Last month we featured a listing of historical societies on the Mid Shore and how they support genealogy research, provide historical exhibits, reply upon volunteer assistance, and more. This month we feature the Kent Island Heritage Society, which was founded in 1975.
Kent Island Heritage Society
President: Jack Broderick
P.O. Box 321
Stevensville, Maryland 21666
443-249-5185 • kentislandheritagesociety.org
The purposes of the Kent Island Heritage Society (KIHS) are: “To discover, identify, restore and preserve the heritage of Kent Island and to create and foster awareness in the community and general public of the historical significance of Kent Island; to preserve the materials and data so collected for scholarly use and study; to cooperate with county and state officials and institutions, including civic organizations and churches; to ensure preservation of historic sites, homes, buildings, and markers.”
KIHS, which is headquartered in the Kirwan Museum in Chester, owns several historic properties in Stevensville and Chester that are available to the public on scheduled days and for special visits or events. It also coordinates with other community and business historic site owners in making their facilities and historical resources open to the public. The sites include The Kirwan Museum and farm in Chester (1889), the historic Stevensville Bank (1909), Old Stevensville Train Depot (1902), Stevensville Post Office (1877), Historic Christ Church (1880), and Cray House (1809) in Stevensville.
KIHS maintains an extensive collection of books and materials for public use, and its members provide genealogical information from people from across the country. It provides materials for displays by other interested organizations.
KIHS communicates well beyond Kent Island through its newsletter, The Isle of Kent 1631, Facebook, and website, kentislandheritagesociety.org. It also provides speakers, both virtually and in person, for groups on the Mid Shore and on the Western Shore. KIHS developed a local history program that has been presented to students at Kent Island High School and hosts tours of its historic sites for students and teachers from local schools. It also sponsors an annual college scholarship for a Kent Island High School graduating senior.
One of the largest events on the Mid Shore is Kent Island Day, which KIHS has sponsored on the third Saturday of May (May 21, 2022) since 1977. The event includes a parade, vendors, local civic groups, entertainment, and access to historic sites. Those facilities are open on the first Saturday of the month from May to November 2022 with docents on hand to share history and answer questions.
KIHS is a member-supported organization always looking to welcome new members, volunteers and visitors. For more information, visit kentislandheritagesociety.org or call 443-249-5185.