May 21, 2024

Moll Dyer Weekend’s Theme: Be Kind

The Moll Dyer Rock sits at the St. Mary’s County Historical Society’s Tudor Hall in Leonardtown.

The upcoming Moll Dyer Day event is a three-day celebration of Leonardtown’s most famous local legend. No other Leonardtown historical figure has captured the hearts and attention like the legend of Moll Dyer.

An increasing number of guests visit the famed Moll Dyer Rock each year that bears her now fading handprint left that fateful night in 1698 – many leaving little trinkets and gifts by the rock where it sits at Tudor Hall. The ongoing theme of this year’s event is “Be Kind.” The town invites the community to join in on this commitment to being kind by performing at least one random act of kindness in honor of Moll Dyer Day.

In the late 1600s, Moll Dyer was a real woman who lived just south of what is now Leonardtown. She is believed to have been a healer who often aided the community. However, when an epidemic of influenza arose during the winter of 1697, the town inhabitants looked to lay blame and named her as its cause. Accused of witchcraft, she was set upon by a mob fearful of the sickness. When they set fire to her small cabin, Moll Dyer escaped into the surrounding woods on a bitterly cold night in February 1698. Her body was found days later. She was found with one hand frozen to a large rock and the other outstretched to the sky. Legend has it that Moll put a curse on the land and on the rock. It’s rumored that anyone who touches the rock may become dizzy or even fall ill.

Moll DyerLeonardtown Mayor Dan Burris, who proclaimed February 26 as Moll Dyer Day in 2021 (to be honored each year on the last Saturday of February), returns to the opening ceremony at Tudor Hall where the original dedication was made two years ago.

Mayor Burris will also proclaim Leonardtown’s commitment to kindness and extend the invitation to the community to join in the movement in honor of Moll Dyer. The ceremony is set to begin at 11am February 25 on the lawn of Tudor Hall, the home of the St. Mary’s County Historical Society, at the site of the famed Moll Dyer Rock.

The three-day event, which features family-friendly activities to more adult-oriented events throughout Leonardtown, will help raise funds and support for the Historical Society to aid the organization in continuing its mission of preserving the history and culture of St. Mary’s County, MD, including the care and maintenance of Leonardtown’s most famous historic item, the Moll Dyer Rock.

Some of the events include:

February 24, 6pm — Spirits & Witches at Tudor Hall Manor (21 or older) – Sample Tobacco Barn Distillery’s “Witches Brew” and enjoy light refreshments while enjoying lively presentations from two speakers. Patrick Burke, a paranormal investigator and history enthusiast, shares evidence and fact as “History with a Twist”; and author and speaker, Michael M. Hughes, will present “The History and Reality of Witchcraft in America,” $50 per person for this adult-only event. Proceeds from the evening benefit the St. Mary’s County Historical Society. Purchase tickets here.

February 24, 8pm — A Mystical Evening with the Evasons – Mentalist Duo at the Rex– Join world renowned mentalist duo, Jeff and Tessa Evason, for an interactive mind reading show that will mystify and amaze. The psychic entertainers have performed in more than 40 countries across the globe (the Friday night show has been added due to the advanced buzz The Rex Theatre received about the Saturday show). Showtime is 8pm, doors open at 7pm. The event is sponsored by Visit St. Mary’s, and proceeds from the event benefit the St. Mary’s County Historical Society. Spots are filling quickly. For tickets and more information, visit the The Rex Theatre Facebook page.

To learn more about Moll Dyer Weekend including other events and activities, where to stay, and the hours for the Leonardtown Trolley, click here.

The St. Mary’s County Historical Society is the repository of a unique collection of Maryland memorabilia and museum pieces displayed on the first floor of Tudor Hall and in the Old Jail Museum at 41625 Courthouse Drive. The 18th-century Tudor Hall also serves as headquarters of the society and houses the Historical Society’s Research Center.

To learn more about the St. Mary’s Historical Society, visit its Leader member page.

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