This small island, one of hundreds in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, has a history as old as Maryland.
St. Clement's was the first landfall of the Maryland settlers in 1634. A Potomac River landmark for almost four centuries, it has been a thriving farm, a popular summer resort and a target for big guns. The island was also once a regular stop for Chesapeake steamboats running from Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Norfolk.
The Maryland settlers named this island after St. Clement, the Catholic patron saint of sailors and seas. It become "Blackistone Island" when settler Nehemiah Blackistone married Elizabeth Gerrard and acquired her property in 1669. The State of Maryland renamed is St. Clement's when it took possession in 1960.
Today, St. Clement's Island is a peaceful island retreat managed by the Maryland Park Service. Its nature trails, historical markers and beautiful vistas are open to the public year round from sunrise to sunset.
[photo of island] An aerial view of St. Clement's Island taken in 1991.
[photo of waterman] The Potomac waters around St. Clement's Island have always been popular with watermen, hand tonging to harvest oysters. This waterman is sorting oysters on a culling board in the 1970s.