December 10, 2023

SlackWater: Navy Brings ‘Boomtown Years’


By all accounts, the 1940s were the boomtown years in St. Mary’s, when workers by the thousands from all over poured into the county to build the Patuxent River Naval Air Station.

The 1920s on St. George Island, MD

St. George Island

Wendell J. Chesser was 12 in 1920 when he began his “eternity” of “eight long years” working aboard his father’s pungy, the Joe Smith, out of St. George Island, MD.

SlackWater’s Circumstantial Evidence Part II

SlackWater's Circumstantial Evidence Part II

Visitors to St. George Island should be warned: Beware of time.

’70s in St. Mary’s: Formative, Transformative

Slackwater Charlie Hewitt '70s in St. Mary's

The 1970s in St. Mary’s County: These years were fundamentally formative and even transformative, and the landscape we negotiate today is the landscape born of that era.

Knights of the Round Table


By the 1960s, the military had come to define Lexington Park. The new boom town became the center of new consumerism in St. Mary’s County.

In It To Win It

It was the late 1960s, and a quiet deal to build an oil refinery in Piney Point, MD, on the Potomac River, jolted the Potomac River Association into action.

Slackwater: Lex Park, the Inside of the Beast

When the town was full of bars and slot machines and drunken sailors … Lexington Park was the belly of a noble beast, says Charlie Hewitt.

When Lexington Park Was New

When building Pax, oral historians claim, “Construction was so intense pilots from Andrews were told, ‘just get up there, look for the clouds of dust and go in that direction’,” reports Julia King of Slackwater.

Slackwater Goes Live Online

The Lexington Park Theater

Southern Maryland’s largest repository of oral history is now available on the Internet.