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) dedicates Calvert Maritime Museum (temporary facility).
1973 - CCHS acquires vacant Solomons Elementary School property for permanent museum facilities.
1973 - April 11 - Drum Point Lighthouse named to National Register of Historic Places.
1974 - Dr. Ralph Eshelman hired as first Museum Director; exhibits moved from temporary building to new site.
1975 - Drum Point Lighthouse (DPLH) moved to CMM waterfront.
1975 - June 29 - CMM official opening/dedication; name changed from Calvert Maritime Museum to Calvert Marine Museum.
1976 - Small craft exhibit shed completed.
1977 - South field property acquired.
1978 - June 24 - DPLH, completely restored and furnished, dedicated.
1978 - North Annex property acquired.
1978 - October 7-8 - First Patuxent River Appreciation Days festival.
1979 - Calvert County Resolution 22-79 officially transfers CMM from CCHS to Calvert County government.
1979 - Wm. B. Tennison acquired.
1979 - "Fossils of Calvert Cliffs" exhibit completed and dedicated.
1979 - J.C. Lore & Sons oyster packing house acquired.
1980 - March 27 - Wm. B. Tennison named to National Register of Historic Places.
1981 - November 24 - CMM accredited by American Association Museums.
1982 - Estuarium exhibit opening.
1984 - J.C. Lore & Sons Oyster House named to National Register of Historic Places.
1985 - First Waterside Music Festival.
1985 - Patuxent Small Craft Guild pavilion opens.
1986 - Wood Carving and Modelmaking Shop completed.
1986 - Fossil Preparation Laboratory completed.
1986 - Groundbreaking ceremony for new Exhibition Hall.
1986 - East Annex property acquired.
1988 - CMM becomes founding member of CHESPAX, the Calvert County environmental and outdoor education consortium.
1989 - January - New Exhibition Hall opens.
1989 - February - Learning Center and Discovery Room dedicated.
1989 - November - Permanent exhibit "Maritime Patuxent: A River and Its People" opens.
1990 - First CMM Director, Dr. Ralph E. Eshelman, retires; Paula Johnson named interim director.
1990 - CMM Volunteer Council established.
1990 - First annual Bugeye Ball held.
1991 - C. Douglass Alves, Jr. hired as Museum Director.
1992 - Permanent exhibit "Estuary Patuxent: A River and Its Life" opens.
1993 - Renovated Solomons Schoolhouse opens as Administration Building.
1994 - April 19 - Wm. B. Tennison designated a National Historic Landmark.
1994 - Otter Habitat dedicated.
1994 - First annual Sharkfest.
1996 - CMM re-accredited by American Association of Museums.
1997 - March - Permanent exhibit "Treasures from the Cliffs: Exploring Marine Fossils" opens.
1999 - March - CMM’s website www.calvertmarinemuseum.com opens.
2000 - Cove Point Light Station transferred from U.S. Coast Guard to Calvert County government.
2001 - J.C. Lore & Sons Oyster House designated a National Historic Landmark.
2003 - Enlarged Patuxent Small Craft Preservation Center dedicated.
2003 - August - Expanded Otter Exhibit opens.
2004 - May - First annual Chesapeake Antique Boat and Marine Engine Show.
2004 - October - Skates and Rays of the Mid-Atlantic exhibit opens.
2006 - May - Cove Point Light Station opens.
2006 - First annual Solomons Maritime Folklife Festival.
2006 - Renovated Discovery Room opens.
2008 - New introduction to the Paleontology Gallery opens.
2008 - Eco-Invaders exhibit opens.
2009 - Corbin Pavilion dedicated.
2009 - Summer -Bugeye Times after 33 years of print publication move to on-line format.
2009 - CMM re-accredited by American Association of Museums.
2010 - June - First Maritime Performance Series
2012 - Cove Point Lighthouse keepers’ residence opens for rentals.
2012 - First annual Special Needs Night.
2013 - Skipjack Dee of St. Mary's acquired by the museum from the Chesapeake Bay Field Lab.
2014 - April - Renovated Exhibition Hall Lobby, Museum Store, and Harms Gallery open.
2014 - Renovated Waterside Music Concert pavilion opens.
2014 - October - Permanent exhibit “River to Bay: Reflections & Connections” opens.
2016 - Museum Director C. Douglass Alves Jr. retires; Sherrod Sturrock named interim director.
2016 - October - Sherrod Sturrock hired as Museum Director.
2018 - May - Calvert Marine Museum designated as the State Paleontology Collections and Research Center.
2019 - Jeffrey Murray hired as Museum Director; Museum Director Sherrod Sturrock retires.