Living on the Patuxent

In the fall of 2016 and again in the spring of 2017, St. Mary's County Public Schools fourth grade STEM students went to the Historic Sotterley Plantation in Hollywood, MD to learn more about how the early people of Maryland lived on the Patuxent River. Living on the Patuxent is a program developed by and is property of the Historic Sotterley Plantation.

Appropriate for grades 4-8, Living on the Patuxent program is designed to give students an historical overview of life along the Patuxent River. Students learn how the native people and early colonists used the natural resources available for the settlement of the region and how it shaped social and economic activity in the 1700s. Students will work with primary documents and participate in a Triangular Trade exercise and a hands-on activity at Sotterley’s waterfront.

The mission of Sotterley Plantation, a National Historic Landmark, is to preserve, research, & interpret Sotterley Plantation’s diverse cultures & environments, & to serve the world as an educational, cultural, & community resource.

Why Should You Come to Sotterley

You should come to Sotterley for many reasons. Sotterley overlooks green fields and sunny hills. Much of Maryland’s history happened here. You can see the difference between what has been added and what was here in Sotterley originally. Sotterley's history is as interesting as America’s history! You may think that that Sotterley was just a plantation, but it was so much more. People spent their lives here as the masters, indentured servants, slaves and people who just wanted a better life. Sotterley would be a great place to learn Maryland’s history. You should not only come to Sotterley because of the history, but the beauty. Soaring chimneys and deep ravines cut through Sotterley making a unforgettable landscape. New layers of beauty come in and out of Sotterley to make Sotterley special. A giant Mansion stands that looks like 20 people can live in the house! One section of the house could be one whole house that four people could live in, and that’s just the hall! There is history at every turn you make here. You will make memories just as we did. We hope you visit Sotterley soon and get to see what it was like to live on the Patuxent River in Southern Maryland.

"Sotterley Plantation's Living on the Patuxent program is a great way for kids like me to learn about slavery and the Triangular Trade Route, and it is very fun!" ~Claire, age 9

During the Living on the Patuxent program, you will:

  • visit a real slave cabin and learn how slaves lived and worked on a plantation,
  • plant seeds and learn the importance of agriculture,
  • stand on the dock of the Sotterley Creek and envision the ships coming in as part of the Triangular Trade Route,
  • see and hear the beautiful land and water creatures on a nature walk and learn how the colonists used natural resources in every part of their daily life,
  • touch real artifacts that the slaves and colonists used on the plantation,
  • act out the trading of capital, natural, and human resources that was part of the Triangular Trade Route,
  • and much more!

"Sotterley is a learning experience! I got to farm and go on a nature hike! It was amazing to stand at the exact point where the slaves were traded back in history." ~Dane, age 10



Historic Sotterley Plantation 44300 Sotterley Lane, P.O. Box 67

Hollywood, MD 20657



Hours of Operation

Tuesday-Saturday 10:00am to 4:00pm Tours: 10:30am 11:30am 1pm 2pm 3pm

Sunday 11:45-4 pm Tours: noon 1pm 2pm 3pm

Monday closed to public

Historic Sotterley, Inc. is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) public charity organization.

This website was designed and written by the STEM fourth grade students in Mrs. Belisario's Literacy Class at Lexington Park Elementary School in Lexington Park, Maryland during the 2016-2017 school year.