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SATURDAY, MAY 8, 2010 – 10 am to 5 pm
Rain or Shine
The site was established in 1971 to protect the home and property of Thomas Stone, one of the 56 signers of the United States Declaration of Independence. When Stone purchased Habre de Venture, a “dwelling place in the wilds” in 1770, his intent was to build a modest home for his wife and their two daughters. However, before its completion, Stone’s father died and five of his younger brothers and sisters came to live with him, creating the need for expansion. The result is a unique five part colonial mansion restored after a fire gutted parts of the home on New Year’s Day 1977. Handsomely paneled rooms provide a window into the days when the house served Stone as a residence and law office. The wings and connecting hyphens are built at angles to the central block, forming a protected forecourt.
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2. CARMEL OF PORT TOBACCO,
In 1790 three Maryland women — all from the Matthew’s family— along with a British woman established the first house of religious women in America at the invitation of John Carroll, the first Catholic Bishop of Baltimore. The monastery prospered until 1831 at which time financial difficulties made it necessary to sell the property and move to Baltimore. Due to the efforts and prayers of a group of lay people called “The Restorers of Mount Carmel,” the property was re-acquired and the convent buildings were restored. Today the Carmelite Nuns reside in the cloistered area.
3. 8880 MITCHELL ROAD, LA PLATA
From the graceful, circular drive to the formal sunken living room, this expansive home welcomes all visitors. Styled after a classic French Country House, the architecture was modified to include modern design aspects of the orient and includes several outbuildings. The facade features varying roof planes, solid brick masonry, and a paneled front entrance with hand-carved double doors. The house also has four bedrooms and four full baths, an office and large family room and sun rooms with sliding glass doors leading to the rear yard and multi-level patio, deck, and gardens. The home is situated on 10 acres of land, five acres of which have been landscaped with shrubbery and annuals and graced by many large older trees.
4. OAK GROVE,
Constructed circa 1747 by Basil R. Spalding, a prominent Charles County merchant and landowner, Oak Grove is a significant example of Southern Maryland's early-Federal architecture. Particularly significant to Charles County, it is the only extant example of a brick, one-story, early Federal house of this type. Among its many important features are its finely executed Flemish bond construction and chamfered watertable, arched west-end door, rubbed brick window and door arches. Also of note are the exterior door arrangement, the survival of its original mortised and tenoned exterior door and window frames. Of additional significance are its four-room first floor plan, a locally unique example of this arrangement in the Federal house, and its brick kitchen passage wing, of which there are no other recorded examples of similar form in this area. Set on a high ridge among soaring oak trees and gardens, the property was purchased in 1998 and is being painstakingly restored by the owners.
THE HOMES OF MT. ZEPHYR
Standing high above the Mattawoman Creek, Mt. Zephyr is what remains of an original land grant to Judge Thomas Dent around 1650. Judge Dent’s son, Col. William Dent, and his wife Elizabeth Fowke were married in Durham Parish in 1684, the first marriage recorded at Old Durham Church. Their son, Col. George Dent, gifted the Lands of the Mattawoman at Pomonkey Hundred to his son, John Dent, in consideration of his marriage to Sarah Marshall, daughter of Thomas Marshall of Marshall Hall, in 1753. Descendants of the Dent family still reside in three homes on the property today.
5. 3960 MT. ZEPHYR FARM ROAD,
Originally a small three room cottage, early census records show the little house had many uses over the years: as a farm manager’s house, tenant house, school house, and even as a storage shed for tobacco. Recently completed, the large two story addition took the home from tiny cottage to traditional grandeur. Today, the cape-cod style boasts a front porch with dormers with beautiful views of the front fields of the property. The great-room addition with sunroom, off the back of the house, offers panoramic views of the property from three angles.
6. 3940 MT. ZEPHYR FARM ROAD,
The 18th century Federal home, brick and stone over frame, is referred to simply as “Mt. Zephyr.” It is unclear whether John Dent and his wife Sarah ever resided here. The 1790 census records describe the home as “an unfinished dwelling.” Family members speculate that, although the house was intended to be the home of John Dent, his wife Sarah and their children, it is likely that, because of the state of the colonies at that time and the involvement of Brig. Gen. Dent in seeking independence, the home was never finished in John and Sarah’s lifetime. Unique features of the home include cross design doors, a handmade corner cabinet, walls made of a lime, horsehair and oyster shell plaster, and wide plank flooring.
7. 3920 MT. ZEPHYR FARM ROAD,
The newest addition to the family property is the beautiful three-story home built by James R. Willett & Sons in 2002. A wonderful blend of traditional and contemporary architecture, unique features of the home include cathedral ceilings, a two story entry way, double staircases, a gorgeous two-story stone fireplace, and hand cut stone patios and walkways. Traditional style landscaping offers changing colors three seasons of the year.
Down a long gravel road, emphasizing its seclusion and isolation, Greenweigh has an idyllic setting on nearly 1/2 mile of Potomac River shoreline with views across the river to Gunston Manor and Gunston Cove. Built in 1918-19 by the owner of Smoot Sand and Gravel Company as the Greenweigh Rod and Gun Club, the lodge has transitioned to a 1 1/2 story frame home on 50 some acres. The charming Arts and Crafts home with gray weathered siding seamlessly slips into the environment. Tucked into the banks of the river under a canopy of trees, the cozy bungalow features an open floor plan, divided lite windows and built in cabinets.
9. PERSISTENCE, 3750 CHAPMAN LANE, INDIAN HEAD
This 2 1/2 story brick colonial revival home built in 1954 by Arthur Lund, though located along a busy highway, seems far removed from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Nestled among mature trees that surround the home and hide it from the mainstream, it is evident garden lovers live here. Hydrangeas, magnolias and hollies vie for top awards. Family dogs wag their merry tails as their owners go about renewing and reshaping the property.
10. WESTWOOD, 5510 INDIAN HEAD HIGHWAY, INDIAN HEAD
Designed by architect Herman Lund, the brick rambler was fashioned for entertaining. The circular drive inside the gated property delivers guests to an inviting entrance courtyard. The home features a spacious Florida room and porch overlooking wooded rear gardens. Downstairs, art by internationally renowned artist R. Scott adds a western flair. The billiard and family rooms continue the “party atmosphere” of this warm and inviting home.
11. CAPTAIN FOWLER RESIDENCE,
Naval Support Facility Indian Head, situated on 3,400 acres bounded by the Potomac River and Mattawoman Creek, supports essential Navy, Marine Corps and Department of Defense missions. The Fowler house, a Victorian farmhouse, was built in 1892, the oldest residence on the base. The two-story crisp white clapboard home is dressed with octagon shingles in the eaves and soldiered under the upstairs windows and across the second floor level. Attic dormers stretch tautly across the roof line with a central chimney standing at attention. Second floor bay windows accentuate the reverse on the third floor. A side entrance porch punctuates the front facade and a cedar fence marches across the enclosed backyard.
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