- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Residents can show their support this Saturday for the Calvert County Historical Society, which holds a wealth of valuable information of the county’s early history, during the annual Holiday Open House.
“It’s one of our biggest fundraisers of the year,” said historical society director Leila Boyer.
The fundraiser is being held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at the historical society’s headquarters, historic Linden, at 70 Church St. in Prince Frederick. Boyer said light refreshments will be available.
Boyer said items for sale at the fundraiser include used books; books written by local authors about local history and family memoirs; Christmas ornaments; and candles, including the Weems Steamboat Co. Bond Certificate and Drum Point Railroad Bond Certificate candles.
A limited number of a new candle will also be available. The candle has a crab design on it and also has attached to it a picture of “the old Evans Hotel on Main Street,” Boyer said. On the back of the picture is an original recipe from the Evans Hotel dining room for deviled crab.
Included in the items for sale is a limited quantity of the Personal History Tool Kit, which was created by historical society member Anne Johnston, who is also a former Calvert County Public Schools teacher, and her longtime friend, Tina Bryan.
“Tina and I have a passion for family history, that people really ought to record the history of their family while the getting’s good, so to speak,” Johnston said. “We also know, as former teachers, that young children have an inherent interest in themselves. We created a product toward that end.”
Johnston said the tool kit was the winner of the Museum Store Association’s 2012 best new product for children in education and games. The contest is an annual one from the MSA in which museums across the country vote for the winner, she said.
The tool kit, which contains a journal, a family tree book, mini notebooks, wax and postcards, is being sold exclusively at the historical society and its open house, Johnston said.
“The only place in Calvert County you can buy it is here,” she said.
A “genuine collectible” is going to be auctioned off at the fundraiser as well, Johnston said.
About eight years ago, the county celebrated its 350th anniversary and to commemorate that anniversary, historical society members wove a special blanket, Johnston said. Only a certain number of blankets were made before production was stopped, she said.
“We stopped it because we wanted to make it really special, a collectible,” she said.
The historical society set one blanket aside for its archives, she said, and “fortunately, they also set aside an extra one.” The very last blanket is going to be available for sale during a silent auction at the fundraiser, Johnston said.
The historical society was founded in 1953 by county residents, according to its website, with a main purpose of furthering the collection of historical data and records concerned with the county and other materials bearing on the history of the state and nation, including private letters, documents, manuscripts, early events and acts as recorded in structures and works of public and private nature. The society has a room full of archives, which Boyer said contains historical items, including newspapers dating back to the 1940s.
Often, people visit the historical society to view its archives and end up finding out something new about their ancestors, Boyer said. She said it always gives her joy to be able to help someone find out something new about their family history, which is part of the reason raising money to help keep the historical society in existence is important.
While it “may seem like a luxury item to have,” Boyer said if the historical society no longer exists, “you no longer have your history.”
Although the archives will not be available for viewing at the fundraiser, Boyer said historical society volunteers and members will be there to answer any questions.