Paw Paw Museum

Paw Paw Museum The building with the strange name and the intriguing history, known originally as the Paw Paw Building in Port Deposit, was built in 1821.
The Paw Paw Museum is open the second and fourth Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m., May through October. The Paw Paw Museum remains a "must see" for several tour groups throughout the northeastern United States and attracts visitors from all over the country to do research or learn a little more about the one and one-half mile long town on the Susquehanna River. The Paw Paw features a small gift shop where copies of the PDHC published book "We Called It Everlasting Granite And, By Golly, It Is: Stories of the Port Deposit Granite Quarries" are still available.
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HOURS: 2nd and fourth Sundays from May through Oct. Open from 1 to 5.

Cecil County History
05/19/2020

Cecil County History

In the summer of 1868, the Port Deposit Town Commissioners awarded a contract to “rebuild the engine house and public-school room,” which had been destroyed by a fire during the winter months. In developing their plan for an expanded public building, they added a third floor for a masonic hall, and the paper remarked this structure would “far surpass in beauty the one destroyed by the fire last winter.”

Eli Sentman finished erecting the “combined town hall, public school, and masonic hall” in 1868. The engine room was on the first floor. Also, for “evildoers and night prowlers there was a town lockup, “ready to receive unwilling occupants,” the Cecil Democrat Reported.

The school board used the second floor and the third floor served as the home for the Harmony Lodge of Masons. The Knights of the Golden Eagle, a fraternal group, purchased the second floor in 1897 from the school board and sold it to Harmony Lodge in 1920.

For generations, this was Station 7, the headquarters for the Water Fire Company, but as the company grew in the 1960s, there was a need for a new headquarters.

In 1973 when the Maryland Historical Trust surveyed Port Deposit, the preservation agency noted that the municipal building was occupied by the town public works department, the masonic lodge, and the police department. On the old engine room floor, there the municipal truck and snowplow were stored.

Port Deposit Heritage Museum - Paw-Paw Building
04/16/2020

Port Deposit Heritage Museum - Paw-Paw Building

A little something fun. "You get no gas with our meals". Donna's Gas Station. South Main Street where the empty lot is now between Cool Beans and Mildred & Company.
Digitized by Kat with special thanks to Steven Rosner for the loan.

Delaware Public Archives
04/13/2020

Delaware Public Archives

On this day in 1926: Cape Henlopen Lighthouse fell into the sea. Built in 1765, it was the second oldest in the US.

Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
04/01/2020

Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

Today in Chesapeake Maritime History from CBMM Chief Curator Pete Lesher: On March 31, 1781, British forces attacked and burned a shipyard belonging to Stephen Steward near the head of West River in Anne Arundel County. They drove off defenders at a small battery on Chalk Point and laid waste to the yard, including a nearly-completed ship for the Maryland state navy, a dwelling, and storehouses containing shipbuilding supplies. Shortly after, Steward obtained a contract from the state to build a replacement vessel, but it was not completed before hostilities ceased. In the early 1990s, an archeological dig found the remains of the yard, including evidence of the 1781 fire.

🗺️: A map from the time of the American Revolution shows West River, the location of Steward's Shipyard, south of Annapolis. John Churchman, Map of the Peninsula Between Delaware & Chesopeak Bays, c. 1786. Collection of Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, gift of Pete Lesher.

Craigtown Auto Inc
03/16/2020

Craigtown Auto Inc

Sept 9 2011 Flooding in Port Deposit Md

Craigtown Auto Inc
03/10/2020

Craigtown Auto Inc

March 9 2011 Flooding in Port Deposit Md

Mike Dixon, Historian
02/22/2020

Mike Dixon, Historian

RESEARCH TIP -- RARE 1771 MAP ONLINE -- This "unique map displayed here was made for the purpose of showing proposed roads between the Susquehanna River and Philadelphia, Reading, and Wilmington, Delaware. The machine to the left, which does not directly relate to the map, was used for cutting files. The map accompanied "An abstract of Sunday papers and proposals for improving the inland navigation of Pennsylvania and Maryland" in Transactions of the American Philosophical Society."

The Washington Libary at Mount Vernon contains a strong selection of digital content (including maps). These digitized materials are helpful for researchers.

Here is the link to the Washington Library catalog.mountvernon.org/digital/

Craigtown Auto Inc
02/21/2020

Craigtown Auto Inc

1949 Picture of construction of the Port Pool in Port Deposit Md

Craigtown Auto Inc
02/17/2020

Craigtown Auto Inc

1972 Picture of Port Deposit Md Flooding from Hurricane Agnes

Craigtown Auto Inc
02/10/2020

Craigtown Auto Inc

1940 Picture of construction of Hatem Bridge rt40 on the Havre de Grace side

Historical Society of Cecil County
02/08/2020

Historical Society of Cecil County

African American faces from Cecil County. Unknown woman in Port Deposit, circa 1900. From the Rev. Squire Collection.

Craigtown Auto Inc
01/16/2020

Craigtown Auto Inc

1948 Picture of Jacob Tome Mansion in Port Deposit Md being demolished

Craigtown Auto Inc
01/06/2020

Craigtown Auto Inc

1974 Picture of Port Deposit Md

Port Deposit Heritage Museum - Paw-Paw Building
01/04/2020

Port Deposit Heritage Museum - Paw-Paw Building

A random school day in 1907 at Jacob Tome Institute.
Looks alot like Town Hall...
-Kat

Craigtown Auto Inc
12/19/2019

Craigtown Auto Inc

1942 picture shows construction of Bainbridge Naval Training Center in Port Deposit Md

Craigtown Auto Inc
12/17/2019

Craigtown Auto Inc

1960s Picture of Mt Ararat Farms in Port Deposit Md They delivered milk at that time

Historical Society of Cecil County
12/08/2019
Historical Society of Cecil County

Historical Society of Cecil County

Scroll down to the bottom to hear a recording of the dispatcher on duty, Rosemary Culley, as she communicates with first responders.

Belle on Bohemia
12/01/2019

Belle on Bohemia

Construction began on the C&D Canal but was soon suspended on December 1, 1804 due to lack of funds. It did not resume until 19-years later. Benjamin Henry Latrobe, the Father of American Architecture, surveyed the route for this important trade and transportation route. (Photo from Robert Hazel’s Blog on Chesapeake City & The C&D Canal.)

Photos from Paw Paw Museum's post
11/29/2019

Photos from Paw Paw Museum's post

Historical Society of Cecil County
11/22/2019

Historical Society of Cecil County

1939 advertisement from Conowingo Power.

Craigtown Auto Inc
11/18/2019

Craigtown Auto Inc

1892 Picture of North Main st in Port Deposit Md You can see Tome Church on the right side

Historical Society of Cecil County
11/16/2019

Historical Society of Cecil County

In 1910 advertisements for telephones ran every week in the Cecil County newspapers.

Craigtown Auto Inc
11/15/2019

Craigtown Auto Inc

Aug 28 1940 First cars cross the Susquehanna River in Perryville Md It is the Hatem Bridge now Still a toll road Thanks to Cecil County History for this

Special Report: Building ships and boats in Cecil County
11/15/2019
Special Report: Building ships and boats in Cecil County

Special Report: Building ships and boats in Cecil County

Cecil County had an abundance of the resources needed for ship and boat building — timber, iron and waterways — and research in the files, newspapers, and books in the

Colonial America's richest man invested in Cecil
11/10/2019
Colonial America's richest man invested in Cecil

Colonial America's richest man invested in Cecil

PORT DEPOSIT — He may have been born in Annapolis, but Charles Carroll knew a good thing when he saw it. That skill may have helped him become one of

Craigtown Auto Inc
10/28/2019

Craigtown Auto Inc

1907 Picture of Main st in Port Deposit Md

Edwin Wilmer of Port Deposit, who operated the Port Deposit Quarry with his father-in-law Daniel Megredy, raised the 6th...
10/25/2019

Edwin Wilmer of Port Deposit, who operated the Port Deposit Quarry with his father-in-law Daniel Megredy, raised the 6th Regiment of Delaware Infantry in 1863 and at the time of Lee’s Raid into Pennsylvania he was able to have his regiment armed, equipped and on duty along the PB&W Railroad in a matter of two days. He served as Captain of Company A 6th Delaware Infantry starting October 25, 1862, and was Provost Marshal for the District of Delaware May 1, 1863. He became Colonel of the 6th Delaware Infantry June 27, 1863, and was honorably mustered out as Colonel August 22, 1863.

Craigtown Auto Inc
10/15/2019

Craigtown Auto Inc

1919 Picture of Main st in Port Deposit Md You can see the Tome School on the left side

Port Deposit Heritage Museum - Paw-Paw Building
10/14/2019

Port Deposit Heritage Museum - Paw-Paw Building

Just a few historic pics, with lines corresponding to their location. The angled road to the top is High Street for reference.
-Kat

Craigtown Auto Inc
10/07/2019

Craigtown Auto Inc

June 1972 Amphibous vehicle enters Port Deposit to help with flooding from Hurricane Agnes Thanks to Cecil County History for this

Craigtown Auto Inc
09/30/2019

Craigtown Auto Inc

1908 Picture of Port Deposit Md

Historical Society of Cecil County
09/23/2019

Historical Society of Cecil County

The Land of Glacken. Edward Glacken lived near Port Deposit, Cecil County Maryland. Map is from 1868

Historical Society of Cecil County
09/20/2019

Historical Society of Cecil County

The foundry workers at Armstrong Stove Company, Perryville, Cecil County Maryland. Circa 1900

Maryland Historical Society
09/17/2019

Maryland Historical Society

Today is the 157th Anniversary of the Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest day in American history. In just a few hours, both armies combined for more than 22,000 casualties. This Springfield Model 1855 rifle (ca. 1858-1862) was picked up as a souvenir after the battle by 6-year-old Jacob L. Newcomer (1856-1926), a native of Sharpsburg, MD. Following his death in 1926, it was presented to the Maryland Historical Society, along with a sabre found at Antietam, in his memory (1929.7.2).

Address

98 N Main St
Port Deposit, MD
21904

General information

The building with the strange name and the intriguing history, known originally as the Paw Paw Building in Port Deposit, was built in 1821. It was named for two paw-paw bushes which once flanked the entrance, and today one paw paw stands sentinel at the entrance of the old structure. If you’ve ever heard the children’s song, "Way down yonder in the paw paw patch," or "pickin’ up paw paws and puttin’ ‘em in a basket," the name suddenly isn’t so strange. The Paw Paw was the first church structure of any denomination in Port Deposit, serving the Methodist congregation. The building had three entrances for this congregation – "one for men, one for women and one for coloreds," according to the writings of the pseudonym utilizing historian Guyas Cutas in 1876. All of the congregants, no matter which door they used, attended services together. Originally a one-story building, there was a high pulpit on one side and a balcony for African-Americans, reached only by the outside entrance. According to historians, including the late James Chapman, a multi-term Councilman in Port Deposit, the Paw Paw was the scene of much Underground Railroad activity. Said Cutas, "…many a runaway salve crouched in the balcony as the word was preached from the pulpit." The second story was added by the Odd Fellows in 1857 and the familiar coating of stucco was added, as was popular at the time. The building was then used as a meeting hall by Harmony Lodge Masons from 1852 to 1867 and in later years housed an academy, store and a restaurant. Sadly this historic structure was derelict for many years, its walls crumbling and its worth fading, but in 1975 a small group made a first step in preserving Port Deposit’s history. Founded by the late Grace Humphries, the Port Deposit Heritage Corporation was chartered and the Paw Paw was chosen as their first project. It was purchased by PDHC in 1975 and fundraising began in earnest to save the dilapidated building. Through grants from Maryland Historical Trust and Preservation Maryland this building was saved. The Cecil Historical Trust contributed funding for interior improvements along with the Port Deposit VFW. These funds and donations from members and supporters help to create the museum setting in use today. The exterior was stabilized first and for years all funds were used to replace windows and shutters, re-stucco the walls, replace the roof and add doors. Then interior work began. Finally, the first floor was completed during the summer of 1991 and the Paw Paw Museum was opened to the public on August 24, 1991. Old photos, yearbooks, stoves, clothing, authentic Civil War items and other local memorabilia were and continue to be displayed, collected and preserved here for future generations. The second floor of the Paw Paw Museum was restored in the late 1990s, and is now used as a meeting room for PDHC and other organizations. The Paw Paw Museum is open the second and fourth Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m., May through October. The 2002 season of the Paw Paw Museum featured the "Patriotism of Port Deposit, " which was well received and enjoyed by hundreds of visitors from across the country, who also conducted genealogical research while visiting. The 2003 season of the Paw Paw Museum features an exhibit on Snow’s Battery B and Port Deposit during the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865. The exhibit was created by museum curator Erika L. Quesenbery with assistance by museum volunteer J. Kevin Matthews. The exhibit features Civil War relics carried into battle by the men of Snow’s Battery B, 1st Maryland Light Artillery, composed of men from the 7th District of Cecil County, primarily from Port Deposit and environs. Period photographs, many on public display for the first time, enhance the exhibit as do recreations of camp scenes such as a dog tent and officer’s quarters. The battery earned high honors and praise during the war from General Franz Sigel and Captain Romeyn B. Ayres, and were even visited by President Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton who watched them drill in Northern Virginia. Transcripts of original Civil War letters written by these men, including 1st Lieutenants Theodore Vanneman, James H. Kidd and L.A.C. Gerry, Captain Alonzo Snow, and 2nd Lt. Leonard Parker are included in the exhibit, alongside Captain Snow’s engraved sword, flask and pistol. The Paw Paw Museum remains a "must see" for several tour groups throughout the northeastern United States and attracts visitors from all over the country to do research or learn a little more about the one and one-half mile long town on the Susquehanna River. The Paw Paw features a small gift shop where copies of the PDHC published book "We Called It Everlasting Granite And, By Golly, It Is: Stories of the Port Deposit Granite Quarries" are still available.

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