About the Museums
W. Henry Duvall Tool Museum
The W Henry Duvall Tool Museum houses trade tools, household items and farm implements from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The museum is named for W Henry Duvall, who amassed most of the items found in this extensive collection acquired by M-NCPPC in 1981.
Blacksmith Shop With Farrier & Tack Shop
Constructed by volunteers in 2001, this building contains a reproduction blacksmith shop with farrier and tack shop. The blacksmith shop, modeled after one located in Aquasco that was built around 1880, has a working forge. Both include many turn-of-the-century tools and artifacts.
Tobacco Farming Museum
The Tobacco Farming Museum tells the story of tobacco in southern Maryland from its initial use by American Indians through its continued controversial use today. The exhibits include tobacco-related farming equipment, in particular, a late nineteenth century tobacco press.
Built in the in the late 19th century, the Duckett Cabin is a rare surviving example of a tenant farming family's home. According to Trueman family oral history, it was built by Charles Duckett, a former slave on their farm who served in the Union Navy during the Civil War. The cabin originally stood on the Trueman farm in Aquasco in southern Prince George's County. It was moved to Patuxent River Park in 1974. Vegetables and herbs, typical of those found in the side yards of tenant farmers, are grown on-site and used in open-hearth cooking demonstrations in the cabin.
Three outbuildings are located next to the Duckett Cabin: a one-hole wooden privy from the early twentieth century, a chicken coop, and a meat house. The meat house contains stretchers for drying animal hides and was used to store smoked meats. These outbuildings were brought to the complex from farms in Prince George's County where they were no longer in use and in danger of being destroyed.
Sears Roebuck & Company 1923 Simplex Sectional House
The Sears Roebuck and Company 1923 Simplex sectional house was moved to Patuxent Rural Life Museums from Clinton in 2004 in order to save it from demolition. A pre-fabricated mail-order house originally purchased by Lowe Steed for $443, it contains three rooms with no plumbing or electricity. Sold by Sears Roebuck and Company, sectional houses served the needs of working-class families in rural areas. The house is furnished with period pieces.
Hunting, Fishing & Trapping Museum: Working the River
For thousands of years, humans have harvested the bountiful resources of the Patuxent River. At one time, crabbing, fishing and oystering fueled the economy of southern Maryland. This exhibit tells the story of the people, the resources, and the impact hunting, fishing, and trapping has had on the Patuxent River ecosystem.