Deborah Gangloff holds a Ph.D. from Rutgers University. She is a seasoned nonprofit manager with 40 years of experience as an executive director in both the natural and cultural resources conservation area.
Patrick Marnell, Chairperson of the Board - Shady Side, Maryland
Beth Denniston, Vice-Chairperson of the Board - Shady Side, Maryland
John Derrick, Treasurer - Washington, D.C.
Kathleen Rotondaro - Shady Side, Maryland
Kathleen Litchfield - Annapolis, Maryland
Theresa Magnotti - Annapolis, Maryland
Bill MItchell - Annapolis, Maryland
Elaina Lill Uhl - Shady Side, Maryland
Teeja Meier - Owings, Maryland
Deborah Gangloff - Tracys Landing, Maryland
The mission of Captain Avery Museum is to celebrate the diversity of our community and explore connections to the Chesapeake Bay through the prism of our historic home and waterfront property.
Our vision is to be a community center celebrating the culture of the Bay – past, present, and future – around three themes: Water as Livelihood in the 19thCentury; as Recreation in the 20th Century; and as a focus for Environmental Stewardship in the 21st Century.
No doubt Captain Avery sailed some difficult waters in his time on the Chesapeake Bay. Likewise, his namesake museum faced some choppy waters in FY21. Fortunately, Captain Avery Museum was in a good position to not only weather this storm, but to emerge a better museum and community center. Here are three ways we did that:
First, as our fiscal year started on July 1, 2020, we were closed for events due to the pandemic. However, the finishing touches were being put on our major renovations, accomplished with the guidance of our board and the generous help of our members, sponsors, and grantors. An open great room, a new entrance porch to the museum, handicapped access from the waterfront, and storage and interior doors that make visiting the museum more functional and fun!
Second, we received emergency funding from foundations and government – a show of their confidence in our ability and determination to thrive.
Third, we had a major opportunity to complete our journey to a modern, fully re-imagined museum. We culled through centuries of historic artifacts and researched how best to position our unique museum. We developed a professional roadmap to tell the stories of the Avery family and the Shady Side community in the context of our precious Chesapeake Bay. We made the best use possible of the pandemic shut down by completing the installation of our new museum. With the tremendous support of our members, donors, sponsors, and grantors, we reopened our new museum to the public in July of 2021.
Please patronize our generous sponsors: ABC Appliances, A Vintage Deale, Chesapeake Carpentry, Chesapeake Grille & Deli, Christopher’s Fine Foods, Clark’s Landing, Colonial Electric, D. Miller & Associates, Deale Hardware, Edward Jones, George’s Mixes, Harbour Cove Marina, Hardesty Funeral Home, HUB International, JesseJays, Ledo Pizza Deale, M&T Bank, Pirate’s Cove Restaurant & Inn, Rausch Funeral Home, Real Chill, Renno’s Quality Food Market, Schwartz Realty, Sheldon Seidel DDS, and West River Gardens.
Captain Avery Museum appreciates our partners in the community: Deale Elks, Anne Arundel Watermen’s Association, Anne Arundel Watershed Stewards Academy, South County Chamber of Commerce, Community Alliance of South County, National Ballet Company, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, CPASC, Lula Scott Head Start, and the Deale Historical Society.
Our grantors invest in our museum and our community. The funds we receive from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority/Maryland Historical Trust, Four Rivers, and the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County enable us to accomplish so much by leveraging our volunteers and resources. The Arts Council, Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County, and Maryland Heritage Areas Authority/Maryland Historical Trust also provided emergency funding to help Captain Avery Museum stay “afloat” in these difficult times. We also benefitted from grants from the Payroll Protection Plan.
Captain Avery Museum enjoys the support of a dedicated Board of Directors and part-time staff. We welcomed our new Office Manager, Leila Warshaw in FY21, who is a great addition to our team.
We appreciate the support of all our members, sponsors, and funders. Their donations show their confidence in Captain Avery Museum to bring value to the community. Without the support of our generous community Captain Avery Museum could not provide educational and entertaining programs and events. Thank you for all your support!
Board of Directors
Chair: Patrick Marnell
Vice Chair: Beth Denniston
Treasurer: John Derrick
Members: Kathleen Litchfield, T.C. Magnotti, Bill Mitchell, Kathy Rotondaro,
Elaina Lill Uhl, Teeja Meier, Deborah Gangloff
Curator: Vicki Lerch
Programs & Communications Coordinator: Donna Anderson
Office Manager: Leila Warshaw
The funds we receive as a collaborator,
enable us to accomplish so much
by leveraging our volunteers and resources.
Masks Are Optional inside the building. Sanitizing stations are available throughout the building. The Captain Avery Museum will follow all local and federal COVID-19 guidelines, which are subject to change. Thank you for your help keeping our community safe.
Were it not for TC and a small group of heritage-minded colleagues in 1984, the Captain Avery Museum would not exist. TC wrote the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws and negotiated the purchase of the house, now our museum. TC's long-standing dedication and good humor is inspirational and we thank her for her work.
In 1984 the Shady Side Rural Heritage Society (SSRHS) was founded by a small group of people who wanted to preserve the history and culture of South Anne Arundel County, Maryland. They knew there were family histories to record and traditions to remember. The group became incorporated the following year as a non-profit historical and educational organization. in 1989, SSRHS purchased a ¾ acre parcel of waterfront property that had deep community roots.
As far as public records can tell, Salem Avery, a buy boat captain hailing from an established family of watermen in Long Island, NY, came to Maryland in search of the bounty of the Chesapeake Bay. He found his bride, Lucretia Weedon Andrews, on the nearby Mayo peninsula. They married in 1857 and together they had nine children, two of which died in infancy. In 1860 they moved into a home on the Shady Side peninsula from which they worked the land and sea.
In the 1920’s the property was purchased by a group of Masons from Washington, DC. Denied access to public beaches and private clubs because of their Jewish religion, this group of families enjoyed Chesapeake Bay life on the West River for several generations. They modified and added to the Avery home, providing space for a meeting room, a kitchen, dormitories, and several bedrooms. They called themselves the Fishing Club, which evolved into a club called "Our Place." The descendants of this group retained the property until the late 1980’s when the founders of SSRHS purchased the property.
Wanting to preserve the vital history of the property, and provide a place for community connections, SSRHS restored Captain Avery’s home to resemble its original 1860 appearance. The additions made by the Fishing Club were remodeled into facilities for community activities, receptions, and meetings, with administrative offices above. A boat shed was constructed in 1993, and in 1994 additional land was acquired to expand parking facilities and provide for future growth. In 1998, an extension was added to the Museum to provide space for a library and storage of archival materials. Grants from Anne Arundel County and the State of Maryland, and loans from the Maryland Historical Trust and the Office of Housing and Community Development's Scattered Sites Program made it possible to accomplish the restoration projects.
In December 2003, the Museum received a $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grants Program. The grant required the organization to match this amount. Fifty-one history organizations nationwide competed for the award. The Museum was one of ten selected from around the country and met the challenge successfully, thereby establishing an endowment for humanities in local history. The Museum was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.
Over the years, the Museum has received financial support, partnership, and awards from Anne Arundel County Trust for Preservation, the Small Museum Association, Historic Annapolis Foundation, the Southern Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce, capital improvement legislation sponsored by the District 30 delegation, Anne Arundel County, Cultural Arts Foundation, Maryland Historic Trust, Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, Maryland Association of History Museums, Historical and Cultural Museum Assistance Program, Preservation Maryland, Chesapeake Bay Trust, Maryland State Arts Council, Unity Gardens, West-Rhode Riverkeeper, Four Rivers, Arts Council of Anne Arundel County, BayVue Consulting, Greenstreet Gardens, Boy and Girl Scout Troops, the Chesapeake Bay Gateway Network under the National Park Services, and many local businesses.
In 2010, the organization changed its name to the Captain Avery Museum and continues to fulfill the hopes and promises of its founders by offering a variety of services including educational programs, library resources, community events, professional speakers, and stewardship programs.
In 2019, on the organization’s 35th anniversary, the Museum completed some renovations to improve the visitor experience with the support of donors, the State of Maryland, the Maryland Historical Trust, and the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority. Now the Museum enjoys a revival of its home to better serve as a place for enjoying the culture of the Chesapeake Bay and sharing stories, ideas, knowledge, and history about the Chesapeake Bay and beyond.
Here is a video of the renovations that have been made at Captain Avery Museum in 2019 and 2020. We are grateful to Our Board, Our Sponsors, Our Donors and to