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.
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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.

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.

Operating as usual

07/06/2021

Port Deposit man runs for president!

Dr. Joseph Irwin France taught Natural Science at Jacob Tome Institute (JTI) in 1897 but resigned soon thereafter to go to medical school and subsequently practice medicine in 1903, the same year he married Jacob Tome's widow, Evalyn Smith Tome (d. 1927).

He was elected to the Maryland State Senate in 1906 and eventually ran in opposition of Herbert Hoover in the 1932 Presidential Campaign.
France died of a heart attack on January 26, 1939 at his home on the Tome estate in Port Deposit. He is buried at Hopewell Cemetery in Port Deposit.

-Kat

07/03/2021

Did you know Jacob Tome had initially planned to construct a college?
There is no source, other than the paper copy and the text below the illustration, "The discovery of old blueprints, whose existence had been unknown or forgotten for nearly a century, has thrown additional light upon the origins of Tome School in Port Deposit.
Frank Brown, Jr., recently found the papers on Mount Ararat Farms in the house which had been occupied by his late father.
They prove that plans for the Tome School had been underway much earlier than has heretofore been believed, also they also indicate that the original conception in the founder's mind was of a boarding school."

-Kat

07/03/2021

Main Street Port Deposit, 1960s, looking South. Winchester's seems to be the focus.

Far off in the distance you can see part of the Tome Institute on the right.

At the time of this photo, the building was owned by Ralph Winchester, but the proprietors of the restaurant were Dorothy Bittner Luglio and her sister, Mary A. Bittner from 1946 - 1973 (relatives of PDHC'S secretary/grant writer/treasurer, JoAnne Bierly).

Winchesters was two distinct businesses (restaurant on one side, tavern on the other), and had 9 hotel rooms and an apartment upstairs.

-Kat

06/29/2021

The Tome Mansion, also known as Hytheham, built c. 1850 of Port Deposit Granite, had a 22 ft square tower that later served as the first Cecil Bank.
The mansion was torn down in August 1948 after many years of neglect and replaced by the Lions Club Pool, which is now the site of parking for the Carriage House.
-Kat

05/05/2021

This is a copy and paste from a FB user, Gregory Pawelski. I couldn't find verbiage to put in my own words but I have found on multiple sites, the abandoned RR track, hence me looking around and finding his explanation but no other as detailed.

There was a 3.4 mile spur that operated just south from Colora, near Liberty Grove, Maryland, to the rear gate of the Naval Training Center Bainbridge, Port Deposit, Maryland off Maryland Route 276 until the late '60s. To serve the naval station's transportation requirements, 9 miles of railroad track had to be installed. Some 3,000 cross ties were sawed from trees cleared from the site. The nearest feasible point of rail connection was to the Oxford-Perryville branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad at Colora, Maryland, 3.4 miles north of the naval station. A single-track spur to that point was built, the work involving 300,000 cubic yards of grading, two timber railroad trestles and a highway bridge in addition to the track work. The railroad construction began in June 1942 and completed the following December. Most of the land of the depot was assigned to open storage. - Department of the Navy Bureau of Yard and Docks

-Kat

04/27/2021

The Paw Paw building is 200!

Exciting news! The Christmas ornaments are designed and ready to cut! We will be more organized this year since it's a planned thing.

Since we were so successful with our fundraising efforts last year, and everyone seems to love these, we are making them again this year. Gee - can you guess the theme?
Thank you to everyone who purchased them last year, and to Granite Run Taproom, Cool Beans, Gwendolyn's Closet and Mildred & Company for selling these. We raised close to $600 for the 2020 ornaments!

The PDHC had great plans for a town-wide event; re-enacting activities, docents, attire, food and more from the early-mid 1820's (Kat even had a whole menu of 1800s food) but with Covid, we never got together to plan last year.

History of the Paw Paw:
Built in 1821 as a single story structure by the First Methodist Episcopal congregation and used as a church until 1839 when Nesbitt Hall (across the street) was built, it served as many things to include the meeting place for Harmony Lodge and the Odd Fellows Academy.
Newspaper articles tell us major renovation was done to the building in 1876 for a public schoolhouse, which was when the second story was added.
It has been many things over the years - a grocery store, dining salon, reunion place for Snow's Battery, rec hall for local youth, dance hall, apartment, and now a museum and home of the Port Deposit Heritage Corporation that was founded in 1975 by Grace Humphries and restored the once derilect Paw Paw building.

-Kat

03/26/2021

Women's History Month post of the day
Member of the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame
Dr. Helen Brooke Taussig
1898-1896

Dr. Helen Brooke Taussig, born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is considered the founder of pediatric cardiology. She received her baccalaureate degree in 1921 from the University of California. Later, after being told that a woman could not earn a degree from the Harvard School of Public Health, she entered the Boston University Medical School. She transferred two years later to the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, from which she graduated in 1927.
Denied an internship in medicine at Johns Hopkins University Hospital because another woman from her class had already been accepted, Taussig accepted an internship in pediatrics. In 1930, she was made head of the Cardiac Clinic in the Harriet Lane Home of Johns Hopkins. She retired from there as physician-in-charge in 1963.

In 1944, Taussig and Dr. Alfred Blalock, a Johns Hopkins surgeon, developed the famous operation to alleviate the "blue baby" syndrome. The "blue baby syndrome" is a condition in which a child is born with a congenital heart defect that results in a bluish tinge to the skin because too little blood passes from the heart to the lungs. Prior to the development of this operation, the condition almost always meant a life of severely restricted activity and an early death.

It was also in her capacity as a pediatric cardiologist that Taussig began investigating and alerting the public to the dangers of the drug Thalidomide.

Taussig amassed an impressive list of firsts. In 1959, she became the first woman to be made a full professor at the Johns Hopkins Medical School. In 1965, she became the first woman president of the American Heart Association. In 1972, she was named the first woman Master in the American College of Physicians. In 1973, she was among the first 20 women in the United States to be inducted into the Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York. In addition, she was awarded the Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor bestowed by the American government, in 1964.

Biography courtesy of the Maryland Commission for Women, 1987.

© Copyright Maryland State Archives, 2001

02/27/2021

1905 Picture of center of town in Port Deposit MD

The newly elected Port Deposit Town Council February 22, 1954 was Ralph Winchester, Lee Henderson, Jay C. Emery, Chester...
02/22/2021

The newly elected Port Deposit Town Council February 22, 1954 was Ralph Winchester, Lee Henderson, Jay C. Emery, Chester Kimble, Frederick Drexler and William Calary with Hubert F. “Pat” Ryan serving as Mayor.

The newly elected Port Deposit Town Council February 22, 1954 was Ralph Winchester, Lee Henderson, Jay C. Emery, Chester Kimble, Frederick Drexler and William Calary with Hubert F. “Pat” Ryan serving as Mayor.

Timeline Photos
02/04/2021

Timeline Photos

The Port Deposit Black Sox were officially named as such in the 1920s, although baseball teams were playing in Port Deposit in the late 1870s. Thomas Fields, Sr. borrowed the name from the Baltimore Black Sox and began recruiting friends and neighbors for the newly organized, all black team. Some players over the years were Horace Boddy, Jr., Ernest Burke, Tommy Lee (HdG), George McMullen and Kenneth Boyer (scorekeeper). The Black Sox disbanded in the 1950s.

01/28/2021

1907 Picture of Port Deposit Granite Quarry in Port Deposit MD

Craigtown Auto Inc
01/08/2021

Craigtown Auto Inc

1976 Picture of closing of the Bainbridge Naval Training Center in Port Deposit MD The last truck left on March 30 1976

Port Deposit Heritage Museum - Paw-Paw Building
12/10/2020

Port Deposit Heritage Museum - Paw-Paw Building

Midtown. Date unk.
The church is still there but trees now occupy the area where the three story building that housed Midtown Market once stood.
-Kat

Craigtown Auto Inc
11/28/2020

Craigtown Auto Inc

1926 Last picture taken of the Town of Conowingo buildings where demolished because building of Conowingo dam

Craigtown Auto Inc
11/25/2020

Craigtown Auto Inc

1969 Picture of damage done by fire at Tome School in Port Deposit Md

Craigtown Auto Inc
11/21/2020

Craigtown Auto Inc

1900 Picture of Port Deposit Md

Craigtown Auto Inc
11/10/2020

Craigtown Auto Inc

1927 Picture of construction of Conowingo Dam in Conowingo Md

Port Deposit Heritage Museum - Paw-Paw Building
11/08/2020

Port Deposit Heritage Museum - Paw-Paw Building

In looking for something at the museum today, Kat found this wonderful gem. She had never even known there was a hat shop in Port until we had a fascinator merchant set up at the Spirit Poker Stroll who mentioned there was one on North Main.
Here is an actual photo from inside the shop, date unk.

Phoebe Pyle pictured in "Pyle's Hat Shop".

Photo donated by Mary Ann Smith in 1986.

The White House Historical Association
08/24/2020

The White House Historical Association

On this day in 1814, the British burned the President’s House.

Learning of the British advance, First Lady Dolley Madison directed staff, including the French steward, Jean-Pierre Sioussat, and her enslaved servant, Paul Jennings, to save the famous Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington, which hangs in the East Room today.

Throughout the District of Columbia, other heroes preserved what they could. Clerks John Graham, Stephen Pleasanton, and Josias King packed up the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the papers of George Washington, the State Department, and of Congress, along with treaties, laws, and correspondence dating back to 1789.

When the British arrived at the empty President’s House, they enjoyed the evening meal that had been prepared for guests of the first family before setting the building afire.

President James Madison stayed in the countryside for more than a day while the British occupied the capital. The episode marked the lowest point of the War of 1812 for American morale.

Less than a month later, Americans claimed a key victory when Fort McHenry repulsed British forces in Baltimore. While officials negotiated the Treaty of Ghent, the American victory at the Battle of New Orleans and news of peace helped frame the war as a national victory.

Rebuilding the Executive Mansion in the same location and design became a point of pride, and original architect James Hoban did just that. In October 1817, President James Monroe moved into the White House, where every American president and his family has lived since.

Image Credit: White House Historical Association

Port Deposit Heritage Museum - Paw-Paw Building
08/17/2020

Port Deposit Heritage Museum - Paw-Paw Building

Everyone knows what Granite Run Taproom looks like now but just 34 years ago, it looked like this. Who remembers it as Port Hardware?
-Kat

Port Deposit Heritage Museum - Paw-Paw Building
08/09/2020

Port Deposit Heritage Museum - Paw-Paw Building

A little history about the Rock Run Mill...
Built c. 1710 by Daniel Johnson, bequeathed to his son-in-law, John Lowe in 1715. Stephen Onion later became owner who sold it June 8, 1744 to John Steel (with 20 acres and 4 small islands). John Steel passed it to his son Walter Steel in 1746. Sometime later, George C. Turner was noted as proprietor before his death in Feb 1824. Sometime later, Robert Dawson, Esq. owned it and sold the mill and 7 acres to Joseph B. Preston, Esq. in Jan. 1857. Joseph Preston rented it James Whitelock in Feb 1859, who turned around and sold his lease right back to Preston Jan 1860! The next mention is in 1878, when John Matthews was the proprietor. Some time around there, James C. Bell had ownership because in 1879, he advertised the mill for sale. Shew - dizzy yet from all the names?

-Kat
(pic of mill is a postcard from Carson's Pharmacy, postmarked 1908)

Craigtown Auto Inc
07/21/2020

Craigtown Auto Inc

1939 Picture of center of Town Port Deposit MD

Craigtown Auto Inc
07/15/2020

Craigtown Auto Inc

1927 Picture of main st in Port Deposit Md Thanks to PDHC for this

Craigtown Auto Inc
07/14/2020

Craigtown Auto Inc

1900 Picture of Port Deposit Md

Craigtown Auto Inc
06/27/2020

Craigtown Auto Inc

June 1972 Evacuation Night for Hurricane Agnes in Port Deposit Md

06/16/2020
Sketch of Port Deposit
06/16/2020
Sketch of Port Deposit

Sketch of Port Deposit

With the recent development in the area and the potential Granite Cliffs project being added to the town’s growth, this article from The Cecil Whig printed 25 June 1870 describes

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.

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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