What has put Leonardtown on the map (other than as the county seat of St. Mary's County) is the Oyster Festival which is held the third weekend in October. There is food of course, and rides for the children, a cooking contest, music, crafts for sale, and the final event is an oyster shucking contest. The men and women compete separately and then the woman's winner and the man's winner compete for the overall prize.
Fondest memory: We normally have members of the extended family visit at the time of the Oyster Festival. One year (probably about 1977) my husband's aunt who lived in Crisfield, took the boat over. All three daughters were there in 1998, including my daughter that lives in Miami and her husband's best man. The men competed (unsuccessfully) in the amateur section of the Oyster shucking. In 2001 my son came up from South Carolina. Usually he works weekends and can't get off.
In 2003, my daughter flew in from Miami and she went up to Towson and brought my mom down for her first Oyster Festival visit. She's at the end of the table in the first picture - she was 94 here. She died two years later, so she didn't get another chance to come. My oldest granddaughter was also there with her then boyfriend.
There are a large number of restaurants in Leonardtown considering that the town square is only about two blocks long with a narrow park in the middle.
But one that isn't there anymore is Nooks and Monks.
In September 2006, brown paper covered all the windows and by March 2007 it had been replaced by a Mexican Restaurant
This place was an actual movie theatre when we first moved to Leonardtown. Then the back of it was a church, and the front was Ye Old Ice Cream Shoppe, which had pretty good food at a good price. Next it was Nooks and Monks. The theatre was apparently still behind it and was still available for meetings or shows.
There was a review which said that if you want to gamble to come here - you will either get good food or good service or both. They had also had a fire and were closed for awhile because of that.
When we ate there, I asked them what the name meant, and had it explained to me, but I didn't remember what the reason was.
In my opinion, if I can't remember what the name is about, then it has failed as a restaurant name.
a_e_c72 commented on Fri May 30, 2003 23:10 EDT
"The name comes from the owners nicknames. "snookie" and "monkey". the resturant reopened may 26th for business. the movie theatre is being renovated for use. they are open year round. in my opinion it is the only classy place to dine in st. marys."
The door that I would normally think of as the 'front door' leads into a coffee/ice cream shop area which in the evening was dark and uninviting. There's no obvious place to come to get seated and there was no one to greet you. You had to rely on one of the servers or other employees seeing that you are waiting.
Fondest memory: The walls were hung with old-time photographs of the town.The tables were distressed wood which was waxed, but they wiped the tables with water which made the wax sticky. The floor is nice wide wood planks, but the chairs were uncomfortable and fairly low so the tables are high for most people.
On one visit, Bob had a hamburger. It was a lovely thick juicy burger on a seeded bun with tasty fries. But I think $10 for a burger is a bit much. The other sandwiches on the menu were a Reuben or a Club on foccaccia bread for $8 each, or a Lump Crabcake sandwich for $14.
I had a cup of seafood chowder which was very good, but it was a very thick cream soup and I expected chowder to be little different ($5.00). I also had an appetizer as an entree. It was vegetable quesidia with added shrimp. Very good. Cost $12.95. The other appetizers included Coconut Shrimp $13, Crab Pretzel $12 and Stuffed Squash $8.
So with iced tea for each of us with tip the bill was $39.50.
This was just a little more than the highest price dish on the menu - seafood sampler for two - which was $34.95. The Seafood Sampler is no longer on the menu - the highest priced item then became the Stuffed Filet Mignon for $26.95
In Sept 2005, I had the Fried Tomatoes Stuffed with Crab Meat for $22 which was very good, except that I don't like capers and there were a rather lot of them in it. It came with nice fresh green broccoli, and hot bread. I almost saved room for desert because I'd spotted a praline cake. The only thing was, I expected walnuts (the menu said hazelnut) and it was actually kind of almondy, and I don't like almonds as well.
Bob had the Chicken Salad for $11, not realizing that it would be fried chicken or that he could have asked for it to be broiled instead. He also ordered the one of the soups of the day Cream of Crab for $5, but they didn't have any cream of crab, they only had Vegetable Crab, so he had that instead.
DEB's oldest son comes down for the festival to drink beer. Barb's husband comes for the seafood. He was quite disappointed - no steamed shrimp for two years in a row. Barb isn't drinking beer, because of her diet, so she drinks wine. There is a winery on Solomon's Island which has a display at the Oyster Festival every year, so she bought some of that.
Fondest memory: Meeting up with the rest of the family
The County Fair is the third weekend in September every year. If you showed in the County Fair 4-H divisions and won, you qualified for the State Fair in Timonium. The State Fair was the following end of August/Labor Day weekend.
Fondest memory: Friday was School Day and the schools all let the kids out for the day, and their admission was free. It was also the 4-H horse show.
Saturday was the parade
Sunday was the regular horse show for everyone.
This is a common architechtural style in this area. My house is around 155 years old. It was originally called Love Cottage.
It is now painted a similar color (according to the paint in the lowest layer) to what it was painted originally. It has real shutters, wide pine floors, and some wavy original glass. It originally had a 'tin' roof (a corruption of terne), as it still does on the (red) roof of the porch. (The porch railing is new - installed by my husband in the summer of 2003. And my husband also replaced the roofing.)
It also has two fireplaces with Franklin stoves, and a separate Franklin stove in the old section. This old section consists of an entrance hall with stairs, a front parlor to the right, and a family parlor straight ahead, with the fourth room downstairs being the dining room. Upstairs were three bedrooms plus a very small bedroom over the front hall. The kitchen was a separate (because of fire hazards) story and a half building behind the main house .
The setback section was constructed in 1930 at the time indoor plumbing was installed. At that time it was a kitchen with two bedrooms above. The siding on the front of this section is different from that on the rest of the house. In this section was a full bath with a clawfoot tub upstairs, and a tiny half bath downstairs.
Central heating was installed after WW II.
Fondest memory: We have remodeled inside extensively.
The front parlour and the dining room are still the same. The back parlor has been transformed into a kitchen, and the porch has been unified so it goes all the way around to the side door and a railing has been added. The original kitchen is now a family room. The back porch is now the laundry room, and the original half bath is now a full bath.
Upstairs the tiny bedroom over the stairs has been turned into another full bath with the entrance in the front bedroom, and the hall leading to it has been turned into a walk-in closet. We've also put closets in each of the other bedrooms.