Site Cluster 1

The first site cluster is located at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station (NAS PAX), which was an up-and-coming center of activity for the colony in the mid-17th century. As many of Maryland’s early colonists ended periods of indentured servitude, they claimed land rights and moved to areas such as the mouth of the Patuxent. Extensive survey and compliance excavations at the Naval Air Station have led to the discovery and exploration of at least four 17th-century sites, representing a cross section of the community of settlers who inhabited the area. None of the sites at NAS PAX have been excavated to the extent that entire site layouts can be discerned, but partial structural features and artifacts present are sufficient to make some generalizations about the architecture of the area.

Usually, the central figure discussed in this community is Governor Charles Calvert who left St. Mary’s City to settle along the mouth of the Patuxent when he married his friend Henry Sewall’s widow, Jane, and took up residence at Sewall’s plantation around 1666 (Chaney 2000). Perhaps more important to the architectural landscape of the peninsula, however, was the arrival of another former St. Mary’s City inhabitant, John Halfhead, 17 years earlier.

   


 

 

 

If you have any questions or comments about this article, or sites and artifact collections
discussed, please contact: sara.rivers-cofield@maryland.gov.

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