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05/25/2019

Tea Party Events

May 25, 2019

The Historical Society of Kent County will be showing a film inside of the Bordley Building on an hourly rotation that provides a general overview of the colonial era in Kent County. This year we will be partnering with the Small Museums of Kent County to provide a colonial photo opportunity, and we will be reading the Chestertown Resolves from the main stage prior to the reenactment. As always we will be selling craft beer as a fundraiser! We hope to see you at one of our Tea Party events!

06/02/2019

Historic House Party

June 02, 2019 3pm-5pm

Join us for our favorite fundraiser! Soak in the history of this historic home while partaking of delicious hors d'oeuvres & drinks.

06/07/2019

History Happy Hour

June 07, 2019 5pm-6pm

Mike Dixon will present on the Mason-Dixon Line.

06/19/2019

Book Club @ Heron Point

June 19, 2019 2:30 PM

Patrick Nugent, CV Starr Center deputy director, moderates a discussion of Philbrick’s Valiant Ambition (Benedict Arnold is the subject of the book)

08/02/2019

History Happy Hour

August 02, 2019 5pm-6pm

Bill Leary, Legacy Day speaker, the history of African American churches in Kent County.

10/05/2019

Historic House Tour

October 05, 2019 1 pm- 5 pm

Come spend the day in historic Chestertown! The doors to a selection of National Landmark Historic District homes will be open to you for the 48th Annual Historic House Tour. The houses are open Saturday, October 6th from 1pm to 5pm. Tickets are $25 in advance, and also available the day of for $35. All tickets are available beginning at 11am at the Bordley History Center, located across from Fountain Park at 301 High Street. Reservations for the tour are recommended. Please reserve by phone at 410.778.3499 or by clicking the event tab on our web page.

10/05/2019

Ghost Walks of Chestertown

October 05-27, 2019

Every Saturday in October tours will begin at 6:30 and run every half hour until 8:30. These times are subject to change according to demand and reservations. To learn more about our Ghost Walks please visit the event page found on our website.

12/06/2019

Wassail Party

December 06, 2019 5pm

Join us for our annual Wassail Party.

Our new site is still under construction. Stay tuned!

Heritage Tourism

The Historical Society of Kent County is happy to be a portal to your Kent County heritage experience.

We thank the Kent County Office of Tourism for providing links to our communities, other museums, attractions, lodging and restaurants.

Call us – 410-778-3499 – if we can assist you in designing a Kent County tour for your interests.  We are here to be as helpful as possible in making certain you see the Kent County we love.

County and Towns

Kent County

A scenic peninsula, on Maryland’s Upper Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, the County of Kent is less than a two-hour drive from Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Annapolis and Northern Virginia.

Quaint waterfront towns, including Historic Chestertown, Rock Hall, Galena, Betterton and Millington, offer sunset cruise charters, small beaches, kayaking, fishing charters, boating, sailing, museums, theaters, art galleries, brick sidewalk shopping, antiquing, farmers’ and Artisans market, local seafood, including the Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab, Maryland’s second largest collection of 18th century structures and more.

Chestertown

Chestertown, the county seat of Kent, the Eastern Shore of Maryland’s oldest county, was founded in 1706 and served as a major port of entry during colonial times. Its brick sidewalks and attractive antique stores, restaurants and inns beckon visitors and residents alike to wander, browse and admire. A visit to Chestertown’s Historic District is especially worthwhile, and includes a number of fine colonial residences, as well as some superb examples of later and more elaborate architectural styles.

Second largest district of restored 18th-Century homes in Maryland, Chestertown is also home to Washington College, the nation’s tenth oldest liberal arts college, founded in 1782.

Rock Hall

Rock Hall was originally called “Rock Hall Cross Roads.” Its main street was part of the first road cut in Kent County in 1675. Later, the village became the Kent County terminus of a ferry that ran between the Eastern Shore and Annapolis in colonial times; and both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson passed through it several times on their way to and from the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. While it still retains some vestiges of its former stature as a major fishing port, today it is probably better known for its many marinas and its fine seafood restaurants.

Galena

Galena is a beautiful town located in Kent County, on Maryland’s Upper Eastern Shore. The town was founded in 1763 under the name Downs’ Cross Roads after a local tavern owner, William Downs. The name was later changed to Georgetown Cross Roads before finally gaining the name Galena, after a type of silver that was once mined in the town.

With roots from America’s earliest years, Galena has the legends and stories to charm the history buff; just minutes from the water, Galena provides easy water access for sailors, kayakers and fishermen; and with charming antique shops and restaurants, Galena is a perfect destination for a day trip. From boating to antiquing, live music to wine tastings, Galena and its surrounding areas offer a little something for everyone.

Millington

The Town of Millington was originally chartered as a town by the Maryland General Assembly in 1798. The town was incorporated in 1890. Millington grew up as a small village located on the Chester River, sharing shores with both Kent and Queen Anne’s County. The land on which it is located was settled in the late 17th century. Over the years, the name of the town has changed – originating as Head of Chester, to Bridgetown around 1724, and finally in 1818 to become known as the Town of Millington.

Today, Millington is still a small town with strong echoes from the past. Millington is a walkable, self-contained town with a clear rural character and atmosphere. The head of the Chester River runs through the Town of Millington, offering beautiful water views and lovely public fishing areas with perch spawning in the spring, and catfish, spot, sunfish, yellow perch and the occasional striped bass throughout the remainder of the season.

Betterton

Starting out as a small fishing village and a port for local agriculture, the town was eventually named Betterton after the family of Elizabeth Betterton by her husband, Richard Townsend Turner in 1851. Later, Betterton became a thriving beach resort spurred by the rise of steamboat traffic from Baltimore and Philadelphia which lead to the construction of piers and hotels. Tourism in Betterton was a major economic influence for years to come.

After the great depression and then the construction of the Bay Bridge, Betterton experienced a slow decline in tourist activity which led to deterioration of many structures. In 1976, Kent County used state funds to purchase the bay front property, cleared out the remaining structures and debris, and rebuilt the beach area as a public park adding a bath house, boardwalk, and pavilion.

Museums of Kent County

Lodging

Annual Events