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With sadness and a heavy heart, I want to notify my friends and patrons that I am no longer employed by the St. Mary’s County Historical Society.

For those who don’t know me, I am the one who people came to see when they had questions about their family, land, town, history of the county or any one of many other topics.

I have been associated with the society for about 46 years in one capacity or another. Sixteen years ago, I was approached about opening the research center at Tudor Hall. We had outgrown the room at the Old Jail and needed larger quarters.

I was overjoyed to be chosen for this job, as I have a great love for the county and especially the genealogical aspect of it.

Unfortunately, my health has deteriorated in the last few years and I missed some time from work. I also went on a few vacations. Whenever possible, I would ask volunteers to cover for me, however, this was hard to do if I was in the hospital for a heart attack, shingles or other unforeseen problems.

Now, the head honchos have decided that since the volunteers did such a wonderful job for me, — which they did — my services are no longer needed or wanted.

I received a note with my first (and last) paycheck in February, telling me that the president wanted a conference with me on Feb. 20. Within 20 minutes, I had been fired, told that my position had been abolished, asked for my keys and informed that I was not to come on the property without a staff member accompanying me. What in the world had I done to warrant that treatment?

I was humiliated, embarrassed and thoroughly mad.

Now there will be no one at Tudor Hall to help researchers with their projects, because even though the volunteers are wonderful and very proficient at the tasks they do, some of them have not had the opportunity to help patrons on a one-to-one basis. Also, they all have lives and other priorities.

I still plan to visit Tudor Hall as I have my own research that I have been working on and plan to continue. I plan to use my membership.

It has been my pleasure to meet and assist so many new and old acquaintances and friends from all over the world.

Ruth Graves Hill, Mechanicsville

The writer is the former director of the research center for the St. Mary’s County Historical Society.