ST. MICHAELS — The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is preparing for its Winter Speaker Series — “The Chesapeake — Past, Present and Future” — taking place Thursday, Jan. 30, through Tuesday, Feb. 25, in its Van Lennep Auditorium.
For people who have lived, worked and played on the land adjacent to the Bay’s waters, change is constant. The series explores different facets of life on the Chesapeake, including industrialization, traditional waterways, and the challenges those cultures and industries face as they plan for the future.
“All of this gets right to the heart of the museum’s mission-preserving and interpreting the history, environment and culture of this special place,” said CBMM Chief Curator Pete Lesher. “When we inspire people to deepen their love for this place, we hope it motivates them to become better stewards of the place and the culture.”
The speaker series will kick off at 2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30, with “Transformation of a Waterfront: Navy Point in St. Michaels Over Two Centuries.” Navy Point, the home of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, has been transformed over time from marsh and farmland to a residential neighborhood, an industrial district and museum grounds.
In this session, Lesher will explore the archaeological surveys and historic architecture research that have expanded our understanding of the site’s rich past. He also will discuss how the museum is planning for the future.
“I want the audience to come away with the idea that this did not happen by accident, but as a result of planning and hard work by the people who shaped the museum and the industries that preceded it,” Lesher said. “I’ll also give a little bit of vision for the future, so that the audience understands that the planning and work of shaping this place will continue.”
“The Packing House: Repurposing a Historic Phillips Packing Company Factory for the Future,” will take place at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4. Throughout the early 20th century, the Phillips Packing Company was an economic powerhouse on the Eastern Shore.
Today, the last remaining factory building in Cambridge is being repurposed as a mixed-use space. It is to support and grow regional economic opportunities connected to agriculture, aquaculture, environmental technologies and tourism.
Eastern Shore Land Conservancy Vice President of Conservation Katie Parks will examine how this historic preservation project is connecting the area’s past with its future.
The third presentation, “Preserving the Heritage of the Nanticoke People,” will take place at 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13. The Nanticoke, or tidewater people, have a historic connection to the Chesapeake Bay region.
Nanticoke Indian Association leader Chief Natosha Carmine will speak about her vision for honoring and preserving the tribe’s heritage for the generations that follow.
“I hope the audience will take away a better understanding of the First Peoples’ relationship to the Eastern Shore and the waterway of the Chesapeake Bay,” Carmine said.
Over two years, Washington College Associate Professor of Anthropology Aaron Lampman and his students conducted and analyzed interviews that explore the social, cultural and economic barriers to climate-induced relocation.
Lampman will share their results in “Cultural Narratives of Sea Level Rise on the Chesapeake” at 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20.
The final offering in the series, “Oysters in Maryland: A Glass Half Empty or Half Full?,” will take place at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25. Oysters long have been integral to Maryland’s cultural landscape and the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem.
Though wild populations have diminished over the years, collaboration among stakeholders gives hope for the future of this beloved bivalve.
In this lecture, Shannon Hood, University of Maryland Extension associate agent, will explore cutting-edge research and community engagement strategies that aim to keep the oyster as a part of our ecological systems and cultural heritage.
The cost per session is $7.50 per person, with a 20% discount for CBMM members. Register online for all five sessions for an additional discount. To sign up or for more information, visit cbmm.org/speakerseries. Advance registration is encouraged.