Saturday, May 2, 2020
10:00 A.M to 5:00 P.M.
Dorchester County was home to the native Choptank and Nanticoke tribes of the Eastern Woodland Algonquin Nation before the arrival of John Smith at Emperor’s Landing in Vienna in 1608. Its County seat, Cambridge, was established as a port of entry by the Maryland Assembly in 1684 and is one of the oldest towns authorized at that early date that has survived. Originally a seaport community on the shores of the Choptank River, the region has a rich maritime and agricultural heritage and is known for a history of boat building and food processing industries, numerous navigable waterways for boating and other recreational watersports, an abundance of fish and crustaceans, vast forests with a diversity of wildlife, opportunities for hunting and trapping and good agricultural soils, all of which are still present today. When James Michener was doing research for his novel Chesapeake, he reportedly called Cambridge’s High Street one of the most beautiful streets in America, modeling his fictional city, Patamoke, after Cambridge. Many of the gracious homes on the brick-paved, historic High Street date from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, former homes to sea captains and statesmen alike. In 2013, Cambridge was named one of the top best small towns in America by Livability, the only town given that distinction on the East Coast. More recently, in 2019, Smithsonian Magazine named Cambridge one of the sixteen best small towns to visit in the United States and it is now known by its continuing connection to the water, its historic buildings, a vibrant arts scene and unique shops and restaurants.
Dorchester County is the birthplace of Harriet Tubman and is a primary stop along the Underground Railroad Byway. Many famous individuals are from Dorchester including Annie Oakley, John Barth, Bea Arthur, Anna Ella Carroll and Gloria Richardson Dandridge. Major attractions include the Harriet Tubman Museum and Education Center and the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center and Scenic Byway, the Choptank River Lighthouse, the Heritage Museums & Gardens of Dorchester and Handsell, an 18th century manor house being preserved in Vienna that was built on a former Indian Reservation and was home to nearly ninety slaves in the mid-1800s. Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, a waterfowl sanctuary for birds located 12 miles south of Cambridge, consists of more than 25,000 acres of tidal wetlands, open fields and deciduous forests. Nature lovers, birders, photographers, cyclists, and paddlers are all attracted to Blackwater. Dorchester is host to thousands of athletes twice annually for the Eagleman and Ironman Competitions. While navigating your way through Dorchester, you can view Michael Rosato’s fabulous mural art on the Chesapeake Mural Trail which depicts our history and culture along the Michener Chesapeake Country Scenic Byway. Dorchester, known as “the Heart of Chesapeake Country,” has a storied history bringing together Native, Colonial and African-American heritage as interpreted by many fascinating attractions and the diverse people whose lives have told these stories.
Co-Chairs: Jeanne Bernard, 443-205-0660, ; Karen Cartwright, 610-306-3725, ; Sandy Lucas, 410-463-0460, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Committee Chairs: Property Selection: Karen Cartwright. Script, Maps and Directions: Jeanne Bernard and Sandy Lucas. Hostesses: Faye Phillips. Photography: Lynne Davis. Luncheon: Cookie Brohawn and Patti Hopkins. Advertising: Linda Allen, Billie Sue Norton, and Bobbie Rideout. Publicity: Ellen Higgins and Linda Rossi. Patrons and Benefactors: Linda Chandlee. Road Marking: Susie Middleton. Treasurer: Wanda Ciekot. Ticket Presales: Evelyn Renkwitz. Floral: Kay Karminski and Linda Easter. Tour tickets: May be purchased online or at any tour site by cash or check.
Special Project: Dorchester Garden Club has selected as our special project the Wallace Office Building, a single-story, two-roomed, Greek Revival structure that is very likely one of the oldest remaining commercial buildings in Cambridge, if not in the State of Maryland. The stuccoed brick, hip-roofed office building was built in 1849-50 for Colonel James W. Wallace (1818-1887). Colonel Wallace served in the Maryland State Legislature during the 1850s and when the Civil War broke out, he helped organize the 1st Regiment Eastern Shore Maryland Volunteer Infantry of the United States Army. Wallace Office Building was used as a recruitment center during the war. Afterwards, James Wallace entered into agricultural and industrial pursuits and with his son, James, started a packing company. In 1887, James Wallace willed the property, known as The Hill, to his wife, Annie, who subsequently sold it to her son for $7000 and the name was changed to Tusculum. In 1939, the Wallace family sold the property at public auction to the City of Cambridge for the price of $7500. At that time, the original mansion was torn down and the office was leased for insurance and law offices, a gift shop and space for Dorchester Educators and the Girl Scouts. In 1972, the property was acquired by the Dorchester County Public Library. The old office building, vacant for a number of years, still stands adjacent to the library on Gay Street, but is in a serious state of disrepair. George Vojtech is Chair of the Cambridge’s Historic Preservation Commission and is experienced in restoration of historic properties. He has had the building surveyed and has received grant funding from the Maryland Historic Trust to restore and preserve the building with historic and architectural accuracy. The restoration will include the addition of HVAC and water, and the installation of an ADA ramp, making the building accessible. The monies raised by the Pilgrimage will help fund the restoration of an historically-significant structure.
Lunch: A delicious boxed lunch for $13.00 includes chicken salad on a croissant or a vegetarian salad sandwich on wheat bread, pickle, chips, cookie, fruit and a bottle of water. Lunch will be available from 11:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. in Whatley Hall adjacent to Site #7 just behind historic Christ Episcopal Church, 607 Church Street, Cambridge, MD. The Hall can be reached by walking through the graveyard or walking/driving along Church Street. Some parking and limited seating is available. Advanced reservations are a must. Please include your choice of sandwich on your check made payable to Christ Episcopal Church, Attention: M.H.G.P. Lunch Reservation, 601 Church Street, Cambridge, MD 21613-1729. Checks must be received by Thursday, April 16, 2020. For information, please contact Cookie Brohawn at 410-463-1778 or email@example.com.
Restrooms: Available at Site #1, Dorchester County Visitors’ Center or Site #7 Christ Episcopal Church and Whatley Hall.
Points west—Baltimore and Washington: East on Rt. 50 across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Continue south on Rt. 50 past Easton to the Choptank River Bridge, turn RIGHT at light onto Maryland Avenue. Go two blocks and turn right on Dorchester Avenue. Two blocks further, the Visitors’ Center Parking Lot is found on your left.
Points east—Salisbury and Norfolk, VA: Rt. 13 north to Salisbury, then Rt. 50 west to Cambridge. Turn left at light onto Maryland Avenue (before bridge over the Choptank River). Go two blocks and turn right on Dorchester Avenue. Drive two block and the Visitors’ Center is on the left.