Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage
maryland house and garden pilgimage
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Buy Tickets (Anne Arundel)

10 am to 5 pm

Special Project:  The funds received from the Pilgrimage will be used to address a number of museum enhancements for visitor engagement to bring the Captain Avery Museum complex into the 21st century.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~HISTORY~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The 2015 Pilgrimage (South County) Tour focuses on that portion of Anne Arundel County known as South County.  It is the last remaining area of large farms in the county.  Anne Arundel County, established in 1650, is the third oldest county in Maryland, following St. Mary’s and Kent Counties.  The county was named in honor of Lady Anne Arundel, wife of Cecil Calvert, second Lord Baltimore and Proprietor of the Province, who died in 1649.  The county was laid out in “hundreds” which gave way to “parishes” with the establishment of the Church of England in the Province of Maryland in 1692.  The Quakers were instrumental in settling the southern part of the county.  This tour is designed to provide a myriad of architectural styles from the sixteenth to the early twentieth century with properties that have been used in a variety of ways from tobacco farming and horse farms; centers of worship; steamboat landings and shipbuilding; to supporting the life of a waterman and the economic importance of the Chesapeake Bay.  Eight of the ten sites are private homes, and are rarely open to the public. 


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ DIRECTIONS ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


BALTIMORE:  Baltimore Beltway #695 South to I-97 South to U.S. #50 West; Take Exit 22 for MD-#665East.  Take MD-#2 South on Solomon Islands Rd for 3.3 mi. to MD-#214 East (Central Ave E).  Turn left.  Go (East) onto Route #214.  Turn right (South) at Route #468 (Muddy Creek Road). Go about 12 miles to Route #256 (Deale-Churchton Road). Continue straight on Route #468 (Muddy Creek Rd/Shady Side Rd) for 3 miles. Turn right onto East West Shady Side Road. Continue for 0.3 miles. The Museum will be on your left.  Note:  Public Restrooms will be available at Site #1.  
WASHINGTON:  East on U.S. #50 to Exit 22 for MD-#665E (Aris T. Allen Blvd.) and proceed as above.
EASTERN SHORE:  West on U.S. #50/301  to Exit 23A for MD #2 (Solomon Islands Rd South); proceed as above

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ LUNCH ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Southern Anne Arundel County’s own Fat Maxine’s Barbecue will offer a hearty lunch of pulled pork or beef brisket with sides (coleslaw and baked beans), drink, and homemade dessert. The cost is $15 per person for eat-in or take-out at Christ Church Parish Hall, 204 Owensville Rd, West River, MD 20778 (.1 mile west of Christ Church).  Luncheon will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  Advanced reservations are recommended; however, walk-ins are welcome.  For reservations, please write a check payable to Christ Episcopal Church for $15 per person and mail to 220 Owensville Rd, West River, MD 20778 no later than April 30th, 2015.  Be sure to include a phone number and/or e-mail address for reservation confirmation. For questions regarding the lunch, please call the church office at 410-867-0346 or contact them via e-mail at





CAPTAIN AVERY MUSEUM, 1418 EW Shady Side Road, Shady Side, MD

Built circa 1860 by Captain Salem Avery, a waterman from Long Island, New York, the original house was built as a one-room house with loft above, with a detached kitchen.  An addition was made to the main block c.1875, creating a two-story Hall and Parlor plan and linking the kitchen with loft to the main house.  The property remained in the family until 1922 when it was purchased by the National Masonic Fishing and Country Club, Inc., of Washington D.C.  In 1989 the Shady Side Rural Heritage Society, now Captain Avery Museum, purchased the property and began the work of accurately and historically restoring both parts of the much changed building.  The Museum features furnishings from the Avery period, exhibits on local history and culture, and a research library.   Be sure to stroll through the Museum’s Rain Scape garden, which is a demonstration bio-retention site for South Anne Arundel County.



NORMAN’S RETREAT, Plantation Blvd.

Located at the headwaters of the West River, and comprised of a c.1811 Federal style house and three 19th-century outbuildings.  Several beams in the upper construction of the house have the markings used by a shipwright and it is thought that a portion of the house may have been built during the time of the Stephen Steward Shipyard. The remainder was constructed after the property was purchased by William Norman, a Captain in the 2nd Maryland Militia.  Norman’s Retreat is one of the more significant 19th-century properties in the county because much of its original interior ornamental features remain and because of its preserved setting and intact complex of main house and outbuildings. The end of the house facing the outdoor kitchen is brick and was designed to protect the house from fire.  The original kitchen chimney is still standing, but over the years has been incorporated into a small wing attached to the house that now contains the country kitchen.  The Stephen Steward Shipyard is located on the waterside on Norman’s Retreat and is the most archaeologically intact 18th-century shipyard discovered in the Middle Atlantic States.  The shipyard built 100-foot galleys and small schooners and served as the first Maryland colonial base.  It was in existence from 1751 until it was burned by the British in 1781 during the American Revolution.  


 DODON WINERY, Dodon Road 

This property is steeped in history with ties to Anne Arundel County dating back to 1658, when the name first appears in county land records on a land patent to Dr. Francis Stockett by King Charles II.   In 1725, the property was purchased from the Charles Carroll family by Dr. George Steuart of Perthshire, Scotland.  Nine consecutive generations of Steuart’s (now Pittman’s) have since lived and worked at Dodon.  Dodon has transformed itself over the generations from growing tobacco to raising livestock and growing crops.  Today, the property is known for its vineyard.  The Vineyards at Dodon is a vertically integrated vineyard and winery using only grapes grown at Dodon.  The winery is a charming bank barn constructed by the Amish, with spectacular views of the 27,000 planted vines.  In addition to the winery, the owners operate an equestrian training center where retired racehorses are retrained as three day eventers.  The tour of the vineyards will include wine samples for a nominal fee and, for those interested, will be followed by a wagon ride around the farm to see the horse facility and the family graveyard. 


OAKWOOD, Solomons Island Road

Located at the end of a long, tree-lined drive, Oakwood sits nestled among seven acres of forest.  Oakwood was originally part of the Cherry Hill tobacco plantation, owned by Osborn Harwood.  This Greek Revival influenced home retains much of its original architectural details.  It was built between 1850 and 1860 by Osborn’s son, Sprigg Harwood, who was a prominent tobacco planter and politician in Anne Arundel County and leader of a failed initiative to have Maryland succeed from the Union during the Civil War.  Oakwood’s most unique architectural quality is its unusual floor plan, which has antecedents in 18th- century Annapolis-area gentry housing.  While its plan is derived from the popular side-passage, double-parlor plan of the time, it is unlike its side-passage contemporaries as it is essentially turned sideways.  Not to be missed inside is the large cooking fireplace in the kitchen that still retains its original built-in bake oven.  Outside, the remnants of a 1860s terrace garden remain south of the dwelling.



The picturesque Christ Church is located at the heart of the Owensville Historic District.  The Church was created as an independent parish in 1862, replacing an earlier chapel on the site.  Its unique architectural style, known as “Carpenter Gothic,” was modeled after the work of renowned architect of the period, Richard Upjohn.  The unique style of “Carpenter Gothic” architecture is now considered to be the finest example of its type on the east coast   Upjohn published a book, Rural Architecture, of design plans in 1852.  This book offered architect-designed plans for rural parishes.  Like some of the other fine “Upjohn Churches,” Christ Church is a small board-and-batten structure that was built according to Ecclesiological principles with a long, narrow, and high nave, and a deep chancel.  While there, explore the Church’s cemetery, which is like walking through the history of the West River community.


BURRAGES END, Old Ridge Path Lane

Situated on top of a knoll, Burrages End is a fine example of Maryland Tidewater architecture.  The land was patented in 1665 to John Burrage, and was sold three years later to Major John Welsh, who was a gentleman tobacco planter, and was appointed by the Governor as the High Sheriff around 1677.  The original house, constructed in the mid-17th century burned and was rebuilt on the original foundation.  It is a modest, 1 ½-story, wood frame, vernacular dwelling with a gambrel roof.  The east façade exhibits matching exterior end brick chimneys with rounded brick tops.  To the east of the house, there is a small, wood frame outbuilding that may have been the original kitchen or slave quarters.  From evidence in the cellar, the original house appears to have been approximately 24 feet square, but instead of having exterior chimneys, it had two interior fireplaces, one of which was in a corner.  The walls were filled with brick noggin, a portion of which remains beneath the stair.  Today, the large property functions as a horse farm and equestrian center, but remnants of its past function are still present.  The property still maintains a few outbuildings, including an outstanding 18th-century tobacco barn with unusual framing that has been converted to a horse barn.  Also located on the property, is a small graveyard that contains the graves of other owners of Burrages End and their family members, including Thomas Sellman, a vestryman at St. James’ Parish, who died in 1818.   


ST. JAMES PARISH ,  Solomon’s Island Road

In 1692, the Maryland Assembly was directed by the Royal Governor to divide the Province of Maryland into 30 Anglican parishes.  One of these, originally known as Herring Creeke Parish, became St. James Parish.  In 1695, the vestry ordered a church be built on the present site.  The Reverend Henry Hall was elected the first rector.  The 7th rector, The Reverend Thomas John Claggett, became the first Episcopal Bishop of Maryland.  When the original church became inadequate, the present church was completed in 1765 and continues today to serve its congregation and community.  While the vestry and bell tower were added later, the nave and its double aisles, pew boxes, original inscribed wooden wall tablets of the Ten Commandments, hand-plastered concave, and acoustically sensitive ceiling are basically the same as when the colonists worshipped there.  Clear glass windows were replaced by stained glass memorial windows which depict the church’s history and connection to the community.  The first parochial lending library was established at St. James’ in 1698 and remains in use today.  The church is surrounded by old gravestones.   One gravestone going back to 1665 is believed to be the oldest dated tombstone in Maryland.  




MARSHES SEAT, Highview Road 

This property is beautifully situated on top a hill overlooking Herring Creek and the Chesapeake Bay.  The land tract named “Marshes Seat” was first surveyed in 1651 by separatist merchant, Thomas Marsh.  In 1733 a Scottish immigrant, David Weems, purchased the property and he and his family remained there for three generations.  According to a story passed down in the Weems family, their house was shelled during the War of 1812 and purposely burned three years later. The current farmhouse was constructed sometime after 1860, when the property was purchased by George Washington Nutwell for his son, Thomas.  Thomas Nutwell’s daughter, Edna, lived at Marshes Seat for 95 years.  This farmhouse represents a good example of a synthesis of more than one architectural style with its combination of Greek Revival and Italianate influences.  The current owners have owned Marshes Seat since 1983.  Restoration included preserving windows and woodwork, and adding modern baths and kitchen, a solar hot water system, and a well water heating and cooling system.



PROUT TENANT HOUSE. Fairhaven Road  

Also known as Gravelly Hill,  the house is believed to have been built by Captain Samuel Gover, who fought in the War of 1812.  Although the architectural style is typical of the early 18th century, it is thought to have been built in the early to mid-19th century.  The house is an example of the vernacular tidewater style, typically found on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  It was most likely constructed in the style due to the builder’s preference.  The house was owned by the Prout family for about a century.  The house fell into disrepair during the 1970s.  In 1988, it was purchased by a family, who meticulously restored the house using historically appropriate materials and methods.  The current owners purchased the property in 1999. 




This land was the site of a steamboat landing and a 70-room, wood-framed hotel that occupied this site on Herring Bay during the steamboat era of the 1880s.  The owner then, Irvin Owings, took down the hotel in the 1920s when the new railroad at Chesapeake Beach drew the crowds and the market changed.  Owings built a traditional 5-bedroom brick manor home for his family on the property around 1934.  By the early 2000s, the house had fallen into disrepair.  The current owners acquired the property and completed an entire renovation in 2010.  New hardscape areas feature several terraces, a new pier and rip rap, a reworked pool, and a loggia on the lower level.  Porches added in the 1980s were reconditioned and offer panoramic views of the Chesapeake Bay as places to relax and/or entertain. 



HOLLY HILL, Friendship Road 

This is one of the few surviving examples of the Medieval Transitional style of architecture in Maryland; a true architectural gem in Anne Arundel County.  It is located at the southernmost tip of Anne Arundel County and shares its boundary with the Calvert County line.  The oldest portion or  east end of the present house was built in 1698 by Richard Harrison, as a gift for his son, Samuel Harrison.  Samuel would later add two additions onto the house; the first in 1713 and the second in 1733, resulting in an elongated T-shaped plan.  In 1968 Brice McAdoo Clagett, a descendant of Richard Harrison, acquired the approximately 225 acre property which includes the historic house, gardens, a family graveyard and numerous barns and outbuildings.  Holly Hill exemplifies early 18th-century architecture at its finest, inside and out, from the large exterior chimneys and brick detailing, to the original barrel-vaulted cellar, fireplaces, and moldings.  

Buy Tickets (Anne Arundel)


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