Location of Solomons, Maryland
|• Total||2.1 sq mi (5.5 km2)|
|• Land||1.8 sq mi (4.6 km2)|
|• Water||0.3 sq mi (0.9 km2)|
|Elevation||0 ft (0 m)|
|• Density||856.1/sq mi (330.5/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||1676619|
Solomons is a community and census-designated place (CDP) in Calvert County, Maryland, United States. The population was 1,536 at the 2000 census. Solomons is considered a popular weekend destination spot amongst many living in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area.
Solomons is located at .(38.336431, −76.464102)
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 2.1 square miles (5.4 km2), of which, 1.8 square miles (4.7 km2) of it is land and 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2) of it (15.96%) is water.
Solomons Island is on the north side of the mouth of Patuxent River, where it meets the Chesapeake Bay. It is just across from the U.S. Patuxent River Naval Air Station (on the south side of the mouth of the Patuxent River).
Originally called Bourne's Island (1680), then Somervell's Island (1740), Solomons, also known as Solomons Island, takes its name from 19th century Baltimore businessman Isaac Solomon, who established a cannery there shortly after the Civil War. Solomons' home still stands on the front of the island.
The area has, however, been inhabited since colonial times.
Building ships for the fishing fleet
In the 19th century, shipyards developed to support the island's fishing fleet. The Marsh Shipyard built schooners and sloops, but became famous for its bugeyes, the forerunner of the skipjack. In the War of 1812, Commodore Joshua Barney's flotilla sailed from here to attack British vessels on the Chesapeake Bay. The deep, protected harbor has been a busy marine center ever since.
During World War II, the island was chosen by the Allied command as the site for training amphibious invasion forces. The lessons learned at Solomons proved invaluable on D-Day, at Tarawa, Guadalcanal, and in numerous other military operations. Three naval bases were established at the mouth of the nearby Patuxent River. These three facilities made a major contribution to the war effort and brought new jobs to local residents. Between 1942 and 1945, the population of Solomons increased from 263 to more than 2,600. Over 60,000 troops trained at Solomons during the war.
Ironically, many of the servicemen who trained at the Solomons Maryland base, were sent to fight at the Solomon Islands in the Pacific Ocean.
Solomons was the site of the following U.S. Navy activities during the war:
- Naval Mine Warfare Test Station.
- Naval Amphibious Training Base.
- Mine Warfare Experimental Station.
- Naval Dispensary, Naval Amphibious Training Base
Construction of the Governor Thomas Johnson Bridge
Solomons was a rather isolated boat-building town housing the University of Maryland Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, until 1977 when the Governor Thomas Johnson Bridge was built. The bridge leads from just off Solomons Island proper to Saint Mary's County, Maryland and the Patuxent Naval Air Station.
Present-day attraction to tourists
The town now welcomes tourists with numerous marinas, seafood restaurants, gift shops, a boardwalk, a sculpture garden, The Calvert Marine Museum where visitors can climb atop a former lighthouse, harbor cruises, and occasional famous performer concerts outdoors. Solomons also has three major hotels, a U.S. Navy family recreation center, and a church retirement home. St. Peter's Chapel is an historic 1889 Carpenter Gothic-style church that is still in use today.
The Annmarie Garden in Solomons is a Smithsonian-affiliated forested sculpture park where creations of Kenneth Snelson, George Rickey, Arnaldo Pomodoro and other major sculptors are on exhibit. Most sculptures are on loan from the National Gallery or the Hirshhorn Museum. The site is both a family-friendly place with educational activities for children and also a host of world class professional artwork including art by Picasso, Matisse, and Miró ---the three were highlights of the 2008 opening exhibit of the new gallery space, the Arts Building. In a traffic circle outside the Arts Building stands a landmark bronze fountain-sculpture made for Annmarie Garden which depicts a Chesapeake Bay waterman standing in a boat while holding oyster-harvesting tongs. During the warm season, water pumped through concealed ductwork emerges and cascades out of the tongs' jaws and also over a shellfish-sorting riprap on the Tonger's boat. The fallen water pools around the boat in a map-shaped decorative basin where sometimes visiting children splash their feet. Since 1993, Annmarie Garden has hosted an outdoor national juried arts festival at which typically around 100 traveling artists encamp in display tents for a weekend to sell their wares.
Solomons is also home to the popular Tiki Bar of Solomons Island. The weekend of the annual opening of the Tiki Bar brings tens of thousands of visitors to the Tiki Bar and other Solomons Island establishments. Other popular local establishments include The Pier (with an outdoor bar which allows boats to pull up directly to the bar) and the Ruddy Duck microbrewery.
2006 Solomons Island Fire
On March 15, 2006, a large fire destroyed Bowen's Inn (established in the 1800s), The Lighthouse Inn restaurant (established in 1984), and a condominium building. The fire caused 5 million dollars in damages and was determined to be caused by a cigarette butt which was thrown into an adjacent dumpster that was located next to Bowen's Inn. High winds fueled the fire and distributed smaller fires all over the island as far as the Research Lab. No one was injured in the blaze. The smoke from the fires could be seen from miles away.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,536 people, 689 households, and 378 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 856.1 people per square mile (331.3/km²). There were 881 housing units at an average density of 491.0/sq mi (190.0/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 90.69% White, 6.64% African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.52% Asian, 0.33% from other races, and 1.69% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.78% of the population.
There were 689 households out of which 15.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.8% were married couples living together, 4.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.1% were non-families. 39.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 24.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.97 and the average family size was 2.56.
In the CDP the population was spread out with 13.1% under the age of 18, 3.1% from 18 to 24, 21.0% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 41.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 56 years. For every 100 females there were 80.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 76.8 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $48,532, and the median income for a family was $74,318. Males had a median income of $64,833 versus $34,313 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $33,049. About 2.1% of families and 3.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.0% of those under age 18 and none of those age 65 or over.
Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church, December 2008.
Solomons United Methodist Church, December 2008.
Governor Thomas Johnson Bridge, December 2008.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- Mountford, Kent (November 2001). "Cove Point: Mariners’s safe harbor now threatened by ships". Chesapeake Bay Journal. Retrieved 2008-05-12.
- Clancey, Patrick. "U.S. Naval Activities, World War II, By State [Maryland]". HyperWar Foundation. Retrieved 2008-04-17.
- "Smithsonian Affiliations". Affiliations.si.edu. Retrieved October 17, 2011.
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- Ignacio Villarreal (May 21, 2008). "Picasso Going to Annmarie Garden Sculpture Park & Arts Center in Southern Maryland". Artdaily.org. Retrieved October 17, 2011.
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- "> Tiki Bar opening weekend covered in St. Mary’s County’s local, revered publication The County Times in an article entitled "Tiki Bar Opening Kicks Off Tourism Season" by staff writer Sean Rice". Tikibarsolomons.com. Retrieved October 17, 2011.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.