Despite the fact that over the last century people have been moving into developments and that the hampton house is closely surrounded on two sides by developments and on another side by the beltway, the views around the house have been skillfully maintained. Here you can see the view to the North.
This is the historic home, Mt. Ida, in Ellicott City. It was build for the grandson of one of the founding Ellicotts. Today it is the visitors center for the Patapsco Female Institute, pictured here.
A few months ago MDP attended an event at the Gramercy Mansion in Stevenson, MD. The historic home is currently a meeting/wedding hall as well as a bed and breakfast. I was glad to spend the night there and was even more surprised to see how decadently the massive guest rooms were decorated. So, in a dramatic change from MDP standard practices, I took pictures from the inside of the building and failed to take a single picture from the outside.
Now, while you are all in shock at this change in the status quo, I can assure you that some things have not changed. Believe it or not, I can tie this into railroad history. The Mansion was originally built by the president of the Pennsylvania railroad as a wedding gift for his daughter. Some may know (and I can think of two people out there who might) that this president’s name was Cassatt, and that he was the brother of the artist Mary.
It’s been a while since I visted a historic home. So the other day on the way home from work I decided I’d knock one out. This is Montpelier, in Prince George’s County. It was built by Major General Thomas Snowden (as in the river parkway) and his wife Ann Ridgely (as in the middle school). It is considered one of the greatest examples of Georgian architecture in the state. Situated at a high elevation the house itself is supposed to offer great views. I couldn’t go in since it was dusk and tours were not being offered at that time. So I took a picture of the house itself. The grounds surrounding the home are very well kept and are home to (big suprise) many deer who come out at nightfall. The mansion, like many of its breheren is kept in such good condition by the revenues it generates as a faciliy for parties/wedding/etc. There is also a relatively new arts center on the grounds.
This is Darnall’s chance, one of the oldest homes in Upper Marlboro.
It was built in 1742 by James Waldrop on lands formerly held by the Darnall family, from which the property takes its name. Mr. Waldrop married a young woman named Lettice Lee, who lived on the land until 1776, when she passed away. Lettice led a very interesting life as the wife of a wealthy man, the manager of a home, later as a widowed landowner, and again as a wife.
Her life is full of interesting happenings that don’t often come to mind when thinking of the 18th century. The impact of pre-nuptual agreements, wills, education, mortality rates, land ownership are all explained through her life.
The house now offers tours, which focus on Lettice and on the lives of women like her and around her, as examples of the 18th century world as it was for women. It specifically offers interesting contrasts between her life and the life of enslaved women who also lived on the grounds. Go visit for a walk in tour on a Friday or Sunday or by appointment on other days.
Also of note: I wrote this post shortly after I visited the site, but I didn’t care too much for the picture and had intended to go back and take a better one. However, I just got tangled up in my new job and never got the chance to 1) go back or 2) go to the marylanddailyphoto email account, which hadn’t been used much. To my suprise, when I did my monthly check of the account there was an e-mail there from the very nice woman who had given me a tour, asking where the posting was. So, I wrote an apology for my delayed post and I’m promptly posting this one. Even if you don’t like this picture, go take a tour now. It’s even better than the Inner Harbor dragon boats.
You all might know by now that I’m constantly looking for historic houses to feature on this site. Sadly, like the crystal pool, they aren’t all in the best of shape. What Melwood Park still has going for it is some serious security. There was a fence, camera and alarm that kept me from getting close, but I managed to super-zoom my way to this picutre, as the house was a solid 100 yards or so away.
The sign on the outside of the driveway, which denotes it as a histoic house, reads,
The home of Ignatius Digges whose daughter, Mary, married Thomas Sim Lee, Twice governor of Maryland. Lee died here in 1819. General George Washington visited here four times and Martha Washington once. In the War of 1812 British officers stopped here briefly
Marlyland Historical Society”
I wonder what those british officers did.
Either way, I think its good to enjoy the history of all our old homes, even if they aren’t in the same shape as before.
Today is the anniversary of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln in 1865. Everyone associates this action with Ford’s theatre, and rightfully so. However, the plot to kill the President and the escape route of the assassin encompass much more, including a manhunt through southern
This house in
Mary. Surratt, for whom the house is named, was owner of the house and of a small inn in downtown DC near Ford’s theater. Though she was in DC at the time of the Assassination, she told the tenant who was occupying this building to have the guns and other supplies ready for Booth as he was leaving the city.
As Mary Surratt was well aware of the plot to kill the president and was also involved in enabling Booth too escape, she was eventually tried and convicted of conspiracy to kill the President. She was the first woman to be executed by the
While here, Booth was still dealing with his broken leg. There is a lot of controversy about this leg and whether it was broken as he jumped from the balcony of the theatre or not. What is certain is that his leg was not set here. Booth continued further south, to have his leg set.
For those who are interested in more information, you can go to www.surratt.org.
Some of you might want to know what the home referenced in this picture actually looks like.
What I find interesting about this place is that its primary function is that of a catering/banquet hall. It seems like most of the historic houses that have not been adopted by the NPS are used for these purposes to raise money for maintenance and probably to raise money for other reasons. I have mixed feelings about this as I would like for every historic home to be museum that is free to the public, but at the same time I appreciate the fact that these places are not easy or cheap to run and that they require funding.