Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage
maryland house and garden pilgimage
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Featuring Homes and Gardens from the War of 1812 Era to the Present

10 am to 5 pm

Special Project: Historic Oldfields Chapel was the Chapel of Ease, built in 1769, for the Trinity Episcopal Parish, Newport, MD.  In continual use, the chapel was enlarged between 1944 and 1961 with a new sanctuary, choir loft, and thirteen stunning stained glass windows designed by the renowned glass artists Rowan and Irene LeCompte.  The LeComptes’ work includes forty five windows in the National Cathedral, including the “Creation Rose” window in the west face of the Cathedral.  Tour proceeds will be used to assist the parish in installing protective glass over the windows; developing interpretative materials about the windows; providing informational signage about the history of the chapel, and providing permanent markers for the graves of two British soldiers from the War of 1812 buried there.


 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~HISTORY~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Charles County has frequently been impacted by the major conflicts engaged in by the United States.  The people of Charles County were highly involved both politically and militarily in the Revolutionary War.  The Civil War devastated Charles County with a decline in agricultural income and the loss of residents as the economy plummeted.  But no war has personally impacted the county as much as the War of 1812.  During 1813 and 1814, the British navy, stationed in the Chesapeake, waged a campaign of intimidation and fear in an attempt to draw attention and armies away from a planned invasion of Canada by the Americans.  Farms and plantations along the rivers and creeks of  Charles County were plundered for food and belongings.  Farms and lives were laid to ruin as the British troops landed and faced little to no intervention by local militia.  And more significantly, on August 19, 1814, 4,500 British troops disembarked at Benedict, MD to begin their quest to conquer the young nation’s capital.  The troops bivouacked in the countryside around Benedict and raided nearby farms for horses and provisions before they proceeded with their march northward where they burned Washington.  Our home tour features the areas affected by the War of 1812. Today, these areas remain predominately agricultural as was the case 200 years ago.  Benedict is still a small quaint village surrounded by fields and the historically famous Patuxent River.  Our homes on tour reflect the past and present as Charles County marches into the future as one of the fastest growing counties in the state. 

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

ROUTES FROM BALTIMORE: Rt. 301 South to intersection with Rt. 5.  Bear left onto Rt. 5 and proceed to stoplight at Business Rt. 5, Leonardtown Road.  Turn left and proceed 8.5 miles to exit right to Rt. 231, towards Prince Frederick.  Proceed to traffic circle, and take second exit toward Prince Frederick, Rt. 231.  Proceed to second traffic circle and take first exit to continue on Rt. 231.  Proceed 2.1 miles to the stoplight at Route 381, Brandywine Road.  Turn left and proceed 0.1 mile to the American Legion, Jameson Harrison Post on the left, the Visitor’s Center and Tour Information Center.

ROUTES FROM WASHINGTON: Rt. 495 to Md. Rt. 210 South, Indian Head Highway.  Proceed to junction of Rt. 210 and Berry Road, turn left toward Waldorf.  Proceed to junction with Rt. 301.  Cross Rt. 301 and proceed on Business Rt. 5, Leonardtown Road 10.1 miles to exit at Rt. 231, toward Prince Frederick.  Bear right to exit and proceed to traffic circle, take second exit toward Prince Frederick, Rt. 231.  Proceed to second traffic circle and take first exit to continue on Rt. 231.  Proceed 2.1 miles to the stoplight at Route 381, Brandywine Road.  Turn left and proceed 0.1 mile to the American Legion, Jameson Harrison Post on the left, the Visitor’s Center and Tour Information Center.

ROUTES FROM EASTERN SHORE: Route 50 West over Bay Bridge and past Annapolis.  Take Route 301 Southbound. Rt. 301 South to intersection with Rt. 5.  Bear left onto Rt. 5 and proceed to stoplight at Business Rt. 5, Leonardtown Road.  Turn left and proceed 8.5 miles to exit right to Rt. 231, towards Prince Frederick.  Proceed to traffic circle, and take second exit toward Prince Frederick, Rt. 231.  Proceed to second traffic circle and take first exit to continue on Rt. 231.  Proceed 2.1 miles to the stoplight at Route 381, Brandywine Road.  Turn left and proceed 0.1 mile to the American Legion, Jameson Harrison Post on the left, the Visitor’s Center and Tour Information Center.

ROUTE FROM RICHMOND: Rt. 301 north across the Governor Harry W. Nice Bridge to intersection of Rt. 301 and Business Rt. 5.  Proceed as above to Visitors Center.

Day of Tour Information and Ticket Sales: 
American Legion, Jameson Harrison Post 238, 6265 Brandywine Road, Hughesville, MD
  Ticket sales and Tour Information Center.  Restrooms are available.


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

ADVANCED RESERVATIONS ONLY. A box lunch will be catered by St. Agnes Women’s Guild at Oldfields Episcopal Church, Clagett Hall, 15837 Prince Frederick Road, Hughesville, MD 20637  Please send your check for $15 made out to  St. Agnes Guild, Oldfields Church,  P.O.Box 178, Hughesville Md 20637  Indicate choice of a crab cake or chicken salad sandwich; served w/2 sides, drink and dessert.  Lunch will be available for pick up 12:00AM – 3:00PM.  Lunch reservations may also be purchased online at with a small additional charge to pay for order processing.




 Sitting on a hill which once overlooked agricultural fields, Swanson Creek, and the Patuxent River, Maxwell Hall is one of the region’s best surviving examples of a typical late 18th century four-over-four room home with central stair passage, gambrel roof, and massive end exterior brick chimneys.  The house is post and beam construction with mortise and tendon joints.  Measuring 36 by 28 feet, five bays wide on the north front and three bays wide on the south side, the house was erected on fieldstone and brick foundations.  The foundation walls enclose a full cellar partitioned into two rooms with a stone transverse wall.  The larger east room, with its tall narrow fireplace opening was more than likely used as the kitchen and the adjoining room as a larder and for general storage. Above the cellar, only the four first floor rooms were heated. Much of Maxwell Hall’s architectural distinction derives from its exterior design, dominated by matching end chimneys of massive proportions.  Double-tiered chimneys were used on a variety of house types in Southern Maryland throughout the eighteenth century.  Maxwell Hall’s connection to the War of 1812 derives from its proximity to the Patuxent River.  It is said that British officers requisitioned the first floor of the house for headquarters requiring the family to live upstairs.  This occupation was mercifully brief but perhaps saved the house from the “torching” which was the fate of many other homes nearby.



The town of Benedict was the site of the British landing in 1814, when Major General Robert Ross and Rear Admiral George Cockburn disembarked 4,500 British soldiers from the British Fleet anchored in the Patuxent River. Today, the town of Benedict is the temporary docking site of the Skipjack, Caleb W. Jones.  The skipjack’s wide beam, hard chine, and low freeboard provided a stable bottom and large working platform.  The large self-tracking jib and enormous triangular mainsail could be handled by a small crew, yet were powerful enough to pull heavy dredges over oyster beds and come about quickly without losing way. The Caleb Jones is forty-four feet long and sixteen and a half feet wide,  her mast is sixty feet high and she carries a four reef point main sail and jib.  The Caleb Jones has two sources of locomotion, the wind and her push or “yawl” boat.  The yawl boat is used to power in and out of port, but can be used to power the boat on the “power days” of Monday and Tuesday.  Local historians will be on deck to discuss the watermen’s role and 1812 history.



Located on a farm that was part of the “Benedict Hundreds” portion of the original 1654 Calverton Manor land grant, Zacharia’s Crossing is a lovely new brick home.  It is sited near the foundation of an earlier home from the Moran family, linked to a nearby Moran family burial plot.  The original house, in a state of disrepair, was dismantled in 2005 and the present home was built with environmentally friendly systems.  The custom built fireplace in the great room was designed by the owner and is joined in the home by family antiques and early family photographs.  The walk-out basement contains a black and red retreat for games and relaxing.  At the rear of the home, a deck overlooks a vineyard, fields and a wooded stream.  A grist mill wheel, taken from a local former grist mill frames the steps  leading down to the vineyard.  The planting of grapes, which began in 2005, is a family project, providing grapes to local wineries.  Two restored barns are on the property.
houseopen to visitors.



This In 1769, Oldfields Chapel was built as a Chapel of Ease as an adjunct facility to Trinity Church at Newport, which was a distance from Benedict.  The chapel was built with ballast bricks from English merchant vessels and was constructed in the traditional colonial style with pews facing each other.  The pulpit was located near the side wall.  Later, as the parish grew in size during the 1800’s, the chapel was refurbished and the pews were turned to face the altar, and pulpit, now relocated to the front.  Major renovations were undertaken at Oldfield during the period 1944 to 1961.  A new Sanctuary and choir loft were built, and a new organ was added.  The interior of the Chapel was enhanced with thirteen stunning stained glass windows designed and installed by renowned glass artists Rowan and Irene LeCompte. The LeComptes are most famous for their abstract designs which capture the brilliance, clarity and color of the medium. The Chapel has its own slice of history from the War of 1812, as there are two English soldiers buried in the church cemetery, a part of the British force who marched past the grounds of the church as they prepared for an assault on the young nation’s capital. . 



Manor of Truman’s Place takes its name from a 1,000 acre proprietary manor grant to Henry Darnell in 1664, one of thirteen manor grants made in Charles County between 1642 and 1680. Darnell conveyed the 1,000 acres by assignment to Nathaniel Truman, a Calvert County justice, to whom a patent was issued in 1666.  Truman’s Place is a mid-nineteenth century, two and one-half story, gable-roofed brick house with a two-story kitchen-service wing.  Its late-Federal design belies its origin as a one-story, two-part dwelling.  The original dwelling, built by Richard Gardiner between 1759 and 1782, was of Flemish bond, brick construction with a five bay front elevation, built in the familiar four room design with a centered rear stair passage.  The home was enlarged by Richard’s grandson, Thomas Gardiner in about 1850. The roofs of both parts of the house were raised, and a Greek Revival-style porch was added.  The house has had various restorations, while today, the house has been lovingly restored by the owners with a gathering space addition to take advantage of the view of the rear sunken garden with koi pond and gazebo. Truman’s Place was impacted during the British temporary occupation of the area when the British, on their march to Washington, burned the separate kitchen. 


Wiltshire Plains, a center hall Federal style farm house, was built ca. 1760 on a 1711 land grant to Thomas Crabb, from whom the present owner is a maternal descendant.  The house was originally one room deep consisting of a hall and main room on the first floor, a hall and bedroom on the second and a third floor connected by a simple open stairway.  After 1800 the dining room was added with a bedroom above on the second and third floor.  Off the dining room was a detached kitchen with a vast chimney and loft which served as sleeping quarters for the servants.  The southern pine floors are original in the older sections of the house.  Originally the chimneys were on the exterior walls but in the early 20th century they, the double level porches on the front and the old kitchen were removed and a new kitchen was attached to the dining room.  In 1996 the present owners built a large addition to the rear of the main house.  A spring fed pond and several dependences are behind the house.  The meat house and corn crib are constructed with hand hewn lumber from previous outbuildings.



This Victorian carpenter gothic home stands on a hill overlooking the Bryantown National Historic District. The original 4,000 acre manor know as Boarman’s Manor was granted to Major William Boarman in 1674.  Bryantown village grew up at the junction of roads leading to Washington and to Port Tobacco.  Today the village is home to four nineteenth century homes and several mid nineteenth century warehouses.  The home on Evergreen Farm was built in 1873 by Henry Alexander Turner and his wife Amelia Jameson Turner.  The home was occupied by the Turner family until 1908 when it was acquired by Dr. Louis Carrico and his wife Annie Jameson Carrico whose descendants still occupy the family home.  Today the main hallway is flanked by double parlors, one of which Dr. Carrico used as an office while the other was utilized by the family as their parlor.  The home features twelve foot ceilings with ornate wood trim and plaster throughout.  Upon entering the home through a double-leaf door, the visitor is met by a curving walnut stairway rising two floors.  An unusual feature of the hall is a pattern of alternating ash and walnut floorboards, a popular style of the day.  The parlors on either side of the hall are lit by spacious bay windows. 




This home is a colonial-style residence constructed in 1990 on eight acres once owned by the Jameson Family of Charles County and operated as a tobacco farm for most of the 20th century. During construction, arrowheads were found near the woods indicating that the area was once a productive hunting ground for the Piscataway Indians. Designed by the owners, the home utilizes post and beam construction with pine structural components cut in North Carolina.  Fifty-five thousand oversized tumbled bricks were used on the exterior and three fireplaces.  The owner is an artist and art instructor and her work is on display throughout the home. In 1999, ground was broken for an English-style garden designed and installed by her mother. Judith, aged 84, is a member of the Potomac Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society, Capital Cactus Society, and a Certified Master Gardener.  Countless hours of sweat and toil have produced a beautiful and resilient installation.  Not satisfied with just a conventional plot, she constructed a cactus garden behind her original work. 


Anne Arundel County | Queen Anne County | Baltimore City (Guilford) 
Somerset & Worcester Counties | Charles County

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