Site 18ST87 is located aboard the Naval Air Station
Patuxent River’s Webster Field Annex in St. Inigoes, Maryland. In
1637, Jesuit missionaries purchased the land where the site is located
and established a settlement there. These Jesuits were among the original
investors in the Maryland colonial enterprise. The settlement at St. Inigoes
was a working farm where inhabitants raised tobacco and other crops to
support the Jesuit mission.
The earliest center of activity for the Jesuit plantation
is most likely represented by Old Chapel Field (18ST233). From about 1680-
1750, the center of activity for the plantation moved slightly to a new
site that has been designated 18ST329 & 18ST330, The Fly/St. Inigoes
Manor House site. In the mid 18th-century, Father James Ashby oversaw
the construction of a new St. Inigoes Manor House at Priest’s Point
(18ST87), about 1600 feet southwest of its previous location. This dwelling
became the new plantation center, and was accompanied by several outbuildings.
An 1820 sketch of the site shows a windmill, miller’s house, corn
house, stable, store, shop, meat house, weaver’s house, cow house,
brick barn, quarters, and a church.
The new dwelling house burned down in 1872, but within
a few weeks of the fire, a two-story structure was built upon the east-wing
foundations. This became the priests’ residence until the property
was acquired by the Navy in 1942. The Navy renovated the structure to
be a quarter for single officers, but it quickly fell into disrepair.
In the 1970s, the house was documented and its crumbling walls were partially
torn down. The original east wall and part of the foundation, however,
are still extant.
series of studies of 18ST87 have been conducted since it was first
recorded in 1976. The most comprehensive Phase I was completed
in 1996. This study identified three historic components within
18ST87. Historic Component 1 contained domestic artifacts dating
from the mid 18th to the mid 20th century. At least two structures
were identified. The first structure had brick chimney foundations
and is believed to be a two-story tenant house that was the residence
of a Mr. Roach in the 19th century and a Ms. Raley in the 20th
century. The other structure was presumably an outbuilding associated
with this dwelling. Historic Component 1 also encompasses the
area of the mid 18th-century plantation where the miller’s
house, a windmill, a corn house, and a stable were located, and
presumably the 18th-century artifacts are associated with these
Historic Component 2 was the location of a late 19th-century
or early 20th-century outbuilding. Historic Component 3 encompasses the
western tip of Priests Point where the ruins of the St. Inigoes Manor
House are located. Various outbuildings associated with the Manor House
should also be located in Historic Component 3, though none were identified
during the 1996 survey.
Multiple Phase II studies were also undertaken at 18ST87.
In 1983, three test units were excavated to expose portions of a possible
weaver’s house. The next year, nine test units were excavated around
the Manor House to locate foundations and determine layout of the structure.
Additional test units were excavated along the site’s shoreline
in 2002 prior to a riverbank stabilization project. Twenty postholes/molds,
five pit features, three trenches, and two fill episodes were identified
by the study, though some features were modern in origin, and no further
excavation was undertaken to understand the relationships that might exist
between features. Instead, the shoreline stabilization was redesigned
to avoid and protect the site.
|Dinnel, Katherine J.
||Archeological Excavations at St. Inigoes Manor House,
18ST87, St. Mary's County, Maryland.
for the Naval Electronics Systems Engineering Activity, St. Inigoes, Maryland.
|Galke, Laura J., and Alyssa L. Loney
||Phase I Archaeological Investigations Aboard Webster
Field Annex NAS PAX, St. Mary’s County,
Maryland. Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum Occasional Papers No. 8.
|Hornum, Michael B. et al.
||Archeological Feature Verification and Evaluation at
Site 18ST87 (St. Inigoes Manor), Naval Air Station
River Webster Field Annex, St. Mary’s County, Maryland. Report prepared
for the Southern
Maryland Resource Conservation & Development Area, Waldorf, Maryland.
|Smolek, Michael A.
||Archaeological Investigations at Priests Point, St. Inigoes,
Maryland. Report prepared for the Naval
Systems Engineering Activity, St. Inigoes, Maryland. Maryland Historical
Series No. 29.
The St. Inigoes Manor House at Priest’s
Point archaeological collections are owned by the Naval District Washington,
Naval Air Station Patuxent River Webster Field Annex and curated by the
Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory.