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.

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).

Craigtown Auto Inc
09/10/2019

Craigtown Auto Inc

1928 Picture construction of Conowingo Dam in Conowingo Md

Craigtown Auto Inc
08/27/2019

Craigtown Auto Inc

1938 Picture of center of town in Port Deposit Md

Craigtown Auto Inc
08/22/2019

Craigtown Auto Inc

1927 Picture of worker's building the Conowingo Dam in Conowingo Md

Cecil County History
08/15/2019

Cecil County History

In the decades before the Civil War, Cecil County had a few free black communities.

One, Snow Hill, was situated just north of the Port Deposit town limits on the steep hillside along Route 222, which was known in earlier times as Cedar Hill. On this steep grade overlooking the Susquehanna River, free black merchants and laborers established a thriving community as early as 1847.

A team of archaeologists from the Maryland Historical Trust investigated this African-American community in 1982, while completing a comprehensive cultural resources survey of the Bainbridge Naval Training Center, as the federal government prepared to sell the former base. As archaeologists sifted through this tough rocky patch of soil in 1982 evidence, artifactual and archival, emerged indicating that it was a free black community. The study noted that “46 lots on Snow Hill . . . were leased to free blacks from 1840 to 1900,” according to the Cecil Whig. “The lots were owned by whites and leased to blacks under 99-year renewable lease agreements,” the Trust reported.

The largest landholder in Snow from the mid-1800s was Ann Archer and her heirs. Thomas Ringgold was identified as a resident of the community. The site once was part of tracts known in colonial times as “Lucky Mistake” and “Mount Ararat.” The archaeological investigation turned up 19th-century artifacts and foundations of several buildings, surviving remnants of this antebellum free black community in Cecil County.

Martenet’s Map of 1858 identified Snow Hill as a colored community and shows eight residents and one church, the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The Atlas of Cecil County (1877) show the Colored Methodist Church, some 20 homes and 46 lots.

Sources & Notes

* Maryland Historical Trust - Snow Hill Archeological Site
https://mht.maryland.gov/secure/medusa/mapintermediate.aspx?ID=32115&ID1=32115&ID2=undefined&Section=nrhp&PropertyID=32115&selRec=nrhp

* Cecil County Land Records; Available online at http://plats.net/pages/index.aspx

Randy
08/13/2019

Randy

Photo I took of the demolition of the Tome School in Port Deposit. I started teaching there in 1970 before the school moved to North East. Retired 2008.

Water Witch Volunteer Fire Company
08/01/2019

Water Witch Volunteer Fire Company

Engine 712 "The Pierce" making the turn at the Conowingo Dam many years ago!

Photo shared by past Chief Dave Knauss

Port Deposit Heritage Museum - Paw-Paw Building
07/31/2019

Port Deposit Heritage Museum - Paw-Paw Building

From the Roberta White Collection, McDowell House. It was built in 1902 but this is a picture from 1904. I am unsure of exact location but, judging by the torrent of water rushing past the house on the street, I would venture to say it was on the West side of the street. This is around 75 North Main Street area, still standing!
Thanks to everyone who offered feedback!
-Kat

Craigtown Auto Inc
07/30/2019

Craigtown Auto Inc

1969 Picture of destruction from fire at Tome School in Port Deposit Md

Craigtown Auto Inc
07/29/2019

Craigtown Auto Inc

Main St in Port Deposit Md Do not know the year

Cecil County History
07/25/2019

Cecil County History

Part II of III -- For younger people today, it is something an earlier generations talk about, but for those who lived through Tropical Storm Agnes in Cecil County, they will never forget the damaging force that disrupted lives along the lower Susquehanna River.

Over a five day period (June 20 to 24, 1972) the National Weather Service issued bulletins about the storm that moved along the coast, bringing torrents of rain. On June 21, 1972, the bureau downgraded Hurricane Agnes to a Tropical Storm, but it was bearing down on the Chesapeake.

As it wobbled across the bay, it brought a thorough soaking to Maryland. But after it passed through the state it hooked back and stalled dropping even larger amounts of rain over the Susquehanna River watershed in New York and Pennsylvania. According to the National Weather Service, the “storm split into two centers over Pennsylvania, one hovering over the northeastern corner of the state and the other over the north-central portion.”

Just when some thought Cecil County had escaped the worst of the storm, the waterway and its tributaries upstream started rising dangerously, all that water headed south to the mouth of the river.

Late on June 23, a mandatory evacuation of Port Deposit was ordered as the water continued to rise. Many of the evacuees were brought out by boat during an eight hour period “as the brown water came thundering down through the floodgates of the Conowingo dam with unprecedented forced,” the Evening Sun Reported. Main Street was like a canal, under 4-feet of water. (Evening Sun, June 24, 1972)

Port Deposit was empty, having been evacuated early yesterday morning, the News Journal added Last night, parts of Perryville on the same side of river as Port was being evacuated. (Morning News, June 24, 1972).

In the center of Port, only one small part of a block of Main Street was dry. “Port Deposit’s volunteer Water Witch Fire Company had taken up a new operations headquarters in the roadway having been forced from its station house earlier by feet of water,” the Wilmington paper added.

Across the river parts of Havre de Grace were being evacuated with State Police and National Guardsmen pitching in (Morning News, June 24, 1972).

Port Mayor Ryan, observing the scene, said, “We’ll get by, we’ll get through.” Roland, Johnson, a port deposit man, since 1890, pointed to the post office at 15 S. Main Street, “See the mark on the brick wall? That’s where the water came up in the 1910 flood. That was the worst, but this one Is worse than 1936.

On Saturday as exhausted first responders watched, the bulk of their emergency response work having been completed as the water rushed into town, the river slowly started returning to its banks. Soon, it was time to begin the cleanup.

“Never in eastern North America had a storm rained so hard across so man y thousands of square miles – enough, it was calculated, to add two feet of water across the 2,500 square mile Chesapeake if the bay had been a reservoir, dammed at the mouth,” the Washington Post Reported.

Part III (to be posted): The Water Witch Volunteer Fire Company and other first responders answered the call

Part I -- 46-Years Later Remembering Agnes https://www.facebook.com/pg/cecilcountyhistory/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2061340070797576

Craigtown Auto Inc
07/17/2019

Craigtown Auto Inc

1908 Picture of Tome Gas House located in Port Deposit Md

Craigtown Auto Inc
07/08/2019

Craigtown Auto Inc

1964 Picture of Bainbridge Naval Training Center in Port Deposit Md Plane is being towed to Wiley's to ship to FL

Bridging the Chesapeake: A 'Fool Idea' That Unified Maryland
07/04/2019

Bridging the Chesapeake: A 'Fool Idea' That Unified Maryland

On this date in 1776: Marylanders William Paca, Charles Carroll, Thomas Stone and Samuel Chase signed the Declaration of Independence.

The Baltimore Sun
07/04/2019
The Baltimore Sun

The Baltimore Sun

Charles Carroll, of Carrollton, wouldn't get to Philadelphia and add his name to the Declaration of Independence for some weeks, but when it came to the idea that the 13 colonies must free themselves from England, he got there long before many of his fellow Marylanders.

Craigtown Auto Inc
06/27/2019

Craigtown Auto Inc

1963 picture of Tydings Bridge I95 in Perryville Md

Craigtown Auto Inc
06/19/2019

Craigtown Auto Inc

1970s Picture of Port Pool in Port Deposit Md

Craigtown Auto Inc
06/12/2019

Craigtown Auto Inc

1911 Picture of S Main st in Port Deposit Md

Port Deposit Heritage Museum - Paw-Paw Building
06/11/2019

Port Deposit Heritage Museum - Paw-Paw Building

Dr. E. S. Boyle (dentist) of Port Deposit, lived and died in his home which we now know as Gwendolyn's Marigold Manor. He bought the unimproved back lot (we formerly knew it as the Bee's Nest), just 5 years after moving onto the main lot, in 1905 for $110 (approximately $3,150.00 in 2019 money).
He was a director of Tome Institute, a director of the Citizen's National Bank, a dentist, a former mayor of Port Deposit, and had 2 children.
He died April 8, 1944 from a heart condition. He was 78.
-Kat

Craigtown Auto Inc
06/11/2019

Craigtown Auto Inc

1900 Picture of Port Deposit Md

Craigtown Auto Inc
06/11/2019

Craigtown Auto Inc

1972 Picture of flooding at Owns Fish Market in Perryville Md

Craigtown Auto Inc
06/09/2019

Craigtown Auto Inc

1888 Picture of Old Conowingo located north of the Dam it is now under water

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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