Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage
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TALBOT COUNTY

SATURDAY, MAY 14, 2016
10 am to 5 pm
RAIN OR SHINE

Special Project:  A portion of the proceeds from the Talbot County Tour will go to The Church of the Holy Trinity, Oxford, for the restoration of the structure supporting the historic church bell. The new structure will reflect and enhance the church’s neo-Gothic architecture designed in 1853 by noted church architect of that time, Richard Upjohn.

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

Talbot County is steeped in more than 350 years of American history. Named in honor of Lady Grace, wife of Sir Robert Talbot and sister of Cecilius Calvert, second Lord Baltimore, Talbot County was settled by the English about 1661. The Chesapeake Bay and some of its navigable tributaries — the Tred Avon, Choptank, Miles, Tuckahoe, and Wye rivers — provide more than 600 miles of waterfront for Talbot County. Easy water access for travelers and prospective traders trying to reach estates and towns alike helped to make this area an early settlement and it continues to draw countless visitors by “land and sea” today. Easton, the county seat since 1778, once was known as “Talbot Town.” Significant early political and legal history of the United States originated in Talbot County and local residents are justifiably proud of that history and the preservation of its prominent buildings, historic homes, and carefully tended gardens such as those you will visit today. Enjoy your Pilgrimage in Talbot County!

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

ROUTES FROM

BALTIMORE:
  East on Rt. 50 across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. South on Rt. 50 to Rt. 322 (Easton Parkway). Bear right and go 2.0 mi. to 4th traffic light. Turn left onto Rt. 33 East (Bay Street).  Proceed 0.5 mi. to traffic light at Washington Street. Turn right 0.2 mi. to the Historical Society of Talbot County on right adjacent to the municipal parking lot.
 
WASHINGTON: Rt. 50 East across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, then same as above.
 
WILMINGTON & PHILADELPHIA: Interstate 95 South to Rt. 1 South (Christiana Mall exit). Take Rt. 299 West (Middletown) to Rt. 301 South. Continue on Rt. 301 to Rt. 213, exit turning left on to Rt. 213. Follow Rt. 213 to Rt. 50. Turn left on to Rt. 50 at the traffic light. Continue on Rt. 50 to Rt. 322 (Easton Parkway), then same as above.
 
SALISBURY AND NORFOLK: Route 13 North to Salisbury; then Route 50 West to Easton. Exit left onto Route 322 Easton Parkway). At the third traffic light turn right on to Rt. 33 East (Bay Street). Proceed 0.5 mi to traffic light at Washington Street. Turn right 0.2 mi. to the Historical Society of Talbot County on right. Parking available in public lot beside the Society building.

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

A delicious box luncheon, including drink and dessert, will be available at All Faith Chapel, Tunis Mills (stop #5 on the tour), between 11 AM and 2 PM by reservation only.  The cost is $15 per person and your check will be your reservation.  Please mail your check, payable to the Talbot County Garden Club, to TCGC, P.O. Box 1524, Easton, MD 21601, not later than May 2.
 

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GARDENS OF THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF TALBOT COUNTY: Washington St, Easton

Information Headquarters: Historical Society of Talbot County Auditorium, 17 South Washington Street, Easton. Parking is available in the municipal lot adjacent to the
Society or on Washington Street. Phone: 410-822-0773. Auditorium will be open only 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM the day of the tour. Tickets, Tour Books, and other Talbot County information will be available here. Note: Restrooms available.

The Society’s gardens may be entered through the North Terrace on Washington Street. The hand-wrought iron gate was designed to complement the Charleston gate at the far end of the garden and incorporates the Society’s “star” logo. This charming garden was designed with the assistance of garden designer Gordon Hayward to create a beautiful public entrance to the larger garden. It includes dwarf boxwood, spring and fall blooming camellias, oak leaf hydrangeas and native Sweet Bay magnolias. The adjoining picket fence was designed after the Chase-Lloyd House fence in Annapolis. The Nettie Jones Garden has rectangular beds and intersecting axes as is typical of classical garden design in the 17th and 18th Centuries. The recently renovated Alice D. Huxley Herb Garden in the right rear corner features plants that might have been used during the colonial period.

 
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RIVER BANK, Leehaven Road 

This charming house is nestled along the banks of Dixon Creek which is unusual for a house in Talbot County where the rules now specify a set-back of 200 feet.  Local lore has it that a Virginia family named Lee, thus the location on Leehaven Road, once lived on this peninsula and homes were added as the family grew.  This was one of those.  In the nine years since the owner purchased this property the gardens have become a focus.  First, an existing swimming pool was removed and the new pool was sited further back into the property so that it became an element of the garden.  Poolside, greys and beiges were incorporated so as not to conflict with the colorful gardens.  Nearby is a stone-edged croquet court and just beyond that one will find a path that winds through the woods and back toward the house.  An herb garden is tucked behind a fence adjacent to the driveway.  
 

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WHEATLANDS, Wheatlands Road

Settled in among giant native trees and commanding a sweeping view of the Miles River, this beautifully restored family home was built by Perry Benson in the late 18th Century on land that had been patented by his grandfather and father as early as 1723.  As one of Maryland’s early military heroes, Benson repelled the British attack on St. Michaels in 1813.   In 1860 two of several tracts of land, Mardell and Huntington, were combined and renamed “Wheat Land.” In addition to painstaking renovations in the charming, art-filled main house, many original outbuildings have been given new life including the former slave quarters, the boathouse and the barn. Driving along the tree-lined lane toward the gracious home one will see a new fenced garden with 20 raised beds for organic vegetables and greens.  Also in the interest of “being green,” the historic home is now heated and cooled by a geothermal system.

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KNIGHTLY, Marengo Road

A Federal-style brick house built in 1820 by Maryland Governor Edward Lloyd V as a wedding gift for his daughter Elizabeth Tayloe Lloyd and her husband, Edward S. Winder.  The title to the property overlooking Leeds Creek remained in the Lloyd family throughout the marriage and was eventually sold out of the Lloyd-Winder family in 1880.  For more than 60 years the high-ceilinged formal dining and living rooms were used for grain storage! Initially renovated in the late 1960s, the house with its freestanding staircase and connecting parlors has been beautifully updated. The formal gardens have undergone a recent redesign in a project that spanned four years from conception to completion and encompassed restoring three acres of land, transplanting mature trees and shrubs and the addition of thousands of new trees and shrubs.  A key structural element that was retained from the earlier garden is a collection of some of the largest Osmanthus shrubs in the Mid-Atlantic area. 

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 ALL FAITH CHAPEL, Tunis Mill Road

In the charming village of Tunis Mills and still in active use, this is an example of the vernacular church architecture that was once seen throughout the Talbot County countryside.  Miles River Parish was established in 1881 and services were initially held in a converted country store that now serves as the Parish Hall.  The present chapel was built in 1929, the lumber having been donated by Mr. Howard Lloyd of Wye House.  The Baptismal Font, circa 1839, was formerly in St. John’s Chapel near the present Miles River Bridge. 


Restrooms Available at this stop.
 

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LOMBARDY, Unionville Road

Built on land patented in the late 17th Century, a Frenchman built the original house at Lombardy in 1775. Following two known fires, the current house overlooking the Miles River was built in 1928 and has been extensively restored.  The two-and-a-half story, five-bay Colonial Revival house with a “Mt. Vernon porch” on the water side is attached to a late 18th Century three-bay original brick wing that is now the guest quarters.  Known through the years as Bachelor’s Branch, Bennett’s Neglect, Triangle, Thief Keep Out and Partnership, the name “Lombardy” first appeared on a Bill of Sale to Colonel Horace Edmondson in the 1840s.  It is important to notice the woodwork throughout this charming house since all moldings, chair rails and window frames were milled on-site from trees on the property.  It is believed that many of the trees and boxwoods on the site pre-date the first house built there. 

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PRESQU’ILE, Presqu’ile Road

The house at Presqu’ile sits on land that was patented in 1662 by Richard Woolman, a co-founder of Talbot County, and later was sold into the Lloyd family.  Situated at the end of a long, tree-lined driveway, this three-story, nearly square, frame home was built in 1832 by Murray Lloyd, son of Governor Edward Lloyd, on a neck of land jutting into the Wye River.  Presqu’ile was passed down through generations of Lloyd sons and eventually was inherited by Elizabeth Lloyd Key, wife of Frances Scott Key author of the Star Spangled Banner.  The property apparently left the Lloyd family for the first time in 1906—after nearly two hundred years.  In the mid-20th Century when the Chesapeake Bay Bridge was built and more people on the Western Shore had ready access to the Eastern Shore, Presqu’ile was purchased by Rogers Morton, later a U.S. Congressman and member of the Cabinet as the Secretary of Interior and of Commerce.  This splendid property and delightful house have remained in his family since that time.

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WYE HEIGHTS PLANTATION, Wye Heights Road

The house is a superior example of a Federal Style Plantation House built in 1810 for a member of the Lloyd family from Wye House. This historically important house was built high on a peninsula at the juncture of four branches of the Wye River. The unforgettable driveway takes you through a cleared wood of 100-year-old beech trees and rolling pastures of grazing Scottish Black Sheep and English Fallow Deer. Be on the lookout for numerous garden follies created during the 70 years that the Wyman family has owned this 1100-acre estate. The newly renovated and exquisitely decorated home overlooks 10 acres of formal gardens. Of special note are the brick walled garden rooms of fragrant roses, lilacs, wisteria and boxwood that are connected by beautiful gates and archways. The Doric portico commands a rolling view of lawn to the Wye River magically interrupted by a “ha-ha,” a feature used in landscape design to keep grazing animals out of the garden

 

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