Steven Gentry is an intern at Historic St. Mary’s City from St. Mary’s College of Maryland. He has been working this summer to begin planning exhibit panels for the inside of the Brome-Howard Inn, which was originally St. Mary’s Manor, home to Dr. John Mackall Brome. His work is part of the larger effort at HSMC to interpret the 19th century experience at St. Mary’s City. He will be sharing his thoughts and process as these panels are put together here on the blog!
Hello, Readers of “All of Us Would Walk Together”!
My name is Steven Gentry, and I am doing an internship for Historic St. Mary’s City, and I am currently working on an exhibit inside the Brome-Howard Inn!
This project was born out of the need to better connect the Brome-Howard Inn to Historic St. Mary’s City and its own historical context. In order to better understand this dilemma, we need to go back in time: specifically, to December 1993-January 1994. During this two month timespan, the then “St. Mary’s Manor” was moved to its current site Greene’s Freehold. Though separated from the Museum by less than a mile, the Inn is surrounded by trees and quite isolated from most locations. Furthermore, the Brome-Howard Inn once sat in the heart of what is now Historic St. Mary’s City for more than a century and a half, and therefore cannot really be completely separated from its original location (doing so would distort the history of the area and the Museum).
So that’s where I come in! During my time here at Historic St. Mary’s City, I have been researching topics like John Mackall Brome (the man who authorized the construction of the manor home); the Inn itself and its history; and the subjects of each of the Inn’s four bedrooms (Margaret Brent, the Calvert Family, Anne Arundell, and the two ships that brought colonists to America, the Ark and the Dove). I have also been writing text panels with the advice and aid of many Historic St. Mary’s City personnel (including Terry Brock); discussed with both the Curator of Collections and Archaeology Laboratory Director (Silas Hurry) and the Director of Research (Dr. Henry Miller) about both the information in the text panels and the objects that will go into the exhibit; and have worked heavily with both Silas Hurry and the Archaeological Research Lab Assistant (Donald Winter) to show some of the footage of the Brome-Howard being moved to its current location. In my spare time, I’m researching what topics and themes might be exhibited in the Historic St. Mary’s City Visitor Center.
That’s all for now, folks! I had hoped to show you some pictures of the interior of the Brome-Howard Inn, but my phone (which holds all my photos) is not cooperating with me. Alas, you will just have to visit the Brome-Howard Inn’s webpage (see below) for some pictures!
To bide you over until we speak again (which is quite soon, my digital friends), please ponder over the following questions-and make sure to leave a comment if you can!
- What would you like to get out of this exhibit, especially in the realm of information?
- What are your initial thoughts about this exhibit? Do you like it, dislike it, or don’t really care? Why?
- What could we do to make this project and exhibit relevant to YOU?
- What advice could you offer me as I continue to work on this exhibit?
- Where would you put text panels and objects?
Note: Thank you both, Dr. Julia King and Terry Brock, for telling me about the distortion of history that resulted from the move of the Brome-Howard Inn.