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This is our past "2023" tours.

For informational purposes only.

Charles County

Saturday, April 29, 2023 – 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.


Established in 1658 and named for the third Baron Baltimore ‘Charles Calvert,’ Charles County has a rich and long history. In Maryland, Baltimore sought to create a haven for English Catholics and to demonstrate that Catholics and Protestants could live together peacefully. Some of the oldest religious parishes in the United States dot the county countryside. The county seat of La Plata was founded in 1888 after the previous County Courthouse in Port Tobacco burned down. At the same time, a new railroad line made La Plata attractive to merchants and businesses. Christ Church was also located in Port Tobacco and in 1904, the church building was disassembled and moved several miles by oxen and wagon to be reassembled in its current location in La Plata, next to the Charles County Courthouse. A massive F5 tornado hit the area in 2002, but the renovation and revitalization efforts brought the community together and added a mix of new elements to this small residential town. Small businesses, relative proximity to Washington, DC, and scenic surroundings make La Plata a quiet, but not remote, community. The county still retains much of its rural character and the historic homes which you will visit on the tour will step all the way back in time to 1717.



Mary Pat Berry and Mary Lilly

Committee Chairs: Ads: Emily Hendricks and Linda Fitzgerald. Flowers: Lucille Attick and Jane Hobbs. Information: Betsy Parbuoni. Treasurer: Debbie Mitchell. Road Marking: Abi Clements and Ken Wisor. Hostesses: Ann Rees. Photographer: Shelby McKimmie. Publicity: Kate Zabriskie. Script: Mary Pat Berry. Facilitator: Bonnie Rafer. Special Project: Mary Pat Berry.


Special Project: The Brick Chapel at St. Mary Catholic Church Newport, 11555 St. Mary’s Church Road, Charlotte Hall 20622. This chapel, on the National Register of Historic Landmarks, is the oldest, non-renovated, pre-Civil War building in Maryland. Saint Mary Church was established in Newport by English Franciscan Father Basil Hobart. Saint Mary Church is the only Franciscan-founded parish in Southern Maryland and the first chapel was constructed in 1697. Native Marylander Father Henry Pile, S. J. served as pastor of Saint Mary Newport from 1784 until 1813. His family owned Sarum, another Tour site. In 1840, Father Aloysius Mudd, pastor, began construction of a permanent brick church. A rectangular 36'x52,' common-bond brick structure, this building was replaced in 1906 when a new church was constructed on an adjacent site. Used for many years as a parish hall, it is now vacant. Despite many years of neglect, the building’s masonry walls, roof and interior framing, and surviving original interior and exterior finishes are in good condition. This building is finely decorated with still visible hand painted murals, which are remarkable for such a remote location. It retains its vaulted ceiling and the pillars once used to support a balcony lay on the floor. The structure is currently being stabilized, and plans are being formulated for its complete restoration. It will be available to view on the Tour at Site #6

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#1. Christ Church

La Plata, 112 Charles Street, La Plata 20646.

Christ Church La Plata, Port Tobacco Parish, was one of the original Anglican Parishes in Maryland (1692). Services were held in Port Tobacco (1693-1904), then the church was moved “stone by stone” on oxcart to La Plata. Highlights include the architecture, large marble altar, stained glass, needlepoint and pipe organ. Lanterns at the entryway were created by a holocaust survivor to provide “light to the world.” The La Plata Historic Preservation Commission designated Christ Church as a Historic Landmark in 2022. Steeped in history, this Episcopal church celebrates its joy in diversity with a vibrant mix of traditional and contemporary worship. Christ Church welcomes you and invites you to visit Facebook or to see how this ancient church serves the community today. Rector: The Reverend Dr. Kate Heichler. The Town of La Plata will be holding “Celebrate La Plata Day” from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Town Hall. A map for our Patrons will be added to the tour (handout at Information Center and online). Other attractions patrons might like to see, i.e., Star Garden, Train Museum, and the Farmers Market (lunch), will be highlighted with a listing of merchants and businesses offering Patrons Tour Specials on the back. La Plata retains elements from many important eras in Charles County history, including the plantation period of development, the advent of railroads, the reorganization of government, and increased prosperity brought about by the completion of U.S. 301 across the Potomac.

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#2. The Carrico Building

The lobby facing Charles Street will be open for Tour Patrons only. Built circa 1915 by P. Reed Wills and referred to in a survey of 1919 as the “New Wills Hotel,” the Carrico Building, renamed for its present owners, is the most physically prominent and least altered of the few early commercial structures remaining in La Plata. A large frame building, three stories high, beneath a hipped roof, it has a two story, three-sided bay window centered on the front, above a one-story veranda with block and turned posts and decorative brackets. Two-story rear wings, one of which housed the kitchen and service rooms during its use as a hotel, give the building a “U”-shaped plan. The building sustained a near direct hit from the tornado of 2002 and the owners decided to rehabilitate and modernize the building. Offices now occupy the first floor with apartments on the second and third floors. 

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#3. Preference

Dr. Francis Wills built this large fourteen-room clapboard and brick nogging house in 1824 on land that originally bordered the main road from Allen’s Fresh to Port Tobacco. He named it Preference in deference to his wife who selected the house site. Dr. Wills died in the 1870s and the property passed to several generations of heirs. The present owners bought the house and fifty acres of property in 1971. Featured on the front side of the house is an “inset portico.”  There is a second story balcony directly above which leads to the master bedroom. There are two wings with massive outside chimneys. Upon entering, the high ceilinged front hall is dominated by a three-story cherry wood staircase. There are ten fireplaces, seven bedrooms, and a formal and informal living room.  The room used today as a den has been paneled with weathered barn boards. Noteworthy are the original pine floors.

#4. Sarum

Sarum, constructed in 1717, is the earliest documented house in Charles County and one of the finest small colonial dwellings. The first owner of the property was John Pile. After his death, his son Joseph expanded the holdings and his son Joseph Jr. constructed the oldest part of the present day house on the hill overlooking the Wicomico River. Though Sarum has undergone many changes over the centuries, there’s a sense of timelessness that much remains the same. Originating as a frame one-and-a-half story hall-parlor plan (one room deep and two rooms wide) with a steeply pitched gable roof housing two or more attic chambers, additions on the rear and both ends resulted in its present saltbox profile.  

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#5. St. Mary Catholic Church

11555 St Mary’s Church Road, Charlotte Hall 20622


Saint Mary Church, located off the rural roads in southern Charles County, was built in 1954 upon a historic tract of land, which was first colonized by the English in the 17th century. Most of the region’s Catholic families lived in the area at that time. Site of the 1840 Brick Chapel, our Special Project, Greek revival in style, the exterior features large twelve-over-twelve windows with marble sills and corbeled eaves. The interior is a large vaulted room and elaborate stenciling decorates the ceiling and walls, most of which survives intact. The site is further enhanced by the largest and most intact pre-Civil War Catholic cemetery, holding an unusually large amount of highly artistic quality monuments. Father Matthew Fish, current pastor, has a green thumb evidenced by the beautiful gardens and gazebo plantings around the 1954 church. A more peaceful setting can’t be found. 

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#6. The Lindens

Approached by a tree-lined drive, the house is fronted by two European linden trees believed to have been planted when the central section of the house was built and from which the property derives its name. The Lindens was built in 1840 for John Francis Gardiner. A two-story, three-bay frame house, its architecture is a regional adaptation of the side passage, double parlor Federal style popularly built in this locality throughout the first half of the nineteenth century. At one end stands an exterior double chimney with a two-story flush pent, an especially characteristic feature of the domestic architecture of the lower Southern Maryland counties. The rear of the house overlooks the farm and the Zekiah swamp.

 This is a past tour--for informational purposes only.

Frederick County


Saturday, May 6, 2023 – 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.


Welcome to the Valley! Located in western Frederick County, the Town of Middletown, although small, has a storied history. Settled mainly by German immigrants, the Valley reflects that early American dream—the desire to worship freely, farm, and be self-sustaining. Officially the Town dates to 1767, but Middletown has welcomed travelers along the Old National Road for much longer. Tradition has it that a young Lt. George Washington was surveying the land and proclaimed it the most beautiful valley he had seen. Today, stately homes, expansive views of the valley, and enduring community spirit convert many a traveler into residents. Not only did Middletown have businesses and services to address the needs of the National Road traveler, but also the hard-working farmers that plowed the fields, raised cattle, and created a legacy of agricultural excellence. Our agricultural roots are still quite visible today. Like many Maryland communities, the Civil War was brought to the front doorsteps of our residents. Both Union and Confederate troops marched through Middletown. Camping out on nearby South Mountain, skirmishes broke out, then escalated into the Battle of South Mountain, the first Civil War battle fought on Maryland soil. The long days of farming were disrupted as injured soldiers were carried into town into makeshift hospitals, large buildings, and barns. Even future President Rutherford B. Hayes spent several weeks here recuperating in a private home. As time wore on, Middletown emerged with vim and vigor. Innovative farming led to greater production, and we had a creamery, a cannery, and even an ice cream factory that became a regional phenomenon, with presidents stopping here enroute to Shangri La (Camp David). The churches were the pillars of community events, schools were built, and the trolley came through town. With the construction of the interstate system skirting around Middletown, we have today, a remarkably high degree of historical integrity. The Town is approximately three miles in length, but manages to illustrate just about every generation of our history. We selected properties that express Middletown’s personality—the quirky outbuilding now turned to a Visitor’s Center, an early 20th century doctor’s suite and operating table, commercial buildings converted to single family homes and vice versa, two churches whose congregations are the foundations of the Middletown community, and much more. We hope you will enjoy your visit and agree with the many who say we are Maryland’s Timeless Treasure. 


Chair: Becky Axilbund

Co-Chair: Janet Fox.


Committee Chairs: Lunch: Stasa Tapia. Signage: Jim Hoover and Bernard Pond. Tour Script: Anna Liisa Van Mantgem, Kirk Denton and Becky

Axilbund. Photography: Janet Fox and Jamie Turner. Treasurer: Lacey Gordon. Volunteer Coordinators: Monica Hauser, Lacey Gordon and Becky Axilbund.

Floral Arrangements: Janet Fox and Bernard Pond. Antique Cars: Alexa Masser, Robert Burchill, and Jim Hoover.


Special Project: Main Street Middletown, MD Inc. is a nonprofit dedicated to preserving and promoting the historic commercial district. Our project is the ongoing preservation and rehabilitation of 19 and 21 West Main Street. These buildings are distinctive for their small size and visually striking Gothic Revival trim. Most commercial properties of the era are two story, side gable buildings with living quarters upstairs and commercial space downstairs. The fact that these two very small outbuildings have been in continuous use, and not torn down illustrates a practical part of the Middletown personality that has been passed down through generations from this agricultural community to “waste not.” Main Street Middletown purchased the property with the aid of generous private donations and grant funds. The Maryland Historical Trust has placed a protective easement on the exterior of the property so its charming exterior appearance will be preserved for years to come. Main Street Middletown, MD Inc. uses the space as our office and the larger building as a welcome center and central hub for downtown activities. Funds raised will go to the capital building maintenance fund.


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#1. The Smithfield House

The Smithfield House has the distinction of being known as the oldest home in Middletown, with the log structure dating back to 1730. According to multiple references, the house, which is painted a warm yellow with bright white trim, was reportedly built by a gunsmith named Frank Lauber. The owners purchased the property in 2017 and have carefully restored the home as you experience it today. Architecturally, this seems to be a simple cottage—a stucco clad, one-story, side gable home with a central hall and two side rooms. However, viewing the property from the back, it reveals itself to be a two-story house that is set into the adjacent hill. This type of construction is reflective of Germanic building traditions and Middletown’s Germanic heritage. The interior of the Smithfield house is delightful, with its chestnut staircase, hand-forged locks, and decorative fireplace surrounds. The well-manicured lawn is bordered by annual plantings in the front of the house, and containers flanking the front door echo the symmetry and clean lines of the architecture. Be sure to walk to the rear of the property and view the spring house. This flattened area in which several springs flow nearby was a prime location for an early settlement house. 

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#2. Beckwith House

The building is white with yellow trim and a cherry red door as well as a historic plaque about the building. Constructed in 1867, this handsome building maintains its original storefront with a bracketed cornice on the first floor, dating from its past use as a millinery. The hipped roof features overhanging eaves with decorative brackets, and the east side of the building possesses a small cross-gable with a fanlight window. Historically known as the Beckwith House, Joshua Beckwith purchased the property in 1867 to operate a thriving millinery and notions store in the eastern half of the building. Locally famous landscape painter Marjorie Beckwith Stottlemyer was born and raised in this home. Several of her pieces will be on display in the home during the tour. The current owners have installed sculptural, rounded boxwoods in simple yet timeless black urns on the pillars in the front of the home, allowing the facade, including its decorative ironwork on its front patio, to capture attention of passersby. Mature trees in the rear provide ample shade and add softness to contrast with the straight edges and geometry of the house.

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#3. Dr. Lamar House and Sanitarium

This structure was noted in the 1844 local newspaper that on the property provided “hostlers, good stablins, and Bar and Table.” However, it was totally transformed in 1906 by Dr. Lewis Lamar to create his residence, examination office, state-of-the-art surgical suite, recovery rooms, and an outdoor rest area for patients. The operating room has floor to ceiling glazed tiles, a skylight, built-in sinks, and floor drains. Architecturally, the Lamar House echoes the large Victorian houses farther east on Main Street. A porte-cochere extends over the sidewalk, supported by Ionic columns plus a balustrade railing and a pair of jerkin-head dormers to either side of a central tower. The Lamar family lived in the left half of the structure, with the medical facilities accessed on the right. The small and narrow side garden at this property has been planted with perennials and white-edged hostas. In the rear, gerbera daisies and purple coneflowers bloom by late spring, and the back of the lawn is edged with more hostas and sedums that bloom in varying tones of pink. A decades-old lilac bush anchors the back corner near the white fence. 

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#4. Stonebraker and Harbaugh Shafer Building

Built  circa 1829, the Stonebraker and Harbaugh-Shafer Building, is one of Middletown’s most significant buildings. The Federal style brick building features Flemish bond on the front facade and common bond on the other three elevations. The eastern (left part) of the building, which was originally a residence, features double front doors, each with five oval panels and a sunburst fanlight that fills the elliptical arch above the door. There are two separate commercial sections in this large building. The middle commercial section is defined by the ground floor with its fixed single pane windows on each side of the double doored entry; note the marble stoop, which has been gently worn away by countless footsteps over the years. The most western commercial section is two bays consisting of a wide window opening with a replacement sash and a single half glass-half wood doorway with a decorative festoon. The property was purchased by a retired and prosperous farmer named Peter Shafer in 1858. In July 1864, Shafer provided the ransom money to Confederate General Jubal Early to spare the town from being burned, and the upper story of the building was used to treat injured soldiers. After Shafer’s death, William Rudy purchased the building and transformed the upstairs into a large area to host stage productions and community events, becoming known as Rudy’s Hall. It has served various other uses over the years, including the town hall and on the lower level, a post office and library. The current owners have meticulously restored this property, retaining its impressive presence on our Main Street. Highlights include the verdigris room in the residence, the Civil War period safe in the commercial section, and the upstairs meeting space. Be sure to step into the garden area behind the house, which features a large dogwood, crepe myrtles, dark-green boxwoods that contrast dramatically with white irises, fragrant white clematis virginiana, and white roses. 

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#5. Zion Lutheran Church

Today we take soaring, high-rising church steeples for granted as part of the landscape. However, in 1859 when the Zion Lutheran congregation built this church, its steeple dwarfed the surrounding buildings, was visible throughout the valley, and still defines our streetscape today.  Constructed of brick with a standing seam metal roof, Greek Revival details include a large pediment on the front facade with a wide frieze band and dental molding at the cornice, all supported by four Ionic columns. The steeple clock was made by Seth Thomas and installed in 1918. This church was used extensively as a Civil War hospital in the aftermath of the Battle of South Mountain and Antietam. Be sure to save some time to wander through the church’s spectacular Reflection Garden. In spring, this abundantly planted space shows off a sea of ruby red tulips and a myriad daffodil and crocus varieties. Its red brick path meanders gently through the space, allowing you to view the soft Japanese maples and dogwoods, azaleas, and hostas. A shaded bench provides a quiet spot to retreat and enjoy nature in the middle of town. Volunteers add new plants and features to the garden every year.

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#6. Visitor Center 

19 West Main Street, Middletown 21769


The property actually consists of two separate buildings that were bridged together in the early 2000s. Purchased by Main Street Middletown, MD Inc. in 2019, the nonprofit has been working tirelessly on rehabilitating these two extraordinary “tiny jewels” of Main Street. The larger building is a one story, gable front building that once served as a harness shop. The smaller building was an outbuilding that was moved to this location sometime in the 1890s. The fact that these two petite outbuildings have been maintained and preserved along the Main Street in the middle of a commercial district is quite unique. We think it may be because eyes can’t help but notice the exaggerated Gothic Revival trim on the gable end of the larger building and the curvilinear saw-cut trim at the eave line on 21 West Main. That these finer details were added to what were essentially considered to be outbuildings raises curiosity, and one cannot resist in calling the duo “cute.” Owner: The Main Street Middletown, MD Inc. Board of Trustees.

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#7 Valley Savings Bank

Constructed in 1888 for the Valley Savings Bank, this brick Queen Anne building proudly served as a bank, the Middletown Post Office, until the late 1960s, and today a residence. The brick moldings, dog-tooth stringcourses, as well as the patterned slate roof exhibits a high level of detail and craftsmanship. The brickwork was laid in a common bond, and the front facade is virtually unchanged since its construction. Note the red slate lettering in the square tower indicating V-B-S for Valley Savings Bank. Inside the main room that was once a bank lobby, you will note the soaring ceiling, and built-in shelving. Every inch of this space is cleverly used, with an extra powder room tucked into the stairway, floor to ceiling shelving in the kitchen, and more. This home provides the comfort of a large manse but also the convenience of a place with smaller square footage. Adjacent to the house, on the west side of the building, the owners have created a small garden oasis in the middle of our downtown. The garden is densely shaded and private because of its lush green foliage, but string lights enchant and add a warm glow to the space at night. The front entry to the house, which receives far more sun, is flanked with dozens of colorful containers bursting with blooms and fronds, including petunias, chartreuse sweet potato vines, spiky dracaena plants, and more.

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#8. Christ Reformed United Church of Christ

This church began its history in the southwest area of town known as “Picnic Woods.” Originally, in the 18th century both the Christ Reformed and Zion Lutheran congregations shared a circa 1740 log structure. Around 1770, the Reformed congregation purchased the land on what is now South Church Street and erected their own building plus the adjacent cemetery, which is the resting place of generations of Middletown residents, including thirteen Revolutionary War soldiers and one Civil War veteran. As the congregation grew, the 1770 structure was replaced in 1818 by the brick structure that still stands today. The front facade features five bays. On the ground floor, there are three sets of doors and two rectangular windows. The second story features rounded arched windows. Two more rounded arched windows lead the eye up to the steeple, which is topped with an octagonal belfry. The belfry houses two bells; the oldest is inscribed “William Dobson, Downham, Norfolk Founder 1819.” The second bell was placed in the tower in 1911. On Sunday, September 14, 1862, General George McClellan used the steeple as a lookout to observe the nearby battle of South Mountain.


Soldiers also used the location to signal with troops on the ground using coded flags. Like Zion Lutheran, Christ Reformed Church was also used as a hospital in the aftermath of the Battles of South Mountain and Antietam. A devastating interior fire damaged much of the original sanctuary in March 2010. The restoration of the space reflects the complete 1995 renovation.

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#9. Memorial Hall

After being vacant for almost fifty years, new property owners gave this former grand dame the love and attention it needed to once again become the star of downtown. Now you can step out on the rooftop patio of this historic theater converted into luxury apartments to enjoy pleasant views of Middletown Valley. Memorial Hall was originally constructed as part of a statewide effort to pay tribute to returning World War I soldiers. While many towns opted to construct commemorative bridges or obelisk statuary, Middletown built Memorial Hall to serve as a beautiful community gathering place for entertainment, recitals, dances and high school promenades, parties and civic celebrations, and more. Other than Middletown, only the City of Baltimore constructed a building under this 20th century state initiative. Memorial Hall features exposed brick, vintage window fixtures, and elaborate decorative metalwork at the entry on Main Street. The front facade was meticulously renovated, with hand cleaning of the bricks, hand scraping and replacement of mortar, on-site repair of the historic windows, and the restoration of the copper awning. Owner: Memorial Hall Middletown, LLC.

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#10. Victorian Cottage

This house, along with the next two homes adjacent to it, were built circa 1900 on property that was once a large fruit tree orchard. This turn-of-the century cottage is a two-bay gable front home with Queen Anne elements. The integral front porch extends half the length of the house and is supported by slender porch posts and corbels with a turned porch railing. The interior has been updated to meet today’s needs but maintains much of its original woodwork; note the paneled hall and staircase, an intricately carved newel post, pocket doors, and windows and doors trimmed with classical pilasters and button corner blocks. Outside, be sure to step inside the older cooking kitchen, now a potting shed, and into the lush, meticulously landscaped backyard. This space, which is modeled on a traditional Victorian English cottage garden, is awe inspiring, even more so because the owner converted this formerly bare yard into a sea of flowers, shrubs, statuary, and tiered gardens in just one year! This spring, more than 2000 tulips and daffodils will be blooming in phases and perennials like magenta hued hydrangeas and coral bells, complement the vivid neon annuals. By May, some of the pink, yellow, and orange dahlias might be in bloom to add to this visual feast. Multiple hues of hardy roses border the working gardens, and luscious peonies burst open in mid to late spring. Wicker benches and statuary add character and visual interest, and a paved seating area with ambient lighting beckons people to linger in the yard well past twilight. This space pops with a riot of color and is thoroughly enchanting. 


This property concludes your tour! We invite you to continue strolling our streets to enjoy additional containers brimming with springtime blossoms plus the fountain and flower beds across the street from town hall, and encourage you to linger a bit longer, enjoy downtown businesses, restaurants and beautiful views. Thank you for coming and enjoying the homes and gardens of Middletown on this tour. We encourage you to visit Middletown often to experience our seasonal events, rotating menu items in our restaurants, and enjoy any one of our 6 walking tours. What stays the same are the amazing views and small-town hospitality.

This is a past tour--for informational purposes only.

Queen Anne’s County

Queenstown, Centreville, Church Hill

Saturday, May 13, 2023 – 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.


Queen Anne’s County, founded in 1706, offers some of Maryland’s oldest and architecturally significant structures, most of which are privately maintained. The county is a 511 square mile area surrounded by water with expansive waterfronts, wetlands, forests and fields. Agriculture makes up a large portion of the county economy. Queen Anne’s County is a major transportation corridor. It connects the Maryland mainland with the Delmarva Peninsula by way of the William Lane Preston Jr. Bridge and Kent Island, a densely populated 31.2 square mile area, that serves as a land bridge between the Chesapeake Bay and Kent Narrows. The county seat of government is located in Centreville at the head of the Corsica River off the Chester River. Centreville hosts a Historic Downtown District that features period style homes along the main thoroughfares. The northern area of the county is largely rural with farm-centered communities and ends with the Chester River and Kent County to the north. Queen Anne’s County reports an approximate population of 54,000 residents and 21,000 households.



Jennifer Moore

President, Queen Anne’s County Historical Society


Special Project: Proceeds to benefit the exterior restoration of the Tucker House, built in 1797, a great architectural example of Federal Period. The original “one room wide” home was enlarged twice in 1815 and again in the late 19th century and was gifted to the Historical Society in 1968. The house now contains the counties historic record archives.

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#1. Queenstown Colonial Court House

100 Del Rhodes Avenue, Queenstown 21658


Located across the street from the Queenstown Town Hall. The original Queen Anne’s County Court House is a frame structure, dating to 1709 with a brick section added circa 1820-40. The Court House is open for the tour and includes historic documents and items. Records reveal some offenders were subject to lashings, branding, or execution by hanging in Gallows Field. In 1782, the Queen Anne’s County seat of government was established in Centreville and a new Court House was built and completed in 1794.

#2. Bowlingly


The history of the property begins in September 1658 with a survey, and in January 1659, the Proprietor granted this property to James Bowling and all lands called Bowlingly. The house, also known as The Ferry House, is a historic Flemish Bond, Georgian center hall colonial, constructed in 1733 on a bluff overlooking Queenstown Creek. The original house is a two-story brick structure that is seven bays long and one room deep, with flush brick chimneys at either end of the pitched gable roof. On August 13, 1813, a flotilla of British Royal Navy warships landed at Bowlingly’s wharf during the War of 1812. British troops who disembarked from the warships proceeded to sack the home before engaging the local Maryland militia.

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#3 White Banks


This two- story brick home was built in 1969 for Clarence and Eleanor Miles, by Charles Nes, an architect known for his knowledge and love of American Georgian architecture. The dwelling is situated on 270 acres of woodlands and fields on the Chester River with a 30 acre open space for the house and out buildings. The cornice above the door leading to the great room is original to the home at Blakeford, the adjoining property, once owned by the Miles. White Banks

includes a grand foyer and a great room divided into formal seating areas. The house was renovated in 1999 and an addition was completed in 2021. Features include knotty pine paneling in the library, heart of pine floors throughout and an indoor pool.

#4. Strothe Farm

The house was designed by Marta Hansen, Hansen Architects, of Annapolis, Maryland and built by Greg Parkerson, Creek Point Builders of Centreville, MD. The house is situated on twenty-eight acres on Reed Creek. Design is inspired by the Five-part Colonial Maryland House structure and chosen for the same reasons it was popular 300 years ago: it creates opportunities to maximize day-lighting and natural ventilation, and the layout of the house enables the creation of multiple outdoor spaces on a blank plane. Simple forms and durable materials are incorporated to further echo the nineteenth century architecture typical of an Eastern Shore farm. Three pavilions are linked to the “main house” with a breezeway and two “hyphens.”

#5. Queen Anne's County Court House

100 Courthouse Square, Centreville 21617


The Queen Anne’s County Court House is the oldest courthouse in continuous use in the state of Maryland. In 1782, the Maryland State Assembly passed an Act to relocate the courthouse and all government functions of the county to Centreville from Queenstown, making Centreville the new county seat of government. The Queen Anne’s County courthouse was moved from its original location in Queenstown. It took twelve years to appropriate the funds to establish the town in 1794. Construction for the courthouse began in 1791 on land purchased from Elizabeth Nicholson and the Chesterfield Estate. The courthouse was completed in June 1796 as a one-story brick structure with a Courtyard Square. A second story was added to the original structure in the early 1800s. The Court House Square, original to the construction of the Court House, remains in use today as a public place for events, festivals and gatherings.

#6. Wright's Chance

119 S. Commerce Street, Centreville 21617


This circa 1744 plantation house still has its original paneling and glass windows. The house was moved to its current location in the mid-1960s as the second museum house of the Queen Anne’s County Historical Society. The house continues to be maintained by the Historical Society. The two-story structure is one room deep and two rooms wide with a central hallway and large fireplace. A gambrel roof provided for living space upstairs. Wright’s Chance is open monthly to the public by the Historical Society. Adjacent to the Queen Anne’s County Library, the back yard has become popular for evening events and fundraisers.

#7. The James Croney House

The James Croney House, built in 1794, is one of the earliest documented buildings in the Historic Downtown District. This area includes significant architectural structures that remain intact and are privately maintained. The Croney House is a brick, two and one-half story house and an excellent example of the two-room house plan that enjoyed considerable popularity in Centreville in the Federal Period when the early town was developed. In the mid-1800s the original one and one-half story Croney House was enlarged by the addition of a side stair hall on the south gable raising the entire structure to a two and one-half story structure. Further additions were made to the rear of the structure over time. Today the house has been completely renovated and is used as a single-family residence.

#8. Tucker House Gardens

124 S. Commerce Street, Centreville, 21617


Tucker House, built circa 1794 by James Kennard, is a six-room house with six fireplaces connected to one main chimney. Built on the second lot to be sold in Centreville, Tucker House stands as a great architectural example of the Federal Period. Originally the house was two rooms deep and one room wide and in 1797 its value was assessed at $867. The home was purchased by the Tucker family in 1898 and donated to Queen Anne’s County Historical Society in 1968. The Tucker House represents our Maryland House and Garden Tour project site. The Board of Directors is currently working on fundraising and preparatory measures to restore the Tucker House using our Maryland Historical Trust funded, Preservation Plan.

#9. The Kennard School

African American Cultural Heritage Center, 401 Little Kidwell Avenue, Centreville 21657


The restored Kennard High School today hosts the African American Cultural Heritage Center, with a collection that illustrates the history and heritage of African American culture on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. In 1936 Centreville’s high school for black students was completed and opened as the Kennard High School in honor of Lucretia Kennard Daniels, a woman educator who devoted her life to improving the education system for black students. Today the building serves as the headquarters for the Kennard African American Cultural Center. The building was vacant for 40 years and restoration began with the purchase of the property in 2012 by the Kennard African American Cultural Heritage Center from Queen Anne’s County government.

#10. Lansdowne

Lansdowne, also known as Upper Deale or Lansdowne Farm, is a historic home and farm complex built in the late 1700s. The Federal-period brick dwelling includes a large barn, granary, and several outbuildings. The house was built in two distinct periods. The earliest house dates to the late colonial period and is a two-story, brick house, three bays wide and two rooms deep, with a single flush chimney on each gable. It is attached to a larger, Federal-period house built in 1823. The later house is brick, two and one-half stories high, and was built directly adjoining the west gable of the earlier structure.

#11. Church Hill Theater

103 Walnut Street, Church Hill 21624


The first movie, “Steamboat Round the Bend,” starring Will Rogers, was shown at the Church Hill Theater in December 1935. A 1944 fire in the projection booth damaged the theater interior, but the building reopened later that year after extensive renovations. Those renovations provided the theater with Art Deco features thanks to New York designers who were hired to revamp the interior. The exterior of the building remains intact from the original construction. The theater operated as a movie house until the 1970s when declining ticket sales led the business to close its doors. The Town of Church Hill auctioned the building in 1983 and residents formed a non-profit group, Church Hill Theater, who then purchased the theater to save it from demolition.

This is a past tour--for informational purposes only.


Baltimore City

Federal Hill

Sunday, May 21, 2023 – 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.


Federal Hill has played an important role in the development of industry and commerce and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is one of Baltimore’s oldest neighborhoods dating back to the 18th century when it was the center of the city’s bustling maritime port, hub of industrial growth, and destination to hundreds of thousands of immigrants. The neighborhood retains remarkably intact streets of largely residential properties reflecting the eras in which they were built and the economic status of their early residents. Architectural details include early examples of Flemish bond brick construction with gabled roofs and dormers, simple Greek revival row houses, small front gardens, stained glass, bracketed cornices and iron fencing.


Today, Federal Hill’s popular brick row homes and numerous locally-owned shops and restaurants are home to both newcomers and families that have lived here for generations. A central landmark of the neighborhood is Federal Hill Park, located in the northeast corner of the neighborhood, which offers breathtaking views of the City of Baltimore. In May of 1788, approximately 4,000 Baltimoreans gathered in what is now known as Federal Hill Park to celebrate Maryland’s ratification of the U. S. Constitution. The celebration included a 15' model of a fully-rigged sailing ship named the “Federalist,” which was sailed out into the Harbor at the conclusion of the event—hence, the origin of the park’s name. During the War of 1812, many early settlers of Federal Hill fought to defend Baltimore from British attack. In 1861, Union and Confederate sympathizers rioted on the hill. Throughout the neighborhood, there are a variety of unique attractions for visitors to experience.


The Cross Street Market incorporates dining and mixed vendors in a renovated, historic building. The American Visionary Art Museum offers unique, one-of-a-kind art displays, while the Baltimore Museum of Industry celebrates the long history of Baltimore as an industrial powerhouse. The museum highlights how our community evolved as wooden sails and hulls were replaced by iron hulled steamers and engines. Glass making, canning, packing, fertilizer production, brewing, baking and paint manufacturing all thrived in Federal Hill over the years, often owned by European immigrants. African Americans have also made their homes throughout Federal Hill since before the Civil War. Today, Federal Hill is recognized as a popular urban neighborhood bordering the Inner Harbor, a great place to live, shop and dine.



Sheri Hunt and Cathy Rosenbaum

Planning Committee: Cindy Conklin, Carlisle Hashim, Pauline Hildebrandt, Ivo Jamrosz, Fran Landolf, Celine Plachez, Kathleen Robinson.


Floral arrangements provided by: Amateur Gardeners’ Club, Baltimore Florist, Flowers & Fancies, Guilford Garden Club, Hardy Garden Club, Lake Hills Garden Club, Local Color Flowers, St. George’s Garden Club, and Woman’s Club of Roland Park.


Special Project: Federal Hill Park is a focal point of Federal Hill and stands as a signature landmark of Baltimore. It served as a defensive stronghold during the War of 1812 and was again converted for military use during the Civil War. Beneath the park, a network of underground caves and tunnels were discovered in 1992. These caves and tunnels were used to extract sand and clay for the glassmaking industry as well as for cold storage for a Baltimore brewery. The mystery of the tunnels has always been an interest to those that visit Federal Hill. Proceeds from the Federal Hill Tour will be used to design, purchase and install a display case that will show diagrams of the network of underground caves and tunnels and share the history and purpose of the tunnels. Robert Baker Park is a much smaller and hidden park situated at the corner of Light Street and Key Highway in Federal Hill and has been called the “Gateway to Federal Hill.” Additional tour proceeds will be used to design and install a plaque detailing the history of Robert Baker Park.

Most of the houses on Montgomery Street were built in the 1850s. Several of these properties are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as part of the Federal Hill National Historic District, and are registered with the Preservation Society.

#1. Montgomery Street

Montgomery Street running to the west of Federal Hill is the widest street in the neighborhood and closest south of the Inner Harbor. Built in 1825, this Georgian brick home has an inviting entryway, a black lacquered six-over-six pane Dutch door framed in white with a glass transom. A ribbon of lovely grillwork outlines the six-over-six double windows dressed in matching wooden louvered shutters. This three-story structure is home to a family who has continuously served our City of Baltimore and State of Maryland. This home is prominently located on Montgomery Street where tradesmen in the Baltimore shipbuilding industry once lived. Federal Hill homes in this designated Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation (CHAP) area were built with fireplaces in every room before central heating systems came into existence at the turn of the 20th century. Its warm interior holds a collection of historical American presidential documents dating back to the Civil War. The arched brick window looking north to the Maryland Science Center mirrors the arch brickwork at the front of the house leading to the ground floor. The outdoor courtyard is laid in herringbone brick pattern. Three steps below, an intimate garden of lavender crepe myrtle, summer blooming hibiscus and a star shaped medallion of boxwood where we can envision our forefathers sipping tea and celebrating their independence from the British after the nearby Battle of Fort McHenry.

#2. William Street

This large, bright, attractive home is situated in the historical part of Federal Hill. It was built in the 1840s, and served as the parsonage of the Light Street Presbyterian Church for over 100 years. An extensive renovation was done in 1976. The front wall was dismantled and rebuilt with the original brick. The interior was gutted, and a new three-story addition was constructed. You will appreciate the large rooms and the high ceilings as well as the beautiful wood floors throughout the house. The majority of the floors and woodwork are original to the house. Three of the four fireplaces are surrounded by mantels from demolished houses in nearby old Camden and Otterbein. Every level of this home has a deck, including a roof-top deck with panoramic views of the city. However, the most incredible deck is the one off the first floor, it’s charming and cozy and just perfect for parties with friends and family. The current owner bought this house very recently (2020). 

#3. E. Montgomery Street

This Federal Hill home has quite a story to tell: taxes were being paid on an unidentified structure (maybe a shed, stables or barn) on this site as early as 1797-98. The original house, consisting of the current dining room, kitchen, upstairs den and back bedroom, were built in the early 1820s. Between 1840 and 1860, the back upstairs and downstairs rooms were added (currently the extended kitchen and upstairs walk-in closet and laundry room). The house used to have a front yard as did #215, similar to the front yards of the first five houses on the block. However, that yard disappeared after 1860 when the living room and upstairs front bedroom were built. Notice the distinctive curving staircase and complementary curving living room wall made with the original horsehair plaster. The upstairs rear side porch, which you will see when you go to the courtyard, is an unusual feature for an urban row home. The artwork of both nationally known and locally known artists is on display throughout this home. The owner, a board member for twenty years of Baltimore Center Stage, has decorated the downstairs bathroom walls with costume renderings from past dramatic performances. The courtyard is a secret garden which becomes an additional room to the house in all but the worst of weather. 

#4.  E. Montgomery Street

This home sits on a block of Montgomery Street lined with two and three-story houses, just below Federal Hill Park. Its beautiful porch invites you for relaxing evenings, admiring the beautiful front garden. The owners have lived here since 1997, and have enjoyed living in such a wonderful part of the city, very close to the Inner Harbor. Their house was built prior to 1870 and renovated in the late 1970s. As you enter, please note the beautiful wood floors and the stairway with a black walnut banister and curly maple spindles which were rescued from a now demolished house nearby. The recently renovated kitchen welcomes incredible light throughout the day due to the magnificent floor to ceiling windows. The well-maintained garden in the back is adjacent to the newly renovated two-story garage with a guest suite above it. This property is quite unusual in length as the front of the house is on Montgomery Street while the garage is located on Churchill Street. 

#5. Montgomery Street

This three-story house was originally built in the late 1800s. It is just steps away from Federal Hill Park with magnificent views of the Inner Harbor that can be seen from every level of the house all day and evening. The home has a contemporary decor, including a modern style staircase, kitchen, skylight and large rear windows. Current owners bought the house ten years ago and renovated all three bathrooms, opened up the kitchen, renovated view-facing windows on all floors, and added a first floor deck off the back. During the renovations they worked with Marty Marren, architect, and Greenleaf Construction. Interior design was done by Marci Lief. The owners love living on this block and enjoy their frequent stoop sits to visit with their lovely neighbors. 

#6. Warren Avenue

This home is a beautiful and large condominium located across from Federal Hill Park. The actual building was originally constructed in the early 1900s by George F. Jones. Before being converted into condominiums in 1988 (twelve units total), it served as Shofer’s furniture warehouse. The current owners bought this condominium thirty years ago and undertook extensive renovations from 2016 to 2018. The layout, situated all on one level, incorporates separate living, dining and kitchen areas that complement each other architecturally. The detailed crown moldings and inlaid wooden floors bring a richness to this beautiful home.

#7. William Street

Built in the early 1900s, this home has a unique mosaic glass front door created by local artist, Loring Cornish, whose glittery mosaic installations can be found around the city and whose work has been featured in the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The home has everything modern Federal Hill homeowners want including private parking, contemporary architecture with historic elements such as exposed brick, wood trim, high ceilings, and a rooftop deck. The current owners bought this house in 2016. They love living so close to everything this neighborhood has to offer and often enjoy relaxing evenings on their rooftop deck with beautiful views of Charm City. 

#8.  Warren Avenue

This home sits on a fabulous block for shopping and services, and yet a quiet street with great neighbors. It is only two blocks away from Federal Hill Park, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the city. The house was originally built between 1850 and 1860 as a two and one-half-story house but then later became a three-story house. The current residents have owned this house since 1997. Prior to that, the house was a bed and breakfast managed by a Slovenian immigrant. In 2016, working closely with architect Marty Marren, the owners decided to fully renovate their home. This extensive renovation took an entire year, and the house was inhabitable during that time. The only remaining parts of the original house are the two metal doors at sidewalk level on the east side, that were used as coal chutes in the past, and the exterior brick wall. This house incorporates unique and modern features including a large gourmet kitchen, a home theater for movie nights on the second floor, in-ceiling speakers on each floor, and an elevator. A second kitchen was also installed in the basement. The lovely garden sitting over the garage provides a bountiful harvest of vegetables all summer. 

#9. Warren Avenue

This home is located near the southeast corner of Federal Hill Park. This two-story home, wider than most in the neighborhood, is constructed of two layers of brick. The interior layer of brick is softer than the exterior layer which was kilned closer to the heat source. The double entry doors, framed in a classic brick arch pattern, open to showcase a home filled with light and texture. Of particular note are the light fixtures. The front parlor is lit by five hanging pendant spheres. The dining room is lit with a crater design drop light fixture reminiscent of space, a theme reinforced with five silver orbs positioned near the dining room pocket doors to create the ambiance of a celestial galaxy. The kitchen features a floor-to-ceiling brick wall in an unusual pattern that complements the rich tones of the warm pine floors throughout the house. This home is filled with engaging original artwork that both complements the architecture and decor, and simultaneously makes a statement. On the second floor, the owner’s work area is filled with musical instruments and amazing panoramic views of the Inner Harbor from atop Federal Hill. 

#10. Warren Avenue

Historical documents establish that this house was only one room deep when it was originally constructed in 1840, and multiple extensions have been added over the years. The exterior of the home is welcoming with the brick bordered flower beds and the iron sculpture of an eagle prominently displayed at ground level. The current owners have been living in this house for 40 years and have completed four major renovations over the years. Both the third floor and the kitchen were renovated twice. One of the unique characteristics of this home is the spiral staircase located near the front window that goes up to the second floor. The house has an elevator and a wine closet. The length of this property is unique as the front is located on Warren Street and the rear goes all the way to Churchill Street, where the garage is located. The garage on the back appeared to be an auto repair shop at some point. The large backyard and brick patio provide a nice respite from the hustle and bustle of city life. 

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