of those who made it. Start Walking Tours at the Bordley History Center at 301 High Street. Spring Walking Tour Spring has sprung!  The tour focuses on Chestertown life prior and during the Revolutionary War. Kent County was heavily involved in the war by sending support to Washington’s army and Chestertown was home to several naval heroes. The la ...

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2019 First FridaysRecurring

August 2, Bill Leary, The African American Churches of Kent County In honor of Legacy Day 2019, Sumner Hall and the Historical Society of Kent County were proud to present the history of these 24 churches as researched and told by historian Bill Leary. We heard amazing and little known stories of the 24 African American churches founded in Kent County before and after the Civil War. Fifteen of these pioneering congregations still hold services today. Not to worry – you didn’t miss it ...

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Historic House Tour10/05/2019

HouseTourFinal2018   Take a look at our 2018 Tour Brochure Saturday October 5, 2019, 1pm to 5pm Come spend the day in beautiful, historic Chestertown! The doors to a selection of National Landmark Historic District homes will be open to you for the 49th Annual Historic House Tour. This year’s tour focuses on sites lived in or associated with forgotten Revolutionary War heroes and brings their untold stories to life. The tour will examine the history of Chestertown and its connection to the C ...

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