Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum

Museum
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Editorial Review

This 544-acre park is located just 45 minutes south of the Washington Capital Beltway along 2.5 miles of Patuxent River waterfront and St. Leonard Creek in Calvert County. Mrs. Jefferson Patterson donated the property to the state of Maryland in 1983. Archaeological surveys of the property have revealed over 70 sites spanning 9,000 years of human history. Research has also revealed this to be the home of Maryland's first attorney general, Richard Smith, and his descendant Margaret Mackall Smith, wife of President Zachary Taylor. During the War of 1812, the largest naval battle in Maryland's history took place here. The park is now home to a state history and archaeology museum that explores the changing cultures and environment of the Chesapeake Bay region over the past 12,000 years.