Friday Focus: Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum

Friday Focus - Jefferson Patterson Park & MuseumHistory comes alive at the Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum in this week’s Friday Focus! We talked with Anne Starkweather, the Executive Administrator for the Friends of Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum, who shared with us details about the museum, information about upcoming events and described how the museum brings history to life for the children and students in the community.

Q: Tell us about your organization (who you serve, what you do, etc.)

A: The Friends of Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum (JPPM) is a non-profit organization that raises funds to help support the archaeology, history, heritage and environmental education projects, programs and events at JPPM. Without the support of the Friends, JPPM would not be able to offer free or low cost community events such as Children’s Day on the Farm, the 1812 Fair and Reenactment, the Wade In and countless other programs and events.

Q: What is your favorite “moment” (example of how your organization helped)?

A: Being a witness to children and families enjoying themselves while learning at JPPM are the best moments. These moments happen at every one of our events and programs. For example, during Children’s Day on the Farm, we invite families to come learn about Maryland’s rural heritage. The event is free. In addition to hands-on activities, petting zoos, and tractor rides, a full lineup of kid’s entertainment is available throughout the day. The excitement of the crowd during the various puppet shows and musical acts is priceless and a true testament to the valuable community service the park and museum offers.

JPPM regularly works with Huntingtown High School students on various projects. The students, with the assistance of JPPM staff, have created three cell phone audio tours for the park grounds and more recently created a temporary exhibit that was on display at the Calvert Library Prince Frederick. Being a part of this collaboration, where young people are able to demonstrate their talents and get excited about history and museums, is a wonderful experience.

Q: What is your biggest challenge?

A: As a non-profit organization, the biggest challenge we face is raising money. We would love to support even more programs and projects at JPPM. Unfortunately, we sometimes are unable to support the park and museum as broadly as we would like. Fundraising can be a challenge in an area with so many worthy organizations competing for assistance.

Q: How can people really help/get involved?

A: The easiest way to help and get involved is to become a member of The Friends of JPPM. There are various membership levels available to individuals and families. Donations and volunteer contributions are also always welcome, as are sponsorship opportunities for our annual fundraising event, the Affair at Point Farm, held each September.

Q: What advice can you give someone looking to work at a non-profit?

A: Getting involved as a volunteer or intern can be a great way to get your foot in the door and learn more about various opportunities in the non-profit field.

Q: Are there any upcoming events at the museum?

A: The Affair at Point Farm, the Friends of JPPM’s annual fundraising dinner and auction, takes place on Saturday, September 14 from 6-9:30pm. Tickets are $60/person and information is available by calling Anne Starkweather at 410-586-8515 or

Two weeks later, on Saturday, September 28, JPPM is holding the 1812 Fair and Reenactment and Tavern Night. The 1812 Fair and Reenactment, held from 10am-5pm, is a living history event allowing guests to step back in time and experience life as it was in the early 1800s. Battle demonstrations, live music, hands-on crafts, dancing, fencing, food and drinks make this event one that truly has something for everyone to enjoy. Following the day’s festivities, Tavern Night is The Friend’s of JPPM’s take on Happy Hour 1812 style! Food and beverages are available for purchase and live period music will be featured. Tickets for the 1812 Fair and Reenactment are $3/person or $10/car (Free for Friends of JPPM). Tickets for Tavern Night are $10/person or $8/Friends of JPPM members and those in period attire.

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