Bernie Fowler: The Oral Histories

fowler1Senator C. Bernard (Bernie) Fowler, one of Calvert County’s most respected and well-known political figures, has devoted his life to public service. In 2014, the Calvert Marine Museum partnered with the Maryland Sea Grant College and Watershed Productions to conduct a series of five video recorded oral history interviews with Senator Fowler.  

Videographer Michael W. Fincham recorded and edited the interviews and prepared verbatim transcripts. Five separate interviewers posed questions that resulted in over seven hours of oral histories that cover a range of topics. In addition to Fowler’s biography and political career, topics include his advocacy in the areas of education, land use planning, and environmental issues.

  1. Biography
  2. Political Career
  3. Save the Bay
  4. Education Advocacy
  5. Land Use Planning

C. Bernard Fowler was known as "Bernie" throughout his long career as a political and environmental leader in Calvert County, Maryland. In his public service he spearheaded efforts to raise the quality of public education, to improve land-use planning, and to restore the Patuxent River and Chesapeake Bay. Historian Richard Dodds interviews Bernie about his family, his schooling, his military service, and the life experience that shaped his efforts to guide Calvert County through an era of dramatic change.

Click here to download the interview transcript.

Interview with Richard Dodds, 89 minutes

Family background (01:25)
Early life on Broomes Island (12:23)
School days (21:47)
Religion (35:45)
High school (44:54)
World War II and Navy Service (50:00)
Homecoming and business start-up (67:38)
Courtship and marriage (78:50)
Bernie’s Boats (83:07)

Funding for this project was provided by the Campbell Foundation, Bernie Fowler Jr., the Southern Maryland Heritage Area Association/Maryland Historical Trust, and the Calvert Marine Museum Society. 

The museum extends special thanks to the interviewers and to Senator Bernie Fowler for his good natured cooperation and gracious hospitality throughout this project.