Mechanicsville is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in St. Mary's County, Maryland, United States. It is adjacent to the community of Charlotte Hall, which is known for its agriculture, Amish population, large farmers' market/flea market, and the Maryland Veterans Home. Mechanicsville has many small businesses and restaurants along Maryland Route 5 and Maryland Route 235. This community is served by the St. Mary's County Public Schools, including Chopticon High School. As of the 2010 Census, Mechanicsville had a population of 1,528 people.
The Amish community in the Mechanicsville area consists of eight church districts and approximately 1,000 people. The Amish first came to the area in 1940, there is also an Old Order Mennonite community in the Mechanisville area. In recent years, increasing development has threatened the Amish community.
Part of the area was first settled in the 1660s by early Maryland colonists who were tobacco planters. They established some farms not far from the Patuxent river. In 1819 Cremona Farm, a 750 acre estate and plantation was built in the same location. In about 1850 "Mechanicsville Village" was established on the historic Three Notch Trail. The name "Mechanicsville" is believed to have come from the word "Mechanic" because the area became a center for blacksmiths and other craftsmen. In those days "Mechanic" meant a skilled tradesperson who worked with their hands.
There was an old railway that passed through Mechanicsville and local residents joined other St. Mary's County residents in purchasing it and saving it from being scrapped in 1918. Farm goods moved along the railroad on train cars and passenger service continued until about 1928. By that time county roads had improved and the railway began to fall out of use.
The Amish community was established in Mechanicsville in 1940. It is a Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, daughter settlement.
The Amish left Lancaster County because of a dispute with the state of Pennsylvania over education practices. The Amish people had their own system of one room schoolhouses there and a school year that better accomodated the farm season. But Pennsilvania tried to force them into the state school system. Maryland provided a place for the Lancaster Amish to escape these pressures and, as historian Karen Johnson-Weiner described, avoid “what they saw as a threat to their religious identity”.
Many Amish left at the time and one large group moved to Mechanicsville, Maryland. Today the Amish settlement in Mechanicsville is one of the largest Lancaster daughter communities.
2020 US Federal Census
Total Population in Mechanicsville 1,673 The total households were 628.
Population by race
Irish 33.3%, German 32.4%, French (except Basque) 16.6%, English - 13.9%, Polish 9.5%, African-American 5.9%, Italian 5.4%, Scottish 1.5%, Norweigian .8%, , American Indian .5%.
There are 88 veterans who served in wars or other overseas conflicts in Mechanicsville. This does not include all current or former military personell living in Mechanicsville.
Income and education
Secret collection of smuggled protest art from Soviet Russia
Through all of the 1980s a man named Norton Dodge lived at Cremona Farm in Mechanicsville and during that time he was helping artists in Russia protest against their communist government in Moscow. He did so by traveling to Russia and meeting with dissident artitists in secret. He would then, acting like a spy and at great risk to his own life, help to smuggle their protest art out of Russia and to the United States where it coud be shown to the world. The art was meant to criticise the Russian government and call for change in Russia. Mechanicsville Maryland was the arts first destination.
The protest art works were then sent secretly from their new home in Mechanicsville on tours to exhibits all around the world to be viewed by millions. Then they would come back to be secretly stored in Mechanicsville. By 1989 Dodge had amassed a collection of over 20,000 pieces of Russian protest art at Cremona Farm in Mechanicsville, including paintings and sculptures. Dodge died unexpectedly that year and his family donated the entire collection to a museum run by Rutgers University in New Jersey, were it is still on display in special exhibits to this day. Mechanicsvilles secret role as a waystation for Russian protest art as part of the struggle against Soviet dictators ended that year in 1989.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally cool to cold winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Mechanicsville has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps. In the spring and summer the area gets frequent thunderstorms, many severe, and on rare occaison, tornadoes. From June 2021 to June 2022 Mechanicsville had 41 severe thunderstorm warnings.
On June 8th, 2022 a severe thunderstorm developed a tornado that touched down in Mechanichsville, damaging farm buildings and a residential home, uprooting some trees and snapping other tree trunks.
Monthly weather averages
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This page uses material from the Wikipedia article Mechanicsville, MD, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 4.0.