August 23, 2019

Museum Wants Penny Press Machine

Penny Press

A penny for your thoughts? Or how about just a penny from your visit to the St. Clement’s Island Museum?

The Friends of St. Clement’s Island and Piney Point Museums have launched a fundraising effort to provide the St. Clement’s Island Museum store with a penny press machine. Once available, the penny press will provide visitors with a unique souvenir to commemorate their trip to the Colton’s Point destination.

A pressed penny is one which has been flattened or stretched and embossed with a new design. The machine is a unique souvenir maker and will allow visitors the fun of selecting their choice of four designs, inserting the coins and cranking the wheel to elongate the penny. Designs being considered are: St. Clement’s Island on the Potomac River, the Piney Point Lighthouse, Drayden African American Schoolhouse, and Blackistone Lighthouse on St. Clement’s Island. These are sites managed by the St. Mary’s County Museum Division. Eventually, a second machine will be considered for the Piney Point Lighthouse Museum location.

“When my boys were little, we’d often visit museums and historic sites,” said Jayne Walsh, museum store manager, who feels sentimental about the inexpensive souvenir being added to the museum’s offerings. “I was a stay-at-home mom on a budget. For 51 cents, my children could crank the arm of a penny press machine to create a treasured souvenir. We see many families visiting our sites and know this would not only be a wonderful, low-cost option for them, but also a long-term fundraising investment for the museum stores, the museum division and the Friends organization.”

The museum store is employing a multifaceted approach to raising funds to purchase the $4,000 machine. While the Friends organization and the museum store will cover half of the cost, they are also seeking a major sponsor and hoping to raise the rest of the funds in the form of donations from visitors and the general public. The main sponsor would be acknowledged with a plaque attached to the front of the penny press machine and receive the honor of the first pressed penny created in the new machine at the anticipated ribbon-cutting ceremony. Interested sponsors are encouraged to contact Ms. Walsh to discuss sponsorship options.

General donations can be made at St. Clement’s Island Museum or Piney Point Lighthouse Museum in a five-gallon carboy jug, through the Friends of the St. Clement’s Island Museum Facebook donation site, or via check sent to either museum. (Please mark any donations sent by mail specific to the penny press).

The Friends of St. Clement’s Island and Piney Point Museums raise funds in order to support historical interpretation, education programs, and special needs of the sites managed by the St. Mary’s County Department of Recreation and Parks Museum Division.

For more information, click here.

For more about Lexington Park, visit the St. Mary’s County Community Development Corporation’s Leader member page.

St. Mary’s County Community Development Corporation

46940 South Shangri-La Drive, Suite 7

Lexington Park, MD 20653


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