Museum preserves Md. county’s rural history
KENNEDYVILLE, Md. — The Kent Museum was organized in the 1960s to preserve Kent County’s rural heritage, according to Joan Anderson, librarian at the Kent County Historical Society.
“The Kent Museum contains agricultural equipment donated by local families,” Anderson said. “On display are antique tractors, horse-drawn wagons, and sleds.”
She cited a corn crib as one of the points of interest at the museum.
“After harvesting, corn on the cob was placed in the crib,” a historical marker at the museum explains. “Air circulated through the slats in the side to allow the corn to dry.
“The kernels were then removed from the cob and stored in barrels until the corn was to be used either for milling into corn meal or used as feed for livestock.”
The museum’s collection also includes a corn stalk cutter invented by Kent County farmer John Schauber in 1907.
“It allowed one horse and three or four men to harvest up to 10 acres of corn a day,” according to a historical marker on the grounds.
A second historical marker at the Kent Museum noted that the site includes Charley’s House, described as “one of 10 to 12 dwellings occupied by Chestertown’s small African-American community in the mid-19th and early 20th centuries.”
Charley Williams was the last occupant of a one-story home with a loft and it was moved from Court Street in Chestertown to the Kent Museum in 1974.
A third historical marker noted that “this house illustrates the almost extinct dwellings of the early 1800s that housed slaves/servants of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Believed to have been built as slave quarters and later as part of the African-American community in Chestertown.”
In addition, there is a graveyard of the Stavely family on the grounds of the Kent Museum; graves, according to the second historical marker, range from 1628 to 1840. Anderson said one of the graves is for a soldier that served in the American Revolutionary War.
The Kent Museum is located at 13689 Turners Creek Road and visitors are welcome.
“There are no costs to visit the museum,” Anderson explained. “The museum is open Saturdays the first and third weeks of the month beginning with May and in July and September. Visiting hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.”