The Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Comes To Chestertown

Washington College and Sumner Hall Host Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition


the way we worked Smithsonian exhibition







           photo courtesy of


Why do we work?

It’s an intriguing question that the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition explores in depth with “The Way We Worked.” Adapted from the original National Archives exhibition, it explores how work became so central to our American culture.

The Way We Worked traces many changes that affected the general workforce and work environments over the last century and a half. The companion exhibition hits a little closer to home with exhibitions highlighting the work history of Kent County.

It’s an historical and thought-provoking collection hosted by Sumner Hall in collaboration with Washington College.

The Black Labor Experience in Kent County

The companion exhibition shown at Sumner Hall entitled, “The Black Labor Experience in Kent County,” will feature four parts:

  • The story of Sumner Hall’s founders and the 471 African Americans who served in the Civil War alongside Union troops
  • The contribution from enslaved and free labor to Kent County from the Revolutionary War time to the close of the 19th century
  • An exhibition of the trade tools used during that time, which explores the role of farming, fishing, office and household tools
  • Finally, some contemporary work stories with reflections from 50+ oral history interviews from Kent County residents.

In addition, there is also a Kid’s Corner with hands-on activities to keep young children engaged and entertained.

You can view The Way We Worked and the companion exhibition, The Way We Worked in Kent County, through May 20, 2017 at Sumner Hall. Hours are: Tuesdays–Thursdays 9:00 am– 1:00 pm; Fridays noon-7:00 pm; Saturdays 9 am-4:00 pm; and Sundays noon-4:00 pm.

An inspiring exhibition, The Way We Worked is a tribute to the men and women who have made the country and the Kent County community what it is today.

Make your stay historical from beginning to end. The Great Oak Manor, an historic b & b, was built in 1659 and features a Georgian style house. Each room is decorated in a period theme. Learn more about it on our website.