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Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum
  • Archeology
  • Artifact
  • Artifact Protection
  • Civics
  • Civics and Government
  • History
  • Responsibility
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    JPPM - Marv's Story

    JPPM - Marv's Story


    What should you do if you're lucky enough to find an artifact? In this resource, JPPM Educator Kenny walks you through a simple 4-step process for making sure your find gets taken care of. Available in video and text form, this resource also includes connections for instructors to Maryland State Social Studies Frameworks for grades 2 and 3 on Civic Engagment and Civic Virtue.


    The below resource "Marv's Story" is intended to be used with "If You Find an Artifact..." found here on OER Commons. In that resource, JPPM Educator Kenny walks you through a simple 4-step process for making sure your find gets taken care of. Mary Marvin Brekenridge Patterson, or "Marv" owned the farm which was to become Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum when artifacts were found on it--her story provides a case study in civics.

    Marv's Story

    Over 30 years ago, a woman living on ”Point Farm” in Southern Maryland discovered ancient artifacts while walking on the beach. An artifact is anything that was made, used, or changed by people and left behind, and these looked like they had come from a long-ago group of Native Americans.

     At that time, the farm belonged to Mary Marvin Patterson (she went by ”Marv”). There was a 10,000 square foot main house, working farms, barns, and several smaller houses. Each building had been designed by Gertrude Sawyer in the 1930s for Jefferson Patterson, Marv’s husband. Mr. Patterson had died in November 1977 and at that time, Marv began looking for someone to give the land to. She wanted it to be just the right person or people because the Patterson’s had loved Point Farm so much.

    When the possible Native American artifacts were found by one of Point Farm’s tenants, she contacted archaeologists from the state of Maryland instead of keeping them for herself. The archaeologists surveyed the property looking for possible sites where more artifacts could be and found more than 40 in just one week.

    After Mrs. Patterson learned about all the sites (some over 9,000 years old), she decided to give the 512 acres of land and buildings of Point Farm to the state of Maryland. She didn’t have to do this because of any rule or law, she did it because she thought it was best that others could learn from the land instead of just a few people knowing about what was there. She called it “the greatest gift that is in my power to give,” and did so in memory of her husband Jefferson Patterson. Today, Point Farm has been renamed Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum and includes historical sites from Native American tribes who lived in the area thousands of years ago, colonial era homes, a former sharecropper’s cabin built after the Civil War, and all of the buildings designed by Gertrude Sawyer.

    Map of Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum showing the location of multiple archaeological sites
    This map shows the layout of Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum and some of the archaeological sites found on the former "Point Farm."