Talbot County

Saturday, May 7, 2022

10:00 A.M to 5:00 P.M.

 

Talbot County is steeped in more than 350 years of American history. Named in honor of Lady Grace, wife of Sir Robert Talbot and sister of Cecilius Calvert, second Lord Baltimore, Talbot County was settled by the English about 1661. The Chesapeake Bay and five navigable tributaries—the Choptank, Tred Avon, Miles, Tuckahoe and Wye Rivers—provide more than 600 miles of picturesque waterfront and fertile croplands to Talbot County. The early manor houses along the creeks and bays face the waters that brought guests and trade from across the Chesapeake and around the world. Easton, once known as “Talbot Town,” became the county seat by act of the Maryland Legislature in 1778. Much of the early legal and political history of the United States originated in Talbot County, which is justifiably proud of its history and of the loving restoration and presentation of so many of its prominent public buildings, historic homes and gardens, such as those you will see today.

 

Chair: Eleanor Denegre edenegre@atlanticbb.net.
Advisors: Caroline Benson and Virginia Sappington.
Committee Chairs:
Advertising
: Maggie Jarboe and Louise Williams.
Flowers: Ingrid Blanton and Karen Parker.
Hospitality: Georgia Adler and Susie Granville.
Hostess: Jody Shaner.
Luncheon: Ann Ashby and Sue Ellen Williams.
Parking and Ambassadors: Alden Firth and Fran Jenkins.
Patron Letter: Martha Horner and Pat Lewers.
Photography: Laura Carney and Marsie Hawkinson.
Publicity: Pam Keeton and Rita Mhley.
Rack Cards: Rebecca Gaffney.
Road Marking and Directions: Carol Harrison and Trish Reynolds.
Script: Eleanor Denegre.
Tour Bells: Caroline Benson.
Treasurers: Joan Crowley, Maxine Millar and Virginia Sappington.
TCGC President: Carolyn Rugg.

 

Special Project: Joseph’s Cottage, c. 1797-98, Site #1. Joseph’s Cottage was built by cabinet maker Joseph Neall as his home and shop. The 11/2 story cottage may seem small to us (16' x 20'), particularly compared to his brother James’ house, but in fact it was a more typical house of the 18th and early 19th centuries. Most Talbot County residents lived in houses similar to Joseph’s, or even smaller. When Joseph lived in the house, it stood at the corner of Washington

Street and Glenwood Avenue. In 1826 the house was moved to its current location sometime after his brother, James, built his 31/2 story brick home. In 1798 when the Federal Government surveyed all property for tax purposes, Joseph’s lot also contained a kitchen, meat house and shop. He also kept a cow, chickens, pigs, bees and a horse. Funds from the Talbot County Tour will contribute to the restoration of the building by the Talbot Historical Society. Proceeds from the Talbot County Tour will also be used to support the care and maintenance of the Talbot County Garden Club’s many civic projects.

 

Luncheon Reservations: A delicious $17.00 box lunch will be offered at historic Third Haven Friends Meeting House, 405 S. Washington Street, Easton, MD 21601 (www.thirdhaven.org) by reservation only from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Checks for box lunch orders must be received by May 2, 2022. Please make your check payable to TCGC (Talbot County Garden Club), and mail to: TCGC, P.O. 1524, Easton, MD 21601 indicating your sandwich selection on the check. Sandwich choices are: 1) Tarragon Chicken Salad with grapes and almonds on multigrain bread; 2) Roast Beef and Brie with horseradish mayo on baguette with lettuce and tomato; 3) BLT and Havarti with Turkey on baguette with mayo; or 4) Veggie Power House with veggies, jack cheese, hummus and spicy mustard on multigrain bread. Also included will be a bottle of water, The Ivy’s famous coleslaw, chips and a chocolate chip cookie. If no choice is indicated, you will receive a Tarragon Chicken Salad sandwich. Your cancelled check is your receipt.

 

Routes From:

 

BALTIMORE and WASHINGTON: East on US-50 across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. South on US-50 to bear right onto MD-322 (Easton Parkway). Turn left onto MD-33 East (Bay Street). Proceed 0.5 mi. to traffic light at Washington Street. Turn right on Washington Street and proceed 0.2 mi. to Site #1 in the Talbot Historical Society Gardens on the right, adjacent to the municipal parking lot.

 

From WILMINGTON and PHILADELPHIA: Interstate-95 South to DE-1 South. Exit DE-1 to US 301 South (Christiana Mall exit). Follow US 301 South to MD-213, exit turning left onto MD-213 South. Follow MD 213 to US-50 East. Turn left onto US 50 at the traffic light. Continue on US 50 to MD-322 (Easton Parkway). Bear right onto MD-322, then continue as above.

From NORFOLK and SALISBURY: US-13 North to Salisbury, then US-50 West to Easton. Exit left onto MD-322 (Easton Parkway). At third traffic light, turn right onto MD-33 East (Bay Street). Proceed 0.5 mi. to traffic light at Washington Street. Turn right on Washington Street and proceed 0.2 mi. to Site #1 in the Talbot Historical Society Gardens on the right.

 

FOLLOW PILGRIMAGE GREEN ARROWS AND SIGNS.

 

Information Headquarters: Gardens of the Talbot Historical Society adjacent to 25 S. Washington Street, Easton, and next to the municipal parking lot. Information table will be staffed from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. the day of the tour. Tickets and Tour Books will be available at all sites on Tour Day. Questions the day of the tour may be phoned to Georgia Adler at 410-443-7542. Begin your tour at any site or as planned below.

 

Restrooms: Located at the Historical Society Gardens and Third Haven Meeting House

 

1. TALBOT HISTORICAL SOCIETY GARDENS, 25 S. Washington Street, Easton 21601. You are invited to tour the Historical Society’s Gardens that are maintained by the Talbot County Garden Club members. Enter through the North Terrace on Washington Street. The hand-wrought iron gate was designed to complement the Charleston Gate at the far end of the garden and incorporates the Society’s “Star” logo. This charming Entrance Garden was designed with

the assistance of noted garden designer Gordon Hayward to create a beautiful public entrance access to the larger garden. It includes dwarf boxwood, spring and fall blooming camellias, oak leaf hydrangeas and native sweetbay magnolias. The adjacent picket fence was designed after that of the Chase Lloyd Garden in Annapolis. The South Terrace Garden was the gift of the

Talbot County Garden Club in 1961 and was replanted in 2015. The Nettie Jones Garden has rectangular beds, typical of classical garden design in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Alice D. Huxley Herb Garden in the right rear corner has a sundial as its focal point. Enjoy these beloved gardens.

 

Turn right onto Washington Street. Proceed 0.1 mi. and turn left onto South Street, then right at the stop sign on Harrison Street. Proceed 0.2 mi. Site #2 is on your right. Parking is on neighborhood streets.

 

2. WILLIAM MASON SHEHAN HOUSE, 213 S. Harrison Street, Easton 21601. Constructed in 1909-1910 in the architectural Colonial Revival style, the William Mason Shehan House is one of Easton’s most distinguished homes. The imposing front portico is set upon an open brick porch supported by paired Corinthian columns and ornamented by a denticulated, boxed cornice with returns. Large interior windows allow natural light to showcase the wide entrance hall and expansive living and dining rooms. Serving as Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Talbot County, Shehan resided in the single-family dwelling with his family until his death in 1941. Upon entering this lovely home, you are welcomed by the airy foyer. A grand staircase leads your eye upward to the striking entrance to the office with its French doors and eyelet window. To the right of the foyer is the dining room whose bay windows offer wonderful natural light and provide a clear vista through the home. The sunroom’s wraparound windows, French doors and exposed brick chimney make it the perfect place to relax. The architectural details and serene color palette in the kitchen with its light gray stone floors, white cabinets and dark countertops offer a welcoming place for people to gather. Moving outdoors, the rear yard is an island of tranquility with a guest house and pool visually connected to the main house through the use of trellises and magnificent landscaping.

 

Return to Washington Street by turning right on Earle Avenue, left onto Washington Street. Site #3 is on your right.

 

3. THIRD HAVEN FRIENDS MEETING HOUSE, 405 S. Washington Street, Easton 21601. Completed in 1684, this is the oldest documented building in the State. As one of only a handful of 17th century buildings surviving in the Tidewater region, it is listed with the Maryland Historical Trust. At the time of its construction, there were many small meetings in the area, and it was attended as a general “Meetinghouse” to host gatherings of Friends from all over Maryland rather than as a place of local worship. By the end of the 17th century, the smaller meetings began to close down and their members traveled more frequently to Third Haven. Meeting for worship has continued to the present. Originally built in a modified cruciform, it was enlarged to its present shape in 1797-98. The sliding panels, which divide the large room, were closed to provide for separate men’s and women’s business meetings. On one of the inside posts are some early 19th century graffiti.

 

Turn right onto Washington Street. Proceed 0.3 mi. and turn right onto Peachblossom Road. Turn right at the intersection of Peachblossom Road and MD-322 (Easton Parkway). Proceed on MD 322 1.3 mi. to MD-33 West (St. Michaels Road), turn left at the light and continue for 0.9 mi. to Leehaven Road. Turn left on Leehaven Road and right onto the marked road that leads to the field across from Site #4 for parking.

 

4. RIVERBANK, 8117 Leehaven Road, Easton 21601. Filled with an elegant and crisp blue and white interior décor, this charming house is nestled along the banks of Dixon Creek, just off the Tred Avon River. Local lore has it that a smitten young landowner fell in love with Mary Lee of Virginia and named his land “Lee Haven” in honor of his bride-to-be. Alas, the marriage never took place, but the name has held and has been a haven for the families who have made this their home and enjoyed its wonderful views. Much of the property is lushly shaded with older trees and an impressive display of peonies, camellias, hydrangeas and rhododendrons. With winding pathways throughout, this garden continues to evolve with fresh plantings and new spaces such as the creek-side fire-pit for friends and family to enjoy. The elegant pool is sited to become an element of the garden with grays and beiges incorporated so as not to conflict with the surrounding colorful plantings of roses, hydrangeas and hellebores. Nearby is a stone-edged croquet court with a formal boxwood hedge, adjacent to a parterre with tulips, peonies, lilies and a variety of irises. A garden path leads back to the house where a brick walled potager is filled with perennials, herbs and punctuated with tuteurs supporting roses and clematis. Follow the brick walk to the rear of the home to take in the waterside garden and the always blooming living shoreline just feet from the water’s edge. This delightful property is a horticulturist’s dream that must not be missed.  Owners: Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Connelly.

 

Exit the parking lot and turn left on Leehaven Road, then left on MD-33 (St. Michaels Road). Proceed 1 mi. and turn left into Shipshead Farm Road to Site #5.

 

5. SHIPSHEAD FARM, 27389 St. Michaels Road (MD-33), Easton 21601. A pea gravel drive winds past a shaded two-tiered pond to a fully restored 18th century three-story manor house with additions to accommodate 21st century living. Sheepshead Point Farm was referenced in Talbot County documents with a land patent of 1664. Over time, the name of the property was corrupted to Shipshead and later Shipshead Farm. Under the design and direction of Easton architect Christine Dayton, a renovation project took four years to complete. Full restoration achieved a geo-thermal conditioned, fully plumbed and electrified house with historical charm. The original portion of the house sits upon a brick foundation with frame and brick nogging in the walls. The heart pine flooring is original on all levels of the main house. The twelve-foot-high foyer and parlor ceilings are enhanced by original plaster crown molding and delicately carved plaster ceiling medallions. The oval stairway is original to the home. New additions allow for a private master suite with garden and farm views of grazing wildlife and numerous species of migrating waterfowl during the winter months, as well as a new kitchen, dining room and great room that offer a spacious place for entertaining. Backyard pathways are highlighted by a variety of grasses, crepe myrtles and perennials. Paths lead to a pond-like swimming pool and butterfly gardens and to the expansive farm fields beyond. Low-lying areas of the fields were converted into impoundments that are flooded in the fall to create habitat for waterfowl. An archaeological project was conducted in a field to the east, where a brick foundation was found and determined to be the first Free School in Talbot County. Artifacts were catalogued and are displayed in the library of the home. Sensitivity in conserving farmland from development and creating a mecca for wildlife were foremost on the minds of the owners over the last 30 years and they hope you will find your own sense of peace as you walk the grounds of this hidden gem.

 

Exit Shipshead Farm and turn Right on MD-33 (St. Michaels Road). At stoplight, turn left on Unionville Road. Proceed 1.7 mi., then turn right on Ferry Bridge Road to Site #6.

 

6. LEGGACY, 27413 Ferry Bridge Road, Easton 21601. The 1870s Victorian house sits on a point of land that extends to the Miles River. The back of the house overlooks a large lawn with old and stately trees and a pool located halfway to the riverbank. The house is built in the “shingle style,” a style that was popular in late 19th century Northeastern coastal areas for those seeking a rustic rather than formal Victorian style. Covered in butter-yellow scalloped shingles and trimmed in white, the house has wide wraparound porches and a complex, asymmetrical roofline formed by dormers, bay windows and a wide turret. Pine wood floors and the original Victorian moldings with intricate wainscoting were restored. Soft wall colors juxtapose the dark pine floors and high gloss cream paint highlights the beautiful woodwork and architectural details throughout the house. A snappy kitchen and mud room renovation is accompanied with stylish and fresh lighting fixtures. A tiger maple pocket door was discovered encased by layers of drywall. Many of the home’s historic features have been preserved, including a pair of iron brackets that are mounted on either side of the front doorjamb. They originally held a large iron bar across the door that was the 19th century version of locking up at night. Established around 1680, the now-extinct Miles River Ferry transported passengers via canoe and later a flat-bottomed boat that docked on what is now the property. According to History of Talbot County Maryland, 1661-1861 by Oswald Tilghman, before the first Miles River Bridge was built in 1858, the only way to cross the river was by ferry. This was an important ferry crossing to Easton or St. Michaels for the owners of some of our great estates, such as Wye House, Gross Coate and Hope House. Owners: Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Legg.

 

Exit Leggacy and turn right onto Unionville Road, proceed 2.5 mi., turn right onto Todds Corner Road. In 1.2 mi., bear left onto Todds Corner Road for 0.4 mi. Keep left onto Gross Coate Road and arrive at Site #7 in 1.5 mi.

 

7. GROSS COATE FARM, 11300 Gross Coate Road, Easton 21601. The large brick dwelling, located on a peninsula at the confluence of the Wye River, Gross Creek and Lloyd Creek, is a Georgian masterpiece, dating from 1760. The property was in the Tilghman family for almost two and a half centuries and was patented originally to William Gross by Lord Baltimore on February 3, 1658. The dwelling had many additions through the years, eventually becoming a gracious plantation house. Christopher Weeks writes in his book, Where Land and Water Intertwine: “The house grew and changed in a leisurely fashion with the family fortunes.” In 1914, while significant changes were being made, an intricately carved mantel was found in the barn. The dining room floors were made from walnut trees that were blown down by a hurricane. The wood was cured by lying in the river for several years.  The brick floor of the delightful kitchen is of herringbone design and was laid in 1804. The house has a pleasing wraparound porch, specifically designed by famed Baltimore architect William Levin Smith, to unite the many varied additions. The creamery, smokehouse, laundry, carriage house and stable are of interest, as are the very old and magnificent trees, several of which are State champions. The present owners have added the small Roman Catholic Chapel, which was consecrated by the Cardinal of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC in 2016. It is dedicated to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton of Maryland, who was America’s first female saint. All are welcome to visit and say a little prayer. 

 

Exit Gross Point Farm, 1.9 mi. turn right onto Todds Corner Road. In 1.2 mi. turn left onto Unionville Road. In 3.7 mi. turn left onto Glebe Road. In 1.7 mi. turn left onto Goldsborough Neck Road, and then in 1.9 mi. keep left on Goldsborough Neck Road. In 2.1 mi. turn left onto Ashby Drive and arrive at Site #8 in 0.7 mi.

 

8. ASHBY, 27448 Ashby Drive, Easton 21601. Situated on Goldsborough Neck overlooking the Miles River, Ashby was built in 1858 by Robert Goldsborough and his wife Elizabeth Greenberry in the Italianate style. Architecturally, Ashby is significant among the Italianate dwellings in Talbot County, i.e., Cherry Grove, Ingleside and Old Villa, built in Georgian symmetrical style. It was designed to convey a romantic sensibility on the highest point of land facing south with a rolling lawn and two-mile vista of the river and prevailing breezes. The addition of a Colonial Revival portico in 1941 created a more formal Georgian mansion from the otherwise informal Italianate dwelling. The building is two bays wide and two bays deep and constructed on a brick foundation, reputedly part of an earlier foundation. The framed walls are covered with German siding. An elegant entry hall features impressive high ceilings and the floor to ceiling windows in the great room illuminate the expansive interior rooms that overlook the river. The pool is surrounded by a formal brick wall with lavender beds and an adjacent tennis court. The renowned Maryland political family and the original owners are descended from Nicholas Goldsborough who emigrated from England and settled on Kent Island about 1670. Over nine generations, the family played an influential role in Maryland and national political life from the 1690s until well into the middle of the 20th century. North of the house and kitchen is the family cemetery enclosed by a high brick wall and stately gate. A long Williamsburg copy guest house with a formal box garden sits between the two. Many of the Goldsboroughs from Talbot, Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties are buried here.

 

Leaving Ashby, turn right onto Goldsborough Neck, proceed 2.8 mi., turn left onto Airport Road. Proceed 1 mi. to US-50.

Return directions:

 

Returning to:

SALISBURY, NORFOLK and POINTS SOUTH: Turn right on US-50 East.

 

BALTIMORE, WASHINGTON, WILMINGTON, PHILADELPHIA and POINTS NORTH or WEST: Turn left onto US-50 West.