Charles County is one of the most historically important counties in Maryland. Located on the western shoreline of Chesapeake Bay, Charles County has a rich history dating back to 1634 when it was founded by Lord Baltimore and named for his father, Charles I (the “father” king). The county’s history is not limited to its founding; there are many notable events that occurred throughout time. Notable among these events were the English Civil War in 1645-1646 led by Sir Robert Eden, who was acting governor at that time, and the burning of Washington during the American Revolution.
John Wilkes Booth
Probably one of the most significant moments in Charles County’s history was a famous incident in 1865. On April 27 of that year, John Wilkes Booth had fled to Port Conway after shooting President Lincoln. He was spotted there by a man named Captain Cox and pursuers were sent out after him. After failing to find him at the home of William Rollins (a sympathizer), they set fire to his barn in an attempt to smoke him out or force him to flee.
John Wilkes Booth was found hiding in Garrett’s barn and shot by Union soldiers on April 26, 1865 (a day after his death). He died at the farm of Richard Henry Garrett near Port Royal, Virginia (now known as Bryantown) later that evening. John Stith Pemberton – famous for inventing Coca-Cola – was born in Port Conway on August 16, 1831. He is the only person to hold a patent for Coca-Cola and also held patents for various other chemicals used as flavors (like kola nut).
Charles County is very rich with culture dating back centuries; these are some of its more notable moments. It’s rich history is what makes it such a great place to visit.
The Tornado of 1926
In 1926, a tornado struck in the town of La Plata destroying much of the area. The F-scale was not created until 1971 to help classify tornadoes by wind speed and damage caused which means that it can be hard to find estimations about its strength today. This catastrophe sadly left 17 people dead.
The Aqua Mineralia Spring House
This spring house is one of the oldest structures in Charles County. It was built in 1719 by George Johnston, who is also responsible for building most of Port Tobacco’s historic homes and buildings including the Old Jail House.
It was built in order to encourage the production of Aqua Mineralia – a water that was said to have health benefits. It’s long since been shut down and it is now privately owned by a member of Port Tobacco, but it still stands today as an example of Charles County’s historic past.
Charles County is rich with history dating back centuries. The county’s history can be seen in many of its historic sites, including the Aqua Mineralia Spring House and the F-scale Tornado that destroyed La Plata. It still stands today as an example of Charles County’s past – a place where people are welcome to visit for recreation or business purposes.
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