Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage
maryland house and garden pilgimage
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SUNDAY, MAY 20, 2012
10 am to 5 pm


Special Project: Hancock’s Resolution, on the National Register of Historic Places, is an authentic “middling planter’s” farmhouse from the late 18th c. – early 19th c. Now a park in the Anne Arundel County park system, it is the only authentic structure of its type still in existence in this region, unrenovated and open to the public. Once these farmsteads were everywhere.  Now it is the last one sitting on 26.5 acres of the original 410 ac. farm on Bodkin Creek, just off the lower Patapsco River.  Funds will be shared between FOHR for the restoration of a circa 1800 corn house on the property (dated by a “wrought” iron nail found in the structure) and the Foundation’s endowment fund for Hancock’s Resolution.

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

This long and narrow tour stretches from Whitehall (c. 1760) on the Severn River in the South to Hancock’s Resolution just off the Patapsco River in the North. (Whitehall has never before been on a Maryland House and Garden pilgrimage.)  In between are outstanding properties near Anne Arundel County’s shores and lunch on an Island in the Magothy.

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

ROUTES FROM BALTIMORE :Baltimore Beltway I-695 South to I-97 South to Rt. 50 East to Exit #31; South on Whitehall Rd. for 1.1 mi., through gate to Stop #1.

ROUTES FROM WASHINGTON:  East on Rt. 50 to Exit #31; South on Whitehall Rd. for 1.1 mi., through gate to Stop #1:

ROUTES FROM EASTERN SHORE: West on Rt. 50 to Exit #32; Right on Oceanic Dr. to Right on Skidmore to Left on Whitehall Rd; South on Whitehall Rd. for 1.1 mi., through gate to Stop #1:

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

By Advance Reservation Only:  A buffet luncheon will be served from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. at the historic Gibson Island Club, 535 Broadwater Way, Gibson Island. MD. Cost is $25.00 per person, payable by check only.  A cash bar will be available.  Reservations can be made by sending your check payable to:  Gibson Island Club, Attn: Mrs. Toni Gerber, P.O Box 600, Gibson Island, MD  21056.  The following information should be included:  Name, address and telephone number, and indicate check is for the “MHGP-Lunch”. To be held valid, checks must be received by COB Wednesday, May 16th.



This elegant Palladian home of Provincial Governor Horatio Sharpe (1753-1768), was built from plans by architect Joseph Horatio Anderson (architect of the Maryland State House) between 1764 and 1769. The five-part house extends almost two hundred feet on a breezy rise of lawn overlooking the Chesapeake Bay. It is the first dwelling in America with a full-temple portico. Woodcarvings, attributed to William Buckland, adorn the walls and twenty foot high coved ceiling of the Great Hall. (Whitehall has been called, “one of the most interesting and important houses of the 18th century.”) During an extensive restoration begun in 1957, Charles Scarlett, Jr. returned Whitehall to its original colonial magnificence, after which the house was named a National Historic Landmark.  The three principal rooms will be open to the public.


Constructed in 1985 on a three-acre wooded lot, the house is contemporary with five bedrooms, four and a half baths and a large screened porch and patio.  The garden gradually grew over the next 30 years with one and a half acres under cultivation and the rest remaining in woodland.  The garden has five fountains, a waterfall, a Japanese-style bridge, a lotus pond, a water lily pond, rose and wisteria arbors, and many clematis, peonies, azaleas, dogwoods and perennials.  There are blueberry, herb and vegetable gardens as well.  The garden is a “work in progress” as the dream continues.


This 1970’s cedar home and established garden overlooks Cattail Creek off the Magothy River in the Community of Berrywood/Severna Park. The home, substantially renovated in 1999, features paintings and sculpture by the owner along with a collection of eclectic furnishings and art that date from the 1920s to the present.  The informal garden is mostly shaded and features specimen plantings and many varieties of hydrangeas in a natural setting.  Sloping down to the water is a mass planting of Hershey Red Azaleas as well as native azaleas and dogwoods.  At water’s edge is a bulk-headed perennial garden with a stand of native Stagger-bushes (Lyonia mariana).




This two story home on Cattail Creek was redesigned in 2005 to take full advantage of the water views and provide an open interior that allows for versatile use of space.  Most notably, a storm water management system was incorporated into the design that depends entirely on rain gardens.  The six rain gardens that surround the house contain over 30 different native plants.  They include River Birch, Sweet Bay Magnolia, Iris pseudacorus as well as edible berry plants such as Low Bush Blueberry and Serviceberry.  It was the first home in Anne Arundel County to have rain gardens approved for storm water management. 



On a ridge overlooking open fields, the Narrows of the Magothy River, and the forests and harbor of Gibson Island, Baltimore industrialist J. Rulon Miller built a two-part hunting and fishing Lodge in 1929.  With the kitchen and elegant dining room separated from the main Lodge by a breezeway, it was built post and beam style featuring eight exposed, 15”x15”, beams 40 feet long, above the pine-paneled first floor rooms.  On the water side, an eight- columned veranda gives access to the view.  There are two old boxwood gardens separated by a rose garden.  Purchased by the William J. O’Meara family in 1939, Gayfields is now a 48 acre horse farm.



In the 1920s and ‘30s, many Baltimoreans boarded steamboats and came to beach resorts along this coast to escape the  heat.  Kurtz’s Pleasure Beach was one of them and Port Royal Cottage is on that property.  It was built in 2010 as an updated version of a “low country planter’s home” typical to the Mississippi Delta region.  In its purest form, the cottage would have had an entrance hall with two large rooms on either side.  This new version has an open-floor plan with large porches, front and back.  Historically, they would have been the gentlemen’s smoking gallery in front and the Ladies Resting Suite in back.  Outside, the stone in the wall that embraces the garden and waterfall came from the old Fallsway Canal at what is now President Street in Baltimore.



Before 1800, the vast majority of Americans did not live in cities, towns or plantations.  They lived on small family farms scattered throughout the countryside.  Few of these homes remain and fewer still stand on their original sites, within an agrarian view shed, unrenovated but restored to near-original condition.  The farmstead retains 26 of its original 410 acres, is located on Bodkin Creek, with heirloom gardens and the original grave yard.  In August and September 1814 during the War of 1812, Capt. Francis Hancock commanded a company of Maryland Militia defending the South shore of the Patapsco when the British were attacking Baltimore.  Francis Scott Key began writing his poem “The Defense of Ft. McHenry” on a British ship not four miles away. There is history to be learned in this countryside.



A piece of military history has fallen out of the history books and landed in Anne Arundel County.  The 857 acres of the once Naval Academy Dairy Farm (1917 to 1998) is now the Maryland Sunrise Farm, the largest parcel of certified organic land in Maryland. You would not expect to find the agrarian vista they have here in the suburbs of Baltimore and Annapolis, nor the organically raised beef cattle, dairy heifers, forage crops and produce.  This recalls Thomas Jefferson’s infatuation with the “ferme ornée” that combined the elements of a working farm with beautiful scenery, animated by farm animals.  The land is still owned by the Naval Academy but leased to Anne Arundel County which in turn leases most of it to Sunrise. 


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

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