Galesville Heritage Society
GHS has adopted the motto: "Where the Past Meets the Present with a
Promise." In 2002, Galesville celebrated its 350th anniversary,
making it one of the oldest villages in the United States.
On October 28, 1652, a land grant or "Certificate of Survey" was issued for
660 acres of land to John, Patience and Mary Brown, and John Clark, his
wife, Elizabeth, and their children, John and Ann Clark.
The area was called Brownton, and later the name changed to West River
Landing and then to Galloways. These early settlers were Puritans, who
became Quakers. They came into the province following the enactment of the
famous "Act of Toleration" of 1649. Almost from the beginning West River
Landing became the focal point of shipping and travel in this area.
In 1684 it was officially designated a "port of entry" for checking imports
and exports, along with Town Point at Herring Bay, Londontown on the South
River and "Newtown", now Annapolis, on the Severn.
The village continued to be the main port on the West River for both
shipping and travel up to and through the steamboat era. Throughout colonial
times the landing probably consisted of a wharf together with a warehouse or
two and possibly a store or blacksmith shop.
The great numbers of Quakers who came to the large Yearly or General
Meetings of the West River Friends lived in tents or hurriedly built
shelters so that the adjoining creek, originally "Brown's", became known as
"Tenthouse Creek" by which name it is called today.
The West River Quaker Meeting in the spring of 1672 represented the birth of
Quakerism in Maryland, the second such meeting in Maryland. In 1924 the name
of the town was changed to Galesville in honor of Richard Gale, a prominent
Quaker planter in this area.
The Quaker burying ground at the intersection of Route 468 and Route 255 was
begun by these early Quakers.
Nestled between Tenthouse and Lerch Creeks on the north and south, and Route
468 and the West River on the west and east, Galesville has always held a
special place for those who have visited here. Galesville is a village which
encompasses not only residential but commercial, recreational and industrial
areas. Some of the businesses are still run by descendents of the founders
-- Hartge Yacht Yard, Hardesty Funeral
Home, Smith Brothers Pile Driving, and Purner Well Drilling
Galesville Heritage Society, Inc.
The Galesville Heritage Society (GHS) maintains historical records and
memorabilia at Galesville Heritage Museum. It sponsors the annual July 4th
parade. GHS hosts quarterly dinners with Speakers, Veterans Day observance
and a Christmas decorating contest. The GHS also sponsors the holiday house tours.
We hope you will visit Galesville, one of Maryland's last remaining
villages. It is a special place.