- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Scott Tucker remembers one find in particular.
After two years of intermittent study and excavations at a site in the St. Mary’s River where the remains of a ship were indicated, Tucker was diving at the site in late June and pulled up a ceramic jug. It was North Devon sgraffito ware, a piece that was dated between 1650 and 1700.
“That one felt very good,” Tucker said. “We were digging through rock after rock after rock.” And after locating the jug, “I immediately realized we almost certainly have a 17th-century ship here.”
Tucker lives in Flieden, Germany, and is a doctoral student at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom. He is originally from Hagerstown, and was an undergraduate student at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where he majored in anthropology and sociology, graduating in 2008.
Tucker was working at Historic St. Mary’s City, and when he was searching for a project to work on for graduate school, HSMC Director of Research Henry Miller had a suggestion. In 1994, a sonar survey had indicated that an approximately 50-foot-long, oval-shaped collection of ballast — the suggestion of a ship — was in the St. Mary’s River, not far from the 17th-century town center.
Tucker took on the project and has been conducting surveys and minimal excavations at the site. Evidence suggests that the vessel they found was not shipwrecked and therefore not a great source of items that would have been found on a loaded ship. There is a chance, however, that the discovered vessel is one owned by William Smith, who died in St. Mary’s City in 1668. In Smith’s probate inventory, two old sloops are mentioned, one of which is described as just the hull of a ship that was anchored at shore. The colonial-era shoreline is roughly where the excavation site is located.
Tucker will discuss his findings, as well as the history of maritime archaeology in the St. Mary’s River, colonial shipping routes and ship performance across the Atlantic, at a free talk tomorrow, July 25, at 7 p.m. at the Visitor Center auditorium at Historic St. Mary’s City. The talk is described as a kickoff event for Tidewater Archaeology Days, which will be held July 26 and 27.
“The 17th century ... is a very interesting time,” Tucker said. “It’s an age of exploration. People leaving their homes and traveling great distances, on a gamble, really ... It’s the idea of the world expanding outwardly, though staying connected.”
For more on Tucker’s lecture or Tidewater Archaeology Days, call 240-895-4990 or visit www.stmaryscity.org. A blog about Tucker’s work is at http://smrarchaeology.wordpress.com/.
The Southern Maryland Community Gospel Choir is seeking singers and instrumentalists to join for the group’s August concert. Practices are held Monday evenings from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at St. Aloysius Catholic Church on Washington Street in Leonardtown. All are welcome. The group is directed by Robert Jefferson. For more information, call 301-994-1745.
Cycle for a cause
Pax Velo’s St. Mary’s Century will be held Saturday, Sept. 28, starting and finishing at Dennis Point Marina in Drayden. Participants can choose to ride a full century (104 miles), 68-mile, 50-mile or 25-mile course. The designated routes range from flat to rolling with a few hills and feature fully stocked rest stops along the way. Each cyclist will receive a commemorative wicking T-shirt and is invited to join a celebration at the finish line with a picnic and live music.
The ride benefits the Semper Fi Fund, which is a nonprofit organization founded in 2004 by Karen Guenther, a registered nurse and spouse of an active Marine. The Semper Fi Fund assists servicemen and women who serve in support of Marine detachments. Guenther knew firsthand the challenges that wounded service members and their families faced due to combat injuries, life-threatening illnesses as well as mental health issues. She founded the Semper Fi Fund to provide assistance. The fund also assists families in modifying their homes to meet the demands of caring for a disabled service member, providing customized transportation and purchasing specialized equipment to facilitate recovery from an injury.
Register at www.active.com/cycling/drayden-md/st-marys-century-to-benefit-the-semper-fi-fund-2013. Private donations can also be made at https://fundraising.active.com/event/St_Mary_sCentury2013toben.
Shopping event to benefit hospital
MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital is having a $6 show, sponsored by the hospital auxiliary, in the hospital’s main lobby on Friday, Aug. 2, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be jewelry, scarves, small leather goods, children’s items and more. All items cost $6, and all proceeds benefit the hospital.
Applications being accepted for fire/rescue program
The Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center’s Fire/Rescue Program is accepting applicants for the coming 2013-2014 school year. High school juniors and seniors are eligible to enroll through their high school guidance counselors.
The program, in conjunction with the University of Maryland’s Fire/Rescue Institute, provides the training needed to certify students as firefighters and emergency medical technicians.
Students in the program earn 17 college credits upon satisfactory completion of all courses. Other program benefits include the availability of college scholarships, priority employment opportunities in other jurisdictions (for those certified), state income tax credit for three years service as a volunteer and a length of service award (retirement) after 25 years’ service as a volunteer.
It’s hot, so be careful
The St. Mary’s County Health Department is reminding citizens of the dangers of heat illness. Heat illness can develop from the hot and humid conditions typically associated with Maryland summers. Heat illness includes a spectrum of heat-related conditions, including heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Dehydration may increase the risk or accelerate the development of heat illness.
“St. Mary’s County residents should be aware that prevention and preparation are keys to avoiding heat-related illness,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County health officer, in a statement. “Stay hydrated, avoid prolonged periods in hot weather conditions and, when exercising outdoors, exercise during cooler times of the day.”
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include weakness, muscle cramps, nausea, headache, vomiting and feeling light-headed. Heat exhaustion is treated with plenty of nonalcoholic liquids and rest in a cool, shaded area. Those on a low-sodium diet or with other health problems should contact a doctor.
Heat stroke is a life-threatening emergency on the heat illness spectrum. This occurs when core body temperature rises rapidly because of the body’s failing ability to sweat or cool down. If not addressed adequately, heat exhaustion and other milder forms of heat illness can progress to heat stroke. Warning signs of heat stroke include dry, red skin (no sweating), confusion, throbbing headache and nausea. When heat stroke is suspected, cooling measures should be started immediately while a designated person calls 911. Treatment of heat stroke involves the rapid lowering of body temperature by immediately placing the individual in a cold water/ice bath or shower if available; placing ice packs or cold towels to the neck, underarms and groin area if a cold bath/shower is not immediately available; ensuring the person is moved to a shady area; and monitoring body temperature to ensure it improves while waiting for emergency medical services.
Young children, pregnant women, persons with chronic medical conditions and older adults are particularly susceptible to heat illness and should take extra precautions in the heat. The health department reminds residents that a heat emergency preparedness plan is in place for senior citizens in the event of a heat emergency. If needed, cooling centers may be designated at local facilities.
The following precautions should be taken during hot weather: Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration; wear loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing; avoid direct sunlight and wear sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses; when possible, stay in air-conditioned areas; never leave young children or pets in a car, even with the windows cracked; check on elderly relatives and neighbors at least daily; and schedule outdoor physical activity during the morning or evening hours when the temperature is cooler.
For more about the prevention of heat-related illness, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website at www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/.
Sale set to benefit rescue squad
The Leonardtown Volunteer Rescue Squad Auxiliary will hold its second “Everything Sale” on Aug. 17 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Leonardtown rescue squad building on Lawrence Avenue.
Items will include (but are not limited to) plants, crafts, baked goods, yard sale items and white elephants.
Tables may be rented for $10 by contacting Debbie Springer at 240-298-5444. Sale organizers will pick up your white elephants or anything else you want to donate to the rescue squad auxiliary. For pick-up information, contact Chip Fenwick at 301-247-2418 or Ricky Chesser at 240-298-5310.
Yacht race open for registration
St. Mary’s College of Maryland has announced that the Governor’s Cup Yacht Race, which will be held Aug. 2 and 3, is open for registration. This year will be the 40th running of the oldest and longest overnight race on the Chesapeake Bay. The Potomac Leg of the race from Dahlgren, Va., which was added in 2012, will return this year.
Qualified sailors who want to participate in the race may register online at www.smcm.edu/GovCup. Live GPS tracking will be available on the website, and through the Kattack mobile app for iPhone or Android, for shore-side spectators.
On Saturday, the last day of the race, from noon to 10 p.m. at the college’s James P. Muldoon River Center, Governor Cup sailors and spectators can enjoy food selections provided by local vendors, as well as family activities, including live entertainment by Byzantine Top 40. The Racers’ Dinner will be held in the campus Great Room starting at 6 p.m. Preregistration is required for the dinner and can also be done at the website.
For information, email email@example.com or call 240-895-3039.
Wounded veterans to be honored
On Saturday, Aug. 17, between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m., a bus of wounded veterans from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda will be escorted by the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office from the county line to the Rod N Reel parking lot in Chesapeake Beach.
Area residents are asked to join others for the Seventh Annual Operation Hope on the Chesapeake, to honor the veterans. Participants are encouraged to bring flags, banners and signs for the arrival of the veterans at the Rod N Reel Marina or gather along Route 260 at any of the following intersections: routes 260 and 2 at the Calvert Arundel Medical Center; Route 260 and Woodlawn Way at the Quince View neighborhood; Route 260 and Wesley Stinnett Boulevard at American Legion Post 206; and routes 260 and 261 at Veterans Memorial Park.
To learn more about Operation Hope on the Chesapeake, contact Mary Mathis at 410-610-2710 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Tax-deductible donations can be made payable to Operation Second Chance: Tax# 20-2624345, CFC# 93327 and mailed to Operation Hope on the Chesapeake, c/o Mary Mathis, P.O. Box 993, Chesapeake Beach, MD 20732. Checks may also be directly deposited at any PNC Bank to account 5570744004.
Grants for tourism projects funded
The Southern Maryland Heritage Area Consortium announced July 12 that several area projects will receive funding from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority.
These funds are made available to nonprofits and government organizations that promote heritage tourism and economic development. Heritage tourism is defined as traveling to experience the places that authentically represent the stories and people of the past and present — including historic, cultural and natural resources.
The project grant awards in Southern Maryland include three in St. Mary’s County. The St. Mary’s County commissioners were awarded $90,000 for Three Notch Trail Phase VI. Historic Sotterley was awarded $6,000 for its slave cabin exhibit, and Historic St. Mary’s City Commission was awarded $30,000 for its burial crypt at the Brick Chapel.
Other Southern Maryland projects that were awarded grants are $90,000 for the Port Tobacco Property Acquisition, $22,500 for the exhibits building HVAC at Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum, $25,000 to the Calvert Marine Museum Society for the museum’s River to Bay: Reflection and Connections exhibit and $30,000 to Calvert County government for interpretive resources at Biscoe Gray Heritage Farm.
The Southern Maryland Heritage Area Consortium office also received $65,000 funding for support of the Heritage Area office for the year. These funds will also support the position of the byway manager for the Religious Freedom National Scenic Byway. The total of all grants awarded for fiscal 2014 in the region will be $358,500.
To learn about membership or future grant offerings, contact the consortium at SoMdHeritage@tccsmd.org or 301-274-4083. Additional information about the Southern Maryland Heritage Area is available at www.DestinationSouthernMaryland.com.
The 2013 5th District Congressional Art Competition winner is Sarah Sindelar, a recent graduate from Chopticon High School. Sindelar’s artwork, titled “Sarah and Matthew,” will be on display in the U.S. Capitol for one year.
The Congressional Art Competition, held each year, allows members of Congress to showcase the artistic talent of high school students from their districts. Each year, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md., 5th) sends letters to 5th District high schools announcing the Congressional Art Competition and outlining the rules for artwork submission. A selection panel comprised of members of the 5th District arts community — including art teachers and professional artists — reviewed each submission and selected Sindelar’s piece to represent the 5th District. All other artwork submitted by 5th District students will be displayed in Hoyer’s offices throughout the year.
Christmas in April applications available
Christmas in April-St. Mary’s County has the new application for assistance for its 2014 rebuilding day, which will be held April 25, 2014. Applications are available in the St. Mary’s County libraries and senior activity centers. Applications are also available at christmasinaprilsmc.org or by calling the Christmas in April office at 301-884-2905. Applications will be accepted until Oct. 1 of this year.