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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, buit 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.


Lunch: The Queen Anne’s County Garden Club is offering a box lunch for $20.00. To make a reservation and pay for your lunch, call or text 757-803-5309.   A reservation is not required but recommended. Box lunches will be distributed on the tour at Wright’s Chance in Centreville. A spacious back yard is open for sitting and eating lunch if weather permits.


From Points West: On Rt. 50/301, cross the William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial Bridge over the Chesapeake Bay and proceed, over the Narrows Bridge, to the Rt. 50/301 split. Remain on US  301 N to your left in the far-left lane and exit at the first left turn to Main Street, Queenstown. Follow Main Street into Queenstown and make slight left to parking lot.


From Points East: From the Easton Airport on US Rt. 50 W drive for 14 miles. Turn right onto Greenspring Road for 1.1 miles. Cross over dual lane 301 and turn left onto MD Route 18 and proceed into Queenstown and make slight left to parking lot.


From Points North: Head south on US 301 Blue Star Memorial Highway or MD south on MD Rt. 213 to US 301 and exit at Main Street, on your left and proceed into Queenstown and make slight left to parking lot.


To purchase tickets and begin tour, start at Queenstown Town Hall, 7013 Main Street, Queenstown 21658. Parking is available in the lot to the left of the building.

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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.


Walk 5 minutes up Main Street to Maryland Avenue, proceed to Site #2 and enter through the gate. A historic Marker is placed at the corner of Maryland and Steamboat Avenue. 

#2. Bowlingly

111 Bowlingly Circle, Queenstown 21658


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.


Once back at Queenstown Commissioners Office and Town Hall, head northeast on Main Street, MD Rt. 18 and bear left onto 4H Park Road 0.3 mile to Joseph Boyles Road to the left. Continue for 2 miles to the intersection with Tilghman Neck Road. Turn left and take the immediate next left onto Decoursey Thom Road. Travel 1.3 miles (road becomes White Banks Lane). Turn Right through the gates and proceed slowly to Site #3. Parking is on side of drive.

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#3. White Banks

300 White Banks Lane, Centreville 21617


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.


Head back out White Banks and Decoursey Thom Lane (southeast) 1.3 miles to Tilghman Neck Road and turn right. Proceed 1.1 miles to MD Rt. 18 east and turn left 0.4 miles to a left turn onto Wrights Neck Road. Travel 0.7 miles to Waterside Farm Lane on your left. Proceed on gravel drive to first right (at the white barn), to Site #4. Follow dirt road to property. Parking provided in field to the left.

#4. Strothe Farm

400 Waterside Farm Lane, Centreville 21617


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.”


Exit back out Waterside Farm Lane and turn right onto Wrights Neck Road, go 0.7 miles to MD Rt. 18 and turn left. In 200 feet (immediate left) turn onto Dulin Clark Road. Travel 2.5 miles and turn right onto MD Rt. 304 east. Travel 2.5 miles, over Corsica River Bridge. Road becomes Chesterfield Avenue. Proceed to traffic light at Liberty Street. Turn right. Back of Court House is on the left. Proceed to traffic light at Water Street, turn left. Continue through traffic light at Commerce Street to public parking lot on your right. Park and walk to corner of Water and Commerce Streets. Site #5 is across the street and to the right and is open for the tour.

#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.


From the Court House, walk to the corner of Lawyers Row and Commerce Street and turn right to the corner of Commerce and Water Streets. Cross the street and proceed for 1 minute to Site #6 on the east side of Commerce Street, next to the Queen Anne’s County Library.

#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. The eighteenth-century furnishings include original William Paca chairs, Chippendale and Hepplewhite furniture and Canton china. 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.


Across the street and to the left is Site #7. Parking is restricted and you are advised to walk.

#7. The James Croney House

16 S. Commerce Street, Centreville 21617


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.


Walk 95 feet south to Site #8, on the same side of the street with entry through gate.

#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.


Exit the Tucker House Gardens on S. Commerce Street and walk 3 minutes north to the traffic light at Commerce and Water Streets. Turn right and cross the street and proceed to the public parking on E. Water Street where your car is parked. Exit Parking lot to the right on to Happy Lady Lane (named after a famous racehorse), 0.2 miles to Kidwell Avenue and turn left.


Proceed 0.1 miles to Brown Street for 0.1 miles and turn left onto Little Kidwell Avenue. In 250 feet turn right into large parking area. Site #9 is straight ahead.

#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.


Exit parking lot to the right onto Little Kidwell Avenue, 0.3 miles and turn left onto Green Street. Proceed for 0.1 miles and turn right onto Kidwell Avenue for 0.1 miles. Turn right onto MD Rt. 304 E. for 0.2 miles to traffic circle and continue straight on MD Rt. 304 to 2nd traffic circle and take the exit to US 301 N ramp. Merge onto US 301 for 1.4 miles. Turn right onto MD Rt. 305 E for 1 mile. Turn left onto drive for Site #10. Proceed to house. Parking is provided on the drive. Please Park there.

#10. Lansdowne

1129 Hope Road, Centreville 21617


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.

Return directions:

From Church Hill, continue south on Rt. 213 through Centreville to the intersection of Rts. 50 and 301 to proceed in any direction.

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