“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
St. Mary's City in St. Mary's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Brewing and Baking

Brewing and Baking Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), August 30, 2019
1. Brewing and Baking Marker
Inscription.  Garrett Van Sweringen constructed this building in the late 1600s for brewing and baking. He hoped to meet a growing demand for these products in the city and from passing ships. His inventory lists two large "coppers" and other brewing-related items. He planned to start brewing as early at 1677, when he placed a large order for barley malt and hops. In the Netherlands, brewing was a respected and profitable occupation. Beer making equipment and bills for beer indicate that Van Sweringen brewed. The chimney's shape here suggests it had a bake oven, and one "large bread tray" is listed in the inventory. Van Sweringen took advantage of the opportunities offered by the demand for beer and bread.

There are few clues to tell us the scale of Garrett Van Sweringen's baking operations. In Europe, bakers signaled that their wares were available hot out of the oven by blowing a horn.

This ceramic vessel is called a patty pan and was used to bake both sweet and savory pies. Morgan Jones, Maryland's first potter, made this vessel.

The process of brewing beer required many different
Paid Advertisement
Click on the ad for more information.
Please report objectionable advertising to the Editor.
Click or scan to see
this page online
tools and materials including large metal pots for boiling water over the open fire, blankets to cover the cooking vessels to keep in the heat, sieves for straining, hops to provide scent and flavor, and barrels for storage.

The base of the chimney discovered here is unusual in that it seems to have a second firebox outlined on the right. This is believed to be the support for a bake oven.

A Mystery Barrel

Archaeologists digging this outbuilding found a wooden barrel that had been buried near the chimney. When excavated, the wooden hoops that once held it together were seen as soil impressions and the nails that fastened the hoops were still in place. Why did someone intentionally bury a barrel? Could it have been a mini-cooling chamber or did it capture rain water? What do you think is the reason?

The barrel as first discovered.

Detail of barrel during excavation showing impressions of the wooden hoops.

The fully excavated barrel with the upper half of the soil fill around it dug out.

Erected by Historic St. Mary's City.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial EraIndustry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1677.
Brewing and Baking Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), August 30, 2019
2. Brewing and Baking Marker
38° 11.121′ N, 76° 26.016′ W. Marker is in St. Mary's City, Maryland, in St. Mary's County. Marker is on Old State House Road, 0.4 miles north of Point Lookout Road (Maryland Route 5), on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 47414 Old State House Road, Saint Marys City MD 20686, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. ...and Coffee House (here, next to this marker); A Place to Talk, Drink, & Smoke (here, next to this marker); …about the Corner of Vansweeringens Garden fence (a few steps from this marker); Keep It Clean (a few steps from this marker); …Adjourn to the Arbour at Vansweringens (within shouting distance of this marker); The Van Sweringen Family (within shouting distance of this marker); An Innovative Entrepreneur (within shouting distance of this marker); The Van Sweringen Site (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in St. Mary's City.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 3, 2019. It was originally submitted on September 3, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 154 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 3, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

Share this page.  
Share on Tumblr

CeraNet Cloud Computing sponsors the Historical Marker Database.
This website earns income from purchases you make after using our links to We appreciate your support.
Paid Advertisement
Apr. 13, 2024