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1823–1827; 1877 rebuilt. 5319 Ocean Gtwy.
  • (Photograph by Alexander Heilner)
  • (Photograph by Alexander Heilner)
  • (Photograph by Alexander Heilner)
  • (Photograph by Alexander Heilner)
  • (Photograph by Alexander Heilner)
  • (HABS)

This Gothic Revival church is a well-known landmark, situated along the busy U.S. 50 corridor, and its parish important to the history of Catholicism in Maryland. The parish was established in 1764, concurrently with St. Joseph’s in Talbot County by the first permanent Catholic mission on the Eastern Shore, St. Francis Xavier, founded in Cecil County in 1704. Together they formed the “central shore” missions, and along with St. Francis Xavier in St. Mary’s County, established by Jesuits in 1640 as the first Catholic settlement in the state, they represent Maryland’s earliest Catholic enclaves.

A small chapel was built shortly after St. Peter’s founding, replaced by the central core of the current building. Today’s church is essentially a late-nineteenth-century Gothic Revival building. To increase its capacity, the roof was raised, an octagonal apse added to the north facade, and a buttressed nave and vestibule to the south, reorienting the building and creating a cruciform plan. The expanded church was embellished with such details as large rose and paired, stained glass lancet windows, scrolled exposed rafters, and bargeboards with Stick Style brackets and quatrefoil medallions.

Writing Credits

Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie



  • 1823


What's Nearby


Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie, "ST. PETER’S CATHOLIC CHURCH", [Queenstown, Maryland], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Maryland, Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2022, 108-108.

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