Galesville Heritage Museum
Galesville, MD
Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network

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Brief Description:

The Galesville Heritage Museum serves as an interpretive and orientation center for the historic waterside community of Galesville, founded in 1652. On this small 660 acre peninsula visitors can explore more than 350 years of history - elegant Tulip Hill (1756); the Quaker Burying Grounds and the site of the first Friends Meeting in Maryland (1672); Stewards's Shipyard, the slave Henry Wilson and the Rosenwald School which evoke memories of the area's plantation era and African American's march toward equality. Visit steamboat landing which linked Galesville to other Chesapeake Bay ports, and Hartge's Yacht Yard, which for more than 80 years has served the area's sailors.

Visitors who arrive by boat or car will learn about the Chesapeake Bay's natural environment and the cultural landscape that links both land and water to the people who have created this community and others like it. One can visit the Museum with its interpretive exhibits or explore the village's history on their own by foot, car, bicycle and during summer months, historic water tours are available.

Location / Directions:

From the north:

  • Rt. 97 south to Rt. 665 (Aris T. Allen Blvd.)
  • Right to Rt. 2 south (Solomons Island Road)
  • Follow Rt. 2 south over the South River Bridge to Rt. 214 (Central Ave.) and take a left.
  • Follow to Rt. 468 (Muddy Creek Road) - turn right
  • Follow Rt. 468 five miles to Rt. 255 (Galesville Road) - take a left

From southern Maryland

  • Follow Rt. 2 north and turn right on Rt. 214
  • Follow to Rt. 468 (Muddy Creek Road) - turn right
  • Follow Rt. 468 five miles to Rt. 255 (Galesville Road) - take a left
Physical Address: Galesville Heritage Museum
988 Main Street
Galesville, MD 20765
Mailing Address: Galesville Heritage Museum
P.O. Box 373
Galesville, MD 20765
Phone: (410) 867-9499

Visitors at Galesville Heritage Museum are greeted by docents who answer questions about the community and its historic sites and describes the exhibits within the museum. The current exhibits include: artifacts indicative of the area's Native Indian settlements; artifacts discovered in the underwater archaeology at Steward Shipyard; documentation of local historical personages, building and businesses, and an exhibit on buildings associated with the county's African American residents. The museum has a substantial oral history library, many of which are videotaped. Visitors can view these video libraries at the museum. In the spring of 2006, a new exhibition on the area's history will be installed at the museum and a self-guided tour brochure of the village will be available to visitors. Together, with other historical organizations in south Anne Arundel County, the Galesville Heritage Museum participates in South County Sunday. Sponsored by the Four Rivers Heritage Area, this program encourages local residents and tourists to visit and enjoy the sites and pleasures of south Anne Arundel County.

Many of the visitors keep their boats locally (Hartge Yacht Yard, West River Yacht Harbor and West River Sailing Club) or sail to Galesville to dine at one of the fine local restaurants. Visitors can walk along the waterfront and down Main Street to its art gallery and antique stores, visit the West River Market, an oldtime country store and deli and the Hartge Nautical Museum. Kayaks can be rented at the West River Market, for visitors who want to explore the waterfront on their own.

Historic water-based tours are available each Sunday during the summer months. This tour takes visitors up Tenthouse Creek to the location where 17th century Quakers camped at yearly meetings. Across the creek is the 18th century plantation of Samuel Galloway, Tulip Hill, which is a designated National Historic Landmark. The tour passes Woodfield's oyster packing house and the West River Sailing Club, then along Galesville's waterfront, past the steamboat landing for the Emma Giles, down to Hartge's Boatyard and the archaeological site of Steward Shipyard.

Tours / Walking Tours Canoeing / Kayaking

Operating Hours: The museum is open Saturday and Sunday, 1-4 pm from April through November, and by appointment from December to March. The proposed outdoor exhibit, when completed, will provide access to historical and other information.
Accessibility: The museum provides handicapped parking and a handicapped accessible restroom.

Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network - Comments or Questions: Call: 1-800-YOUR-BAY