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maryland house and garden pilgimage

Harford County

Sunday, May 3, 2009 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Chairman: Mrs. Carroll F. Hopkins, 837 Darlington Rd., Darlington MD. 21034
Telephone: 410.836.3900 | email: cfrankmom@aol.com

Special Project: Rock Run House, a large stone house, is a surviving structure from the late 18th century mill village of Rock Run. The hamlet was built on the west banks of the Susquehanna River and, upon completion of the first bridge over the river and the Susquehanna Barge Canal, became a thriving center of commercial activity. The house was bought in 1805 by John Stump, Jr. for his daughter, Anne, and her husband, Dr. John Archer, Jr. The house remained in the Archer family for a hundred years. In the mid-60s, the house and grist mill became part of the Susquehanna State Park and the Garden Club of Harford County agreed to undertake restoring and furnishing the interior of the house.  This restoration project will be the beneficiary of the Harford County tour monies raised.

Luncheon: At site #6, the Darlington Volunteer Fire Company, 2600 Castleton Rd. Darlington, MD 21034. Luncheon will be available from 11:30 am until 2:30 pm for $15, with reservations. Contact Mrs. Dale Troll, 410.879.6015, 1625 Watervale Rd., Fallston MD 21047. Send checks for reservations.

 

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

Harford County, named for Henry Harford, son of Frederick Calvert, last Lord Baltimore, was part of Baltimore County until 1774. Captain John Smith made the earliest explorations here in 1608.  After sailing into the upper Chesapeake Bay and its main tributary, the Susquehanna River, he wrote of these regions, “Heaven and earth seemed never to have agreed better to frame a place for man’s commodious and delightful habitation.”  Some fifty years later, settlers moved north from southern regions of Lord Baltimore’s domain to live along the coastal areas stretching to the head of the bay and lower Susquehanna River.  Military bases have taken over much of Harford County’s Bay waterfront, but three sites on today’s tour are in the historic waterfront town of Havre de Grace.  In 1789 the United States Congress seriously considered Havre de Grace for the new capital of the country. The town missed being chosen by one Senate vote.  The names of the streets attest to the citizen’s expectations: Congress, Union, Revolution and Alliance.  In 1813 the British, attempting to blockade the Chesapeake Bay, shelled Havre de Grace, landing 400 men, burning the town, wharves and ferry site and left only one house standing.  The tour today is centered in the north-eastern part of the County in an effort to show a little of its ties, past and present, to the upper Bay and the Susquehanna River as well as its miles of lovely, rolling farmland seemingly remote from the busy highways and developments nearby.

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

From Wilmington and North: I-95 South to Exit #89 (US 40). At top of exit ramp, turn left.
Go 1.3 mi. to site #2 on right.

From Baltimore and the Bay Bridge: I-95 North to Exit #89 (US 40) toward Havre de Grace.
Go 1.1 mi. to site #2 on right

Follow Pilgrimage Arrows and Signs.

 

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DUE TO UNFORSEEN CIRCUMSTANCES WE REGRET THAT WE MUST CANCEL SITE #1 ON THE HARFORD COUNTY TOUR. PLEASE BEGIN YOUR TOUR AT SITE #2.


1. Sophia's Dairy
4602 Pulaski Highway

Sophia’s Dairy is part of the original tracts of land known as Hall’s Plains and Simmon’s Neglect.  It was left by Captain John Hall of Cranberry to his daughter, Sophia, for whom the Dairy was named.  Sophia Hall married Colonel Thomas White, who was born in London in 1704 and came to Maryland in 1720 - some say in the Charles Calvert retinue.  He was a lawyer and Deputy Surveyor of the State of Maryland.  By 1777, he owned more than 7,700 acres in what was then Baltimore County (Harford had not been formed yet).  The estate passed from Col. White to his daughter, Sophia, who married her cousin, Aquila Hall, a prominent citizen in Harford County.  He completed the construction of the Dairy Mansion in 1768.  Mr. Hall was a very successful farmer, entrepreneur, and leader in Harford County holding many positions of authority.  He was the first to sign the Bush Declaration, in March 1775;  this document was considered a pre-cursor to the Declaration of Independence.  He was a staunch supporter of George Washington and provided supplies to his army in Valley Forge during the Revolutionary War. 

THIS SITE HAS BEEN CANCELLED:
PLEASE BEGIN YOUR TOUR AT SITE #2.

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2. Mt. Felix
2000-A Level Road

This majestic house with sweeping views of the Chesapeake Bay was built c. 1830 by John Mitchell, a local canner. It consists of a 2 1/2 story central block plus an original kitchen wing and an east wing added in the 1920s by the Meigs family. The wing serves as a guest house, complete with two bedrooms, great room, kitchen and bath. Antiques are found throughout the house. The main hallway of the house features a spiral staircase with beautiful carving which rises to the third floor. The music room boasts a baby grand player piano replete with music. The navy and white living room holds a doll cradle, which serves as a bed for the resident felines, Cotton and Trouble. Across the hall is the formal dining room with Chippendale furniture which had belonged to the great aunt of the current owner. The modernized kitchen has a working, cooking fireplace and is open to the second floor office. Exposed brick walls complete the historical feeling of the house. The wine tasting room is adjacent to the main house. Wines may be sampled Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 8 pm. Just down the hill are the vineyard and Keyes dairy barn.

Return to MD 155/Level Rd.  Turn left onto MD 155 W.  Go 3.5 mi.  Turn right onto MD 161 N/Darlington Rd.  Go 1.4 mi.  Turn right on Fox Rd.  Go 0.2 mi. to Site #3 on right.

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3. Seven Springs Farm
337 Fox Road

Seven Springs Farm, originally known as Lebanon, was one of the many properties owned by the Silver family in the area south of Darlington during the 19th century.  After Jeremiah Silver inherited the farmland, he built between 1851 and 1853 the large stone farmhouse in the Georgian style.  The front façade is of dressed stone from the quarries near Port Deposit, as are the sills and lintels of the windows, while side walls are of field rubble or local quarried rock.  Silver’s diary survives and we know from it that he imported the hard pine flooring from North Carolina, and paid a local architect $25 for the design.  The house passed from Silver family ownership in 1933 and, after a period of neglect, was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. William B. Reese in 1950.  It is now owned by their children.  The white clapboard rear wing was added in 1956, as well as all of the farm buildings presently on the property.  A short nature walk from the house leads to a recently built Temple of the Winds, ponds, and an arboretum.  

Return to Fox Rd.  Turn left headed west.  Go 0.2 mi.  Turn right onto MD 161 N/Darlington Rd.  Go 1.8 mi. to Site #4 on right.

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4. Kelvin Grove Manor
725 Darlington Road

Kelvin Grove Manor was built by Sallie Wilson Allen and Edward M. Allen after the original house was destroyed by fire in 1866.  The stone used for construction was most likely obtained from the quarry located across Deer Creek.  Nearby Wilson Mill and the connected farmhouses all feature the same stone.  The house is built in the Greek revival style in sections.  The entry foyer and adjacent parlors were built first with three bedchambers located above, and a silver room, well room and large area with a fireplace (perhaps an early kitchen) in the basement. The spacious dining room, running the width of the house, features intricate moldings and was a later addition. The butler’s pantry, kitchen, mudroom and icehouse are all separate rooms presumably connected piece by piece throughout the years.  The additions were all constructed of the same stone as the original house and with a slate roof.  The servants’ quarters were located above the kitchen wing and previously included an efficiency kitchen for the staff.  The current owners purchased the house in late 2006 and have added stone walkways to the wrap-around porch.  The new flagstone patio features a spectacular view of Deer Creek.

Return to MD 161/Darlington Rd.  Turn right onto MD 161 N.  Go 0.3 mi.  Turn right onto Price Rd.  Go 0.7 mi.  Turn left onto Stafford Rd.  Go 0.5 mi. to Site #5 on left.

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5. Kaziah's Diary
1448 Stafford Road

Built c.1810, the historic stone house known as Kaziah’s Diary was originally owned by William Stump and deeded to his daughter Kaziah and her husband Richard Jackson in 1831.  Mr. Jackson was a businessman in Darlington and an active community leader of his day.  The house eventually came into possession of George Robinson who owned the old Robinson Mill just north of Darlington.  Today the house is undergoing a complete restoration/renovation.  A colonial style, circular brick garden has just been completed.  The house includes original slave quarters and incorporated smokehouse.  From the stone and brick kitchen warming oven to the wide plank floorboards, Kaziah’s Diary is being returned to its original charming appearance.

Return to Stafford Rd.  Turn left.  Go 0.1 mi.  Stafford Rd. becomes Shuresville Rd.  Go 0.4 mi.  Turn right onto MD 161 N/Main St.  Go 0.4 mi.  Turn right onto MD 623 N/Castleton Rd.  Go 0.1 mi. to Site #6 on right.

LUNCHEON

 

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6. Lunch and Restrooms
Darlington Volunteer Fire Company
2600 Castleton Road

Luncheon will be available from 11:30 am until 2:30 pm for $15, with reservations.

Contact: Mrs. Dale Troll
410.879.6015
1625 Watervale Road
Fallston, MD 21047
Send checks for reservations

Return to MD 623/Castleton Rd. Turn Right. Go 0.8 mi. on MD 623 across US 1 to Site #7 on right.

 

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Photos courtesy of the Historical Society of Harford County, Inc.:
http://www.harfordhistory,net/fotafro.htm

7. Hosanna School Museum
2424 Castleton Road

Hosanna School, built in 1867, was the first public school built for African Americans in Harford County.  This two-story building was built by the black community with funds for materials and teachers from the Freedmen’s Bureau.  Most schools in this era were one-story with one or two rooms.  Grades one through seven attended.  It further served as a community meeting house and a place of worship. 

Return to MD 623/Castleton Rd.  Turn left.  Go 0.8 mi.  Turn right onto US 1 S/Conowingo Rd.  Go 3.9 mi.  Turn left onto MD 136 S/Priestford Rd.  Go 3.0 mi.  Turn right onto Cool Spring Rd.  Go 1.4 mi.  Turn left onto Thomas Run Rd.  Go 2.1 mi.  Turn left onto W. Medical Hall Rd.  Go 0.6 mi. to Site #8 straight ahead.

 

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8. Uncle's Good Will
2501 W. Medical Hall Road

This stone dwelling, named after the tract of land originally owned by the Hays-Archer families, was recently restored by its new owners.  The five bay, two-story buff stone structure was carefully preserved, keeping the plaster walls and front door from the nearby Medical Hall residence.  From the large front porch, the south side of the house overlooks a two-acre pond. The dining room, c.1810, features original exposed red oak beams and a large double chimney fireplace.  The restoration/renovation was highly geared toward preserving the existing character of the house, which can be noted by the interior stone walls in the kitchen and keeping room.  The kitchen features mahogany cabinets and custom tiles on the backsplash, designed by a local artist.  The keeping room features many windows and a stone fireplace with a slate hearth.  The stone was harvested from the property. Uncle’s Good Will also contains a stone privy and a separate two-story stone dwelling on the farmstead.

 

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