Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage
maryland house and garden pilgimage
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SATURDAY, MAY 19, 2012
10 am to 5 pm

Special Project: The Howard County Historical Society serves as the primary private repository of historical records and artifacts related to Howard County’s rich history and we provide access for historical exploration, research and discovery for all ages and cultural groupsFounded in 1958, the Society collects, preserves, and makes available to scholars, families and the public the artifacts, documents and images that tell the story of Howard County’s past.  Consisting of a Museum, Library and Archive, the Society reaches thousands of local residents each year through public programs, educational initiatives, and exhibits, as well as by helping researchers, genealogists, authors and others.  Proceeds from the tour will help to underwrite expenses for the relocation of the Society’s Library and Archive from the current, undersized facility with limited parking to a key, highly visible and accessible location.

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

Howard County is a county of contrasts- a successful melding of old and new, urban and rural,  a setting where one of the most modern cities in the world (Columbia) sits side by side with Ellicott City, a city older than the republic itself.  In 1707, a large land grant, Doughoregan Manor was deeded to Charles Carroll, the grandfather of the signer of the Declaration of Independence, Charles Carroll of Carrollton.  It was during this early period that the Ellicott brothers, Quakers from Pennsylvania, founded the Ellicott Mills and changed the future of the county by convincing local farmers to grow wheat instead of tobacco.  The abundance of water power and the county’s location along major travel s (the Patapsco River, post roads, turnpikes and the B&O Railroad) made this location a perfect environment for growth and prosperity.  After 1830, Ellicott’s Mills became one of the most important manufacturing centers in the state, when the B&O Railroad built the first railroad terminus in the country from Baltimore to Ellicott’s Mills.  Much of the town was constructed of distinctive gray granite quarried from deposits found on the shores of the Patapsco.  Handsome in its simplicity, the architecture reflected the dignity of the Ellicott’s Quaker heritage.  Originally part of Anne Arundel County, the area was designated the Howard District in 1839 in honor of John Eager Howard.  There are over 300 historic landmarks recorded in Howard County.  The entire Historic District of Ellicott City is on the National Register of Historic Places.  Today’s tour in Howard County will include not only historic houses and gardens but also historic sites adapted to survive the growth and economic pressures of today.

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

From BALTIMORE: .Baltimore Beltway 695 to Exit 15 (Route 70). Take Route 70 West towards Frederick to Exit 83 North (Marriottsville Road). Take Marriottsville Road North 1/2 mile to Warwick Way.  Turn right on Warwick Way and take the first left onto Waverly Mansion Drive onto the property.

From ANNAPOLIS and the EASTERN SHORE: Take Route 50 West to Rt. 97.  Take Route 97 North to exit 14B (Route 100).  Take Route 100 West for 15 miles to Route 29 North.  Take Route 29 North for 3 miles to Route 70 West.  Take Route 70 West to Exit 83 (Marriottsville Road).  (See Above)
From WASHINGTON, DC:  Take Route 29 North towards Baltimore to Route 70 West.  Take Route 70 West to Exit 83 (Marriottsville Road).  (See Above).

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

A delicious lunch, including drink and dessert, will be served between 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. in the period Refectory Room of the Shrine of St. Anthony, Folly Quarter Road, Ellicott City.  The cost is $8.00 per person.  Reservations are requested by May 14 through the Shrine’s website,, or by calling the Shrine office during business hours, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at 410.531.2800



Waverly was the home of Maryland’s 25th governor, George Howard.  The mansion is approximately 75 feet long and was constructed of stone covered with a rough mortaR.  The large two and one-half story main block, with its canopied doorway, is connected to a two story wing by a single story hyphen.  The wing is of modest size and believed by some to have been the first home built on the property by Nathan Dorsey, the original settler, who was born in 1731.  While there is no ornate trim on the exterior of the house, three large double chimneys attest to the existence of fireplaces in most of the rooms, a mark of luxury in 18th and 19th century homes.  Today, Waverly is owned by Howard County and is used for weddings and organizational events.

Waverly is ONLY open between 10 AM and 2 PM because of an event scheduled there this evening.



Oakdale was originally patented to the Warfields’ in 1766.  The original structure was built in 1838 by Albert Warfield, father of Governor Edwin Warfield.  In 1898, Ed Warfield enlarged the home, including the huge columns on the front portico and lengthy side porches.  He beautified the interior by adding handsome woodwork which was hand-carved in Oakdale’s shops. Today the mansion boasts 23 rooms a stately stairway with a beautiful Palladian window and broad balcony overlooking the foyer, fireplaces on all three floors and six bathrooms, all of which still retain the lavish space and beautiful wide marble lavatories.  It is one of the counties finest landmarks.



The Shrine of St. Anthony is located on land once owned by Charles Carroll, the only Catholic Signer of the Declaration of Independence.  Purchased by the Franciscans and built as a formation house for new initiates into the Order, the Shrine has been in operation since 1930.  Constructed within the same architectural lineage as the “Sacro Convento” in Assisi, the natural beauty of the land is only highlighted and cultivated by the unique presence of the Shrine.  Gifted to the Shrine from the Friars in Padua, Italy, the chapel holds a singularly exquisite reliquary containing a relic of St. Anthony. Guided tours of the Chapel, Library and Refectory will be given on the half hour during the normal tour hours.



In 1719, Lord Baltimore presented a land grant of 1,200 acres to Thomas Worthington, who built the original structure in the late 1700’s.  Today the farm consists of 133 acres and 8 out buildings and has remained in the family for almost 300 years.  The current owners of Richland Farm are direct descendents of Thomas Worthington.  The original structure was a two story log kitchen and living room.  Additions include a two story  wing and two story  wing, built in 1846 and 1920, respectively.  The home now is truly a manor but retains its original heritage. The home now has 8 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, with various parlors and sitting rooms and retains the original log kitchen with its ancient stone fireplace, now used as the dining room.

Constructed in the early 1800s, White Hall came into existence as part of a land grand involving “Freedom’s Progress” and “Dorsey’s Search”.  It is believed the structure’s main section and west wing were erected between 1810 and 1820.  The acreage passed from Judge Richard Ridgely to Col. Charles Worthington Dorsey, a prominent Maryland planter and participant in the War of 1812.  Mary Tolley Dorsey was born at Hall and later married Thomas Watkins Ligon, the 33rd Governor of Maryland.  After near destruction by a fire in 1893 the property remained unoccupied until Ligon’s son Charles Worthington Dorsey Ligon purchased 430 acres and the house in 1900. Reconstruction included refinements such as granite, brick, stucco scored to simulate ashlar masonry, massive brick chimneys, an impressive Palladian window, and a charming center hall connecting the front and back entrances. 


The land on which Springhill stands was originally a tract patented in 1695 to Samuel Chew as “Chew’s Resolution Manor” which came into the hands of Caleb Dorsey in 1718. Spring Hill was the gift of Caleb Dorsey, of Belmont, to his daughter Rebecca who married Charles Ridgely, the builder of “Hampton” near Towson, MD. It was part of a tract known as “Rebecca’s Lot. This fine brick house laid in English garden wall brick bond has had numerous additions spreading ward, the most recent in 2009. Both the kitchen and dining room are of log construction and a portion of the original log wall was restored and made visible during the 2009 addition to the house.



East of the main house lies Spring Hill Quarters, occupied in 1798 by Edward Hill Dorsey and used to house the workers on the property. It has access from New Cut Road and later served as a carriage house for Spring Hill.  An earthen floor and wooden cells remained until 1914 when it was converted to a tenant cottage.  The beamed ceilings and small window openings with two feet deep sills are noteworthy.  Of particular beauty is the walled garden set inside the foundations of the old barn.  A small spring originally used to water the animals now feeds the garden.  Note the espaliered fruit trees on the  wall.  Also charming is the small spring house bordered by the Romeo/Juliet fence entrance. 


Baltimore City: Bolton Hill | St Marys  | Talbot  | Howard  | Anne Arundel (North)

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