Town

Port Tobacco Town Map Stagg Hall Chimney House St. Charles Hotel Schoolhouse Wilmer Office Compton House Burch House Quentzal Store Wade House Centennial Hotel Christ Church Court House Smoot House and Hotel Jail Towns are more than collections of houses. They contain commercial enterprises and institutional sites. Generally, the larger the town, the greater the number of non-residences and the greater the complexity of social life. By regional standards, Port Tobacco was a large, complex town in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Planters and small farmers relied on the institutions and businesses of Port Tobacco; capital and credit supplied by merchants, repairs by tradesmen, and the professional sevices of teachers, doctors, lawyers, and clergy. Most of all, they needed the rule of law upheld by the courts and enforced by the sheriff.

Pages for the various sites in and around Port Tobacco are organized by category: Commercial, Institutional, and Residential. These are categories of convenience, in accord with modern sensibilities. The lines between residences and commercial establishments were not so readily drawn by Marylanders of the 17th through 19th centuries. A house--looking like any other house in town or in the country--may have served as a boarding house, tavern, store, or any combination thereof, particularly when the county courts were in session or, in the 18th and early 19th centuries, when the tobacco fleet lay at anchor in the Potomac River.

Visit Port Tobacco to see the remaining historic houses and informational signs. Read these signs by clicking here.