We rarely talk about Major League Baseball teams and Southern Maryland lighthouses in the same breath, but that changes this month. The Baltimore Orioles and St. Mary’s County museums are teaming up for the remainder of Black History Month to encourage exposure to Maryland history.
Visitors to the Old Jail Museum in Leonardtown, St. Clement’s Island Museum in Colton’s Point or Piney Point Lighthouse Museum in Piney Point will receive a voucher for two free Orioles tickets with their museum admission for the rest of this month.
While the Orioles have a rich history in Maryland, St. Mary’s County goes all the way back to the beginning of the state, as home to its first capital. Its museums also capture this history and the contributions of local African Americans.
The Old Jail Museum is on the National Park Service’s Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Trail, and “documents the plight of recaptured Freedom Seekers held at the jail before the American Civil War.” Visitors can also learn the grim history of Benjamin Hance, a young Black man in St. Mary’s County who was taken from the jail in 1887 and lynched outside of Leonardtown by a mob of residents.
St. Clement’s Island Museum, which stands on Maryland’s first landing site for settlers, talks about the origins of Maryland and Matthias de Sousa, an indentured servant of African descent. He was the first and only Black person to serve in the colonial Maryland legislature after arriving on the first voyage.
Piney Point Lighthouse Museum includes not just a lighthouse on display but also Potomac maritime history including the many Black watermen who plied the waters around St. Mary’s County for oysters, crabs, and more.
To take advantage of the free Orioles tickets offer, you must specifically ask for a voucher when you visit one of the three St. Mary’s County Museum Division museums before the end of February.
Among the conditions of the offer, only one voucher good for two tickets will be available per party/group and visitors who already claimed a voucher may not claim a voucher again at one of the other museums, so they are available for as many guests as possible. Available while supplies last; only 30 vouchers are available per museum.
The Old Jail Museum is free; admission fees apply at the other museums. All three are open daily 12-4 p.m. this month. There are other Maryland museums participating in this promotion, too: the B&O Railroad Museum, Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, National Great Blacks in Wax Museum (all located in Baltimore) and the Banneker-Douglass Museum in Annapolis.
-Meg Walburn Viviano