Historic Sites in the Port Tobacco River Watershed
Many historic sites are located in the watershed, including the Thomas Stone National Historic Site; St. Ignatius Catholic Church, the longest running Catholic parish in the US; Chapel Point State Park, formerly home to an amusement park serving tourists from Washington, DC; and Port Tobacco, the historic Charles County Seat and deep water port.
The Port Tobacco Watershed is a classic example of the effects that an agricultural period can have on a watershed. During the late 19th century, deforestation caused high sedimentation rates that filled in the tidal wetlands and the port. Today, the tidal portion of the River is not visible from the Port Tobacco Village that previously docked cargo ships hauling tobacco. Sedimentation and navigable channels continue to be of concern to local residents.
More recently, the watershed was affected by a 2002 tornado that not only damaged homes and businesses, but also felled trees in the riparian corridor along its path. Much replanting and rebuilding has taken place since this event.
National Park Service photo
Final Village Concept for the Port Tobacco Village