PLACES TO VISIT
The following sites provide just a sampling of the places along the trail that you can visit right now:
The Smithsonian National Museum of American History - View the original Star-Spangled Banner. The almost 200-year old, 30-by 34-foot flag is displayed in a special environmentally-controlled chamber. An interactive table with a tactile image allows visitors to investigate key details of the flag and how it was made.
Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum - On June 26, 1814, the Battle of St. Leonard Creek took place at what is now the site of Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum. In this fierce battle British ships, boats, and rocket barges fought against the war barges of the Chesapeake Flotilla supported by gun batteries on what is now park property. JPPM recently opened a new exhibit on the War of 1812 and its impacts on our lives today. The park also provides an 1812-themed audio tour.
Calvert Marine Museum -- the museum's permanent exhibit, Maritime Patuxent: A River and Its People tells the story of human activity along the Patuxent River from the colonial period to present. The exhibit features the War of 1812 on the Chesapeake, with artifacts on display from underwater excavations of Joshua Barney's flagship Scorpion.
Maryland Star-Spangled Banner Scenic Byway -- Maryland has designated 19 byways that follow 2,487 miles of roads which offer a taste of Maryland's scenic beauty, history and culture. The Star-Spangled Banner Byway is the land component of the National HIstoric Trail. Auto routes follow and commemorate the historic routes of British and Americans in the months leading to the Battle for Baltimore.
North Point State Park -- The Defenders Trail was used during the War of 1812, and passes through the park. North Point was also the site of the historical Bay Shore Amusement Park, a popular destination for summer visitors from 1906 until it closed in 1947. Follow in the footsteps of the British along North Point Road to North Point State Battlefield and Battle Acre Park in Dundalk, where the Battle of North Point took place in September 1814.
Bladensburg Waterfront Park -- Bladensburg Waterfront Park, formerly known as Bladensburg Marina, is a newly revitalized park along the Anacostia River, nestled among the Port Towns of Bladensburg, Colmar Manor and Cottage City. The park features a public boat ramp, fishing pier, picnic pavilion, playground, a B & O Railroad caboose, community boathouse (storage facility) and historical displays.
Theodore Roosevelt Island - During the War, the island was known both as Mason Island and Analostan Island and it was owned by John Mason, who was the son of the Founding Father George Mason. John was a close friend of President Madison and was with him for much of the President's escape from Washington, D.C. Mason even escorted the President out of the city on the ferry he ran between Georgetown and Theodore Roosevelt Island. Upon his return to Washington, D.C. after the burning, he handled POW exchanges between the British and the Americans. While I have yet to find the definitive primary source proof, I belived that John Mason, who also owned a townhouse in Georgetown was the person who asked Francis Scott Key to go to Maryland to arranged the freedom for Dr. Beanes.
United States Naval Academy Museum -- Visit a beautifully renovated exhibit hall overflowing with artifacts, flags, and stories of those who have defended American democracy from the early days of the American Republic until today. The museum includes a room on naval maneuvers leading up to and throughout the War of 1812.
Did You Know?
Although it gave the United States a national anthem, there is no evidence that any of Fort McHenry's defenders were killed by a Congreve rocket during the battle even though around 700 were fired.