|18CV92 Smith Site
c. 1660s - 1690s
The Smith site was the c. 1660s-1690s home of Richard
Smith Sr., the first Attorney General of Maryland. Smith owned a sizable
parcel of land at the fork of the Patuxent River and St. Leonard Creek.
His son inherited the property in 1689, but Richard Smith Jr. apparently
chose to build a new plantation hub at King’s Reach rather than
update the buildings his father had erected. The Smith site was abandoned
for the most part in the 1690s, though the family cemetery there may have
been used into the 18th century.
The site reverted to farmland until 1932 when Jefferson
Patterson purchased the property and built a large farm complex directly
over Smith’s former plantation center. Patterson’s farm buildings
were then adapted for reuse as part of Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum
in the 1990s.
investigations at the Smith site have consisted primarily of testing
by Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum archaeologists to assess
the impact of construction activities related to the rehabilitation
of the 1930s farm center. An 18th century map that was discovered
in a court case alerted archaeologists to the possibility that
a cemetery was located in the path of construction. In 1991, a
backhoe was used to trench through thick fill and map the Smith
family cemetery, though the burials were not excavated. Shovel
tests, trenches, and test units were also placed in other areas
of the site in advance of building renovation. These excavations
identified paling ditches, post holes/molds, a 17th-century pit
feature, and an artifact concentration that most likely indicates
the approximate location of Smith’s dwelling.
||Sites & Insights:
Archaeological Discoveries at the Jefferson Patterson Park &
Museum. Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum Studies In Archaeology
The Smith Site archaeological collection is owned by the
Maryland Historical Trust and curated at the Maryland Archaeological