History of the Museum

The dream of establishing a museum at Solomons to preserve and interpret the area's history was shared by the following individuals: Daniel Barrett Jr., William Dovel, Alton Kersey, Joseph C. Lore Jr., and LeRoy "Pepper" Langley. They have been permanently recognized on a plaque located at the front entrance of the museum.

The Calvert Marine Museum, designed and built by volunteers on land provided by John Bluster, was established on Solomon's Island, Maryland, on October 18, 1970 under the aegis of the Calvert County Historical Society. It soon outgrew its original facility and was moved to the present nine-acre site in 1975. It was at this time that the renovated Drum Point Lighthouse was moved to the museum site.

With the growth of museum programs, collections, and visitation, the Calvert County Historical Society in 1979 asked that Calvert County designate the museum a separate department of the county government, with a seventeen-member Board of Governors to provide oversight.

Another important landmark was reached in 1981 when the Calvert Marine Museum met the criteria set by the American Association of Museums and was fully accredited by that organization. The Calvert Marine Museum is part of the small elite of 300 plus museums who have successfully gone through the accreditation process three times and one of only twelve museums in Maryland to be accredited. In 1984, a supporting and fundraising organization was incorporated under the name of the Calvert Marine Museum Society.


1970 - October – Calvert County Historical Society (CCHS) Maritime Museum officially dedicated (temporary facility).
1973 - CCHS acquires vacant Solomons Elementary School for permanent museum facilities (plus four acres).
1974 - May - Dr. Ralph Eshelman, first director hired; exhibits moved from temporary building to new site.
1975 - Drum Point Lighthouse (DPLH) moved to CMM waterfront by Diamond Construction Co. with a grant from 
Maryland Historical Trust.
1975 - June 29 - CMM official opening/dedication; name changed from Calvert Maritime Museum to Calvert Marine 
1976 - Boat shed completed. 
1978 - June 24 - DPLH completely restored and authentically furnished. 
1979 - Wm. B. Tennison acquired.
1979 - "Fossils of Calvert Cliffs" exhibit completed and dedicated.
1979 - J.C. Lore Oyster packing house acquired.
1982 - Estuarium opening.
1985 - Patuxent Small Craft Guild pavilion completed.
1986 - Completion of Wood Carvers Shop.
1986 - Completion of Fossil Preparation Laboratory.
1986 - Groundbreaking ceremony for new Exhibition Hall.
1989 - New Exhibition building opened to public with first permanent exhibit "Maritime Patuxent: A River and Its  
1990 - First CMM Director, Dr. Ralph E. Eshelman, retires.
1991 - C. Douglass Alves, Jr., Director, hired.
1992 - Second permanent exhibit "Estuary Patuxent: A River and Its Life" opened to the public.
1993 - Renovated schoolhouse opens as Administration Building.
1994 - Otter Habitat opened to the public.
1997 - Third and final permanent exhibit "Treasures from the Cliffs: Exploring Marine Fossils" opened to the public.
2000 – Cove Point Lighthouse transferred U.S. Coast Guard to Calvert County government.
2001 - J.C. Lore & Sons Oyster House designated National Historic Landmark status on August 7th by the 
Secretary of the Interior.
2006 - Renovated Discovery Room opens to the public.
2008 - Opening of the new introduction to the Paleontology Hall.
2008 - Opening of Eco-Invaders Exhibit.
2009 - Corbin Pavilion Dedication
2009 - Vol. 34, No. 2, Summer 2009 Bugeye Times after thirty–three years of print publication move to on-line format.
2010 - Dedication of "CMM Founders' Plaque" on front of Exhibition Building 
2010 - Tom Wisner, folk singer, environmentalist and educator of Chesapeake Bay succumbed to lung cancer. His archives come to CMM.
2012 - Cove Point Lighthouse opens for rentals.
2013 - Skipjack Dee of St. Mary's acquired by the museum from the Chesapeake Bay Field Lab.