Welcome to Sumner Hall!  Located in historic Chestertown on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, this is one of two existing African American G.A.R. buildings still standing in the United States. Built circa 1908 and fully restored in 2014, it serves today as a museum, educational site, performance stage, social hall, and gallery.  Sumner Hall is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, funded by donations and memberships.

Although our building is closed to the public due to the current public health crisis, our volunteers and project staff members continue to produce exhibits in public spaces and offer programs virtually. These are made possible by individual and organizational members and donors. Show your love for Sumner Hall by becoming a member or by making a donation today!

Make a Donation

Become an Individual Member

Become an Organizational Member

We would like to hear from you! To contact us, please call 443.282.0023 and leave a message or send us an email:  info@sumnerhall.org;  we will be back in touch with you soon.  Or, you may contact us by mail.  Our address is 208 South Queen Street, Chestertown, Maryland 21620.

African American Read-In

6:00 pm, February 24, a Virtual Program produced by the Kent County Library 

Join us online for a community celebration of African American authors!

This interactive, multigenerational program will celebrate black authors, literacy, reading, and diversity in literature.  Join us to listen or let us know you’re interested in being a reader when you register.

Readings may include short essays, passages from novels, poetry, children’s books, or other types of writing. If you’re interested in reading, please choose a family-friendly selection that resonates on a personal level and practice reading your piece out loud ahead of time.  To accommodate as many readers as possible, selections should be no more than 2-4 minutes when read aloud. 

When you register you will have the option to request a Book Bundle containing a selection of titles that highlight African American authors and illustrators.  Bundles are prepared by library staff and can be created for children or adults. If you request a Book Bundle, you will also receive a FREE tote bag from the library full of goodies for all book lovers.  Book Bundles can be picked up at all three KCPL locations.  The library will contact you when your Book Bundle is ready and you will be able to pick up through our Library To Go service.

Go to Kent County Library to register for this event.

This event is co-sponsored by Sumner Hall, Washington College Department of Education & Black Studies Program, and Kent County Public Library.

Sumner Hall Celebrates Black History Month!

Sumner Hall is pleased to offer a special exhibition and several programs during Black History Month 2021! 

Click here to learn more!

Henry Highland Garnet Books Now Available!

One of America’s most celebrated crusaders for racial justice, Henry Highland Garnet, was born enslaved in Kent County in 1815. Since his story is not well known, George Shivers has written two children’s books – a coloring book and a chapter book – that have been published by Sumner Hall.


Click here to get your copy today!