The Annual Maryland House & Garden Pilgrimage
The annual Maryland House & Garden Pilgrimage (MHGP) returns this spring over five weekends from Saturday, Apr. 20, through Saturday, May 18. A Maryland tradition for 76 years, the Pilgrimage offers visitors the opportunity to explore some of Maryland’s most fascinating and noteworthy properties.
The 2013 tour includes about 50 private homes, gardens, farms, churches and historic sites, including a docked Skipjack, across six areas in Maryland. They are Anne Arundel County-Annapolis: Wardour (Saturday, Apr. 20); Queen Anne’s County (Sunday, Apr. 27); Baltimore City: Guilford (Sunday, Apr. 28); Somerset and Worcester Counties (Saturday, May 4) and Charles County (Saturday, May 18).
MHGP is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and restoration of architecturally significant properties in the State of Maryland. The Pilgrimage has remained constant with this purpose since its formation in 1937. It is the only statewide house and garden tour organization and the oldest tour in the State of Maryland, raising and distributing well over $1 million dollars in its 76-year history to support preservation projects in each host community.
The annual spring tours are a central component of the MHGP’s efforts to cultivate awareness of Maryland’s rich architectural and cultural heritage, from historic to contemporary settings. Each year, proceeds from the tour support designated preservation projects in each host community. To date, the Pilgrimage has raised more than $1 million dollars for the preservation and restoration of architecturally significant properties throughout the State of Maryland .
"In this 76th year, we are proud to present so many unique and vastly different types of properties," says the organization’s chairperson Diane Savage, "Guests of the tours will see Ogden Nash’s home and Sherwood Garden’s 80,000 tulips in bloom in the Guilford neighborhood of Baltimore, a historic Skipjack at dock in Charles County, rarely seen homes in the Wardour community of Annapolis, 300-year-old homes in Queen Anne’s County, as well as homes that have never been publicly toured in Somerset and Worcester Counties."
The Wardour community in West Annapolis offers a walking tour of nine breathtaking properties, including the waterfront home of the president of St. John’s College with its superb art collection. Other stops on the tour include the grand Kent Road home built in 1911 by the architect of the Naval Academy’s Bancroft Hall, the largest college dorm in the world. Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. designed the neighborhood in the early 20th century. He also designed the grounds for the White House, the Jefferson Memorial and the National Cathedral.
Queen Anne’s County
Queenstown and Centreville are the focus of this tour, with many of the homes built in the 1700s. Reed Creek Farm, built in 1775, has a view of the Chester River and an 18th century ballroom regarded as the most beautiful room in the county. The original ceiling of that room was discovered during a recent renovation. The South Liberty Street home has an extensive collection of Delft Pottery and Samplers dating from the 1730s. During the renovations of the Water Street home, an amazing discovery was unearthed behind one of the walls and part of the property was originally built out of pharmaceutical crates.
Guilford is celebrating its centennial, with the garden tour featured as the first of many events during the year. Sherwood Gardens, a focus of the tour, is the most famous tulip garden in North America. The Chancery Road "Turnbull House" is the former home of famous Baltimore artist Grace Hill Turnbull and features a mix of Spanish Mission and Arts and Crafts styles. Turnbull’s church-like studio, with stained glass windows and a bell tower, awes many visitors. The Rugby Road home, formerly owned by famed poet Ogden Nash, is a Tudor Revival structure built in 1927.
Somerset and Worcester Counties
One of the highlights of the tour is the Anderson Road property known as Hollyhurst, with its Flemish-bond brickwork. The Federal-style house was lovingly revived in the early 1980s with the introduction of raised-panel woodwork. Another outstanding home on the tour is outside of Crisfield on Phoenix Church Road. Known as Watkins Point Farm, the Greek Revival dwelling has never been on the tour before. It is one of the most architecturally significant buildings surviving in southern Somerset County, with beautifully appointed 18th century period furniture. In Worcester County one of the most historic homes is Beverly of Worchester. Built in 1774, it is on the National Register as one of the most elaborate and best preserved Revolutionary War period homes.
The Caleb W. Jones Skipjack will be docked in Benedict. One of only a handful of operating Skipjacks in the world, the traditional fishing boat’s restoration was underwritten by Michael Sullivan. Local historians will be on hand to discuss the life of watermen on the Bay and 1812 history. Another outstanding attraction in Charles County is the Manor of Truman’s Place in Waldorf with its War of 1812 history. It is a late-Federal design, gable-roofed brick house with a two-story kitchen-service wing. The original dwelling, built between 1759 and 1782, was of Flemish-bond brick construction. There is a rear sunken garden with koi pond and gazebo.
Each tour is $30 when purchased in advance. Lunches will be available on all tours (additional cost).
Visit www.mhgp.org for more information or call 410-821-6933.