St. Ignatius Church and St. Thomas ManorSt. Ignatius Church

St. Thomas Manor is a historic church complex several miles south of Port Tobacco. It includes the manor house and church building connected by a breezeway. St Ignatius Church (right) was founded in 1641, and is one of the oldest Catholic Parishes in continuous service in the United States. Father Andrew White and other Jesuits St. Thomas Manorsailed with the first English settlers on the Ark and the Dove. As missionaries they settled among the Potobac Indians at Chapel Point, learned to speak the language, and baptized the Tayak, or chief.

The surviving St. Thomas Manor House (left) was built in 1741 as the headquarters of the Maryland Mission of the Society of Jesus. It is a two-story, seven-bay, Flemish bond brick structure of Georgian styling. St. Ignatius Church was built in the late 18th century. A mid-19th century wood-frame servant's quarter stands near the manor house and is a rare and notable building of its kind in Charles County. Fire substantially destroyed the house and the interior of the church on December 27, 1866. By June 7, 1868, both were rebuilt. St. Thomas Manor was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. Today, the manor house complex is recognized as the oldest Jesuit residence continuously occupied by that order in the world.

The parking lot across Chapel Point Road from the church, and the cemetery on the north side of the church, afford the most spectacular views in all of Southern Maryland. On a clear day the visitor can see the broad Potomac River, the mouth of Port Tobacco Creek, and the rolling expansive countryside that separates this rural setting from the hubbub of the nation's capital.