Calvert County
Saturday, May 16, 2020

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

Calvert County was part of Charles County in 1650 when Robert Brooke arrived as a representative of Lord Baltimore to form a new county in the colony. The name Calvert was given to the new county in 1654. Under the Cornwellian rule it was changed to Patuxent County, but by 1658 the name of Calvert was restored. By 1695, after the Protestant Revolution, Calvert County was partitioned and lost a large portion of its land on the north to Prince George’s County. Calvert now forms a peninsula about forty miles long and ten miles wide, with the Chesapeake Bay on the east and the Patuxent River on the west. Calvert’s waterways provided the principal travel routes in early days. These rivers and streams are still picturesque and have attracted many to live along their shores. Fossil formations at Calvert Cliffs provide a glimpse of early marine life in the Bay. Recent findings in other areas have provided significant archaeological information about early Native American civilizations. The main occupation of the first settlers, who came from England, Wales and Scotland, was farming. Tobacco was the major crop. However, by 1980 only about one-third of Calvert County was still being farmed and soybeans and corn had replaced tobacco as the principal crop. Today’s tour will take you to Solomons Island, located at the southern tip of Calvert County. Originally called Bourne’s Island (1680), then Somervell’s Island (1740), Solomons takes its name from 19th century Baltimore businessman Isaac Solomon, who established a cannery there shortly after the Civil War. Solomon’s home still stands on the front of the island. The area has been inhabited since colonial times. In the 19th century, shipyards were developed to support the island’s fishing fleet. The Marsh Shipyardbuilt schooners and sloops became famous for its bugeyes, the forerunner of the skipjack. In the War of 1812, Commodore Joshua Barney’s flotilla sailed from here to attack British vessels on the Chesapeake Bay. The deep, protected harbor has been a busy marine center ever since. Today the Island welcomes tourists with numerous marinas, seafood restaurants, gift shops, a boardwalk, and a sculpture garden. The Calvert Marine Museum is where visitors can climb atop a former lighthouse, board harbor cruises, and hear occasional outdoor concerts by famous performers.


This tour is being held in memory of Joan and Elliot Kocen.


Chairs: Carol Frederick, 530 Small Reward Road, Huntingtown, MD 20639, 443-340-2498; Maricarol Cloak, 710 Patuxent Reach Drive, Prince Frederick, MD 20678, 410-535-2403; Adele Maguire, 7955 Broomes Island Road, Broomes Island, MD 20615, 443-684-4025.


Committee Chairs: Ads: Jody Longhill, Maricarol Cloak, and Carol Frederick. Flowers: Mary Smolinski, Rosemary Dawley, and Shahla Butler. Hostesses: Andrea Jordon, and Sandy Caruso. Photography: Terri Waller. Publicity: Jane Eyler, and Margaret Fahs. Road Marking: Maricarol Cloak, Adele Maguire and Carol Frederick. Tickets and Gift Certificates: Joyce Murphy. Tour Book: Adele Maguire. Treasurer: Helen Prince, and Marcia Olson


Special Project: Tour proceeds will go towards refurbishing the interior of the Drum Point Lighthouse situated on the grounds of the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons, MD. Specifically, plans are to repair the lighthouse fog bell striking mechanism, reinstall audio equipment so that visitors can hear a recording of the bell when it tolls, restore the lantern room, refurbish the spiral staircase, add battery-operated period lighting, paint the interior, and replace all of the interior fabrics (curtains, bed coverings, rugs). The museum’s Curator of Maritime History will be in charge of this project.


Lunch: There are several nice restaurants along the route, many with outside seating overlooking the water. Most serve local crab cakes and other seafood items, as well as burgers, gourmet sandwiches, salads and desserts.


Note: There is no parking available at Sites 2 through 10. Tour tickets may be purchased at Sites 1, 3, 7 and 10. This is a walking tour. Please wear comfortable walking shoes. Public Restrooms are available at the Calvert Marine Museum and along the walk between sights. See map for locations (R).




Baltimore: I-695 Beltway to 97 South to Rts. 3/301 South to Rt. 4 East/South for 27.8 miles to Solomons, MD to exit on the right onto Thomas Johnson Road (Rt. 2) passing under the Thomas Johnson Bridge. Make a left at the stop sign, drive approximately 200 yards and the Calvert Marine Museum will be right in front of you. Turn right onto Solomons Island Road, South. Parking is in the field on the right, across from the museum. Exit the parking area to walk across the street to the museum. Tickets will be at the gate. Follow the path around the museum to Site #1, the Drum Point Lighthouse.


Washington DC: I-495 Beltway to Rt. 4 (Pennsylvania Ave.) South/East for 56 miles to Solomons, MD. Continue as above.


Annapolis: South on Rt. 2 towards Prince Frederick. Join Rt. 4 in Sunderland. Continue South on Rts. 2/4 for 27.2 miles to Solomons, MD. Continue as above.


St. Mary’s County: Cross the Thomas Johnson Bridge. Take the exit onto Thomas Johnson Road (Rt. 2) at the north end of the bridge. Turn right at the stop sign, and in approximately 500 feet, the Calvert Marine Museum will be on your left. Parking is in the field on the right, across from the museum. Continue as above.


Charles County: Rt. 231 across the Patuxent River to Rts. 2/4. Turn right. Continue 18.3 miles to Solomons, MD. Continue as above.




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Calvert Marine Museum's Drum Point Lighthouse

14200 Solomons Island Road, Solomons 20688 dominates the museum’s waterfront. This screwpile, cottage-type light is only one of three remaining from forty-five that once served the Chesapeake Bay at the beginning of the twentieth century. Decommissioned in 1962, the lighthouse fell victim to vandals until moved to its present site in 1975. Beautifully restored, complete with furnishings of the early twentieth century, it has become the waterfront’s main attraction and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Walk back to the main street, Solomons Island Road, turn left and walk along sidewalk for 0.2 miles to Site #2 on the left.

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Vail House

14280 Solomons Island Road, Solomons 20688. In 1903, a successful pound net fisherman from Virginia, Captain Philip T. Vail, hired Charles Spicknall of Lower Marlboro  to build this Queen Anne Style Victorian home on Solomons Island. It was one of the first houses in the area to have central heating. The bowed windows on the turreted sections of the house were broken during mine and torpedo testing on the Patuxent in World War II. After the Vails moved, several owners occupied the house; the Preston Woodburn family, the Solomons Island Fishing and Hunting Club, and for 30 years it was a private residence known as Holiday Manor. The present owners bought the home in 2007 and completed a full renovation and construction of additional living space in 2010. Working with Philadelphia architect John Toates and local craftsman Walton Stone of St. Leonard, MD the 21/2 year project ultimately doubled the usable space of the house. Alterations and additions were designed to complement the original scale and character of the house. Old photographs provided clues to the original roof, shingle designs and exterior siding details. These were all reproduced in the new work. The project also included a separate garage and a garden shed. The interior decor is an eclectic mix of antiques and modern furniture, with both original and reproduction lighting fixtures. Artwork includes a collection of paintings from the Solomons Plein Air Festivals. The gardens are anchored by four magnificent old trees: a maple, a magnolia, a black walnut and a hackberry. Additionally, there are many edible landscaping elements including a small front yard orchard, a kitchen garden, a fig tree, a pomegranate shrub, a kiwi vine and various berry patches. Owners: Don and Jean McDougall. 


Leaving the gardens, turn right onto Sedwick Avenue. Walk 200 feet to Site #3 on the corner of Sedwick  Avenue and C Street. 

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178 C Street

This Carolina Costal Cottage, built in 2018, mimics River Place, a custom-designed home in Beaufort, South Carolina. The architectural plan holds true to the exterior design of River Place with only minor interior changes to fit the needs of the owners. Exterior siding is from James Hardie and features a raised seam metal roof. Three covered porches are supported by 14 large white columns. As you enter through the front door you will be greeted by a bright and spacious home featuring ten-foot ceilings, eight-foot doorways and beautiful engineered hardwood flooring. The combination living and dining room sit just beyond the front door. In it, there are two beautiful large paintings by Spanish artist Sabzi; the largest titled Tango for Two and the other, Lady with Purple Vase. Leaving these rooms, you walk into a beautiful, large, L-shaped kitchen featuring a center island, an entertainment area and a wine cooler. Behind the kitchen is a corner laundry /mud room and the hallway leading to the master suite. The suite houses a large master bath, a walk-in shower, and a free-standing soaking tub in front of shuttered windows. Throughout the house you will notice striking metal sculptures; many of them by the late St. Mary’s artist Joe Morasky. Behind the house sits a separate 24x26 finished and air-conditioned workshop. An outdoor cooking area sits in front of the work shop facing the house with an open beam porch ceiling. A large pervious paver patio allows for outdoor entertaining between the buildings. Surrounding the home are two large mature Hickory trees, an old Cypress, a large Magnolia and an old Crepe Myrtle. The newer gardens were installed in late 2018. Owner: David Butler.


Exit through the garden onto C Street. Turn left and walk 0.1 mile, crossing Sedwick Avenue and Calvert Street to Site #4 on the left. 

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220 C Street

Located on a sunny lot with water views, this appealing home, originally built in the 1930s, was completely renovated in 2018. Architect Michael Justin Dowling designed the home with the interior done by Lisa LaFrance Silk Stone Interior Design. The new home was updated with large windows to best enjoy views of the outdoors balanced with comfortable privacy and custom features. High ceilings, a fireplace, and tasteful decor add to the ambiance of the home. Two beautiful paintings by Nancy Hammond frame the fireplace. Landscaping includes hydrangeas, boxwoods and slate porch and walkways. A large maple tree in the backyard ties the home directly to the area’s past—this tree has seen Solomons’ history go from oystering to boatbuilding through to the present. The home brings sophistication and elegance to the charm of Solomons living. Lucky passersby may glimpse the owner’s well-behaved dog on the wrap around porch. Owners: Mike and Theresa Denny.


Exit house and walk directly across the street to Site #5.

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225 C Street

his charming home sits on a cove off of Back Creek. In the past, the cottage was used for fishing and multiple smokehouses that cured the day’s catch. In the 1980s, the main house was destroyed by fire and was not rebuilt until 1990. In 2015, the home underwent major renovation. The cottage footprint was integrated into the main house, taking the main house from two to five bedrooms. Also added was a garage to one side, decks at the back of the house, and a deck off of the master bedroom. The architectural design of the front of the home was retained; the addition was designed to seamlessly integrate with the style. As you enter the home, your eyes will be captured by the scenic cove that is seen through the large windows at the rear of the house. Back in the front room, a cozy seating area showcasing a see-through fireplace, welcomes you. This room is also home to a very impressive reproduction of a Thomas Kincaid painted by the owner’s grandmother. Through the front room you move into another seating area and the kitchen that displays beautiful white quartz countertops. In the rear of the house is a family room, a game room, and exits to the deck area and the cove beyond. The second floor houses the master suite and the other four bedrooms. Owners: Greg and Malyna Geiger.


Exit house and turn left onto C Street. Walk to Calvert Street.  Turn left. Walk 0.3 miles on Calvert Street crossing Woodburn Street and Lankford and Point Lanes to Site #6 at the corner of Calvert Street and Alexander Lane. 

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Gardens at Back Creek Inn

Gardens at Back Creek Inn, 210 Alexander Lane, Solomons 20688. Built in 1880, this simple Queen Anne style waterman’s home became the Back Creek Inn Bed & Breakfast in 1987. Flowers, fruit, herbs and vegetables can be found in the Inn’s gardens. Pairs of Adirondack chairs grace the lawn, with views of Back Creek and the Patuxent River. These surrounding views of the gardens and water are captured in paintings by the home’s owner and artist, Carol Pennock. A two-block stroll to the Solomons Island’s Riverwalk offers you a breath-taking sunset. Owner: Carol Pennock.


Exit site, turn right onto Alexander Lane. Walk along Alexander Lane for 0.1 mile to Solomons Island Road.  Cross Solomons Island Road to the River Walk (boardwalk). At the gazebo, use the crosswalk to cross back to the sidewalk on the left side of the road. Turn right to stay on sidewalk and walk 0.1 mile to Site #7 on left. 

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St. Peter's Chapel

Solomons Island Road, Solomons 20688. The property that St. Peter’s sits on was deeded to the vestry of Christ Church, Port Republic, on July 9, 1889, by William H. and Ada Crockett for the purpose of erecting a church, parsonage, or cemetery. In 1889, having raised $1,800, the chapel was built. The chapel is of simple wood construction with handsome lines and a cathedral ceiling.  The main structure remained unchanged until the spring of 1990 when the sacristy area behind the altar was added. Over the years, many alterations have been made to the interior of the chapel. Electricity was installed in 1921; the first organ was purchased in 1924, and the current seven-rank Wicks organ was installed in 1998. Edge grain pine flooring was put down in 1927 and three years later kneeling benches were installed. In 1967, the original black iron fence erected around the property in 1919, was replaced by a white picket fence and in 1980 stained glass windows replaced the original clear glass ones. St. Peter’s Chapel is part of Middleham and St. Peter’s Parish which serves Episcopalians in southern Calvert County as well as many visitors to the area. 


Exit chapel, turn left onto Solomons Island Road and continue on sidewalk 0.1 mile to bear left at fork onto Charles Street. Walk 25 feet ahead to the first driveway apron, cross the street to Site #8. Exit house onto Patuxent Street. Cross the street to see Cabana on the river. 


25 Charles Street Solomons

In the early 1900s, this site was Solomons Island’s first functional post office. Around 1940, a second building was constructed beside it and served as the Shore Patrol Headquarters for the Navy during World War II. These two buildings were later joined together, giving the structure unique architectural angles. The structure was later converted into a barbershop before being purchased for residential use. The current owners purchased the property in 2017 and took nearly two years to convert it into a single-family home. In an effort to reclaim the craftsman style, the flat porch roofs, on both the front and back, were removed and replaced with gabled roofs, with board and batten accents. The carport was closed in to make a formal garage and a mirrored garage door was installed to reflect the beautiful views of the Patuxent River. The clean lines of the craftsman style were continued in the interior of the home. Low set custom windows were installed in order to retain the historic look and to allow for natural light to enter. Rustic hardwood floors and a shiplap fireplace offer an authentic rustic feel. A neutral color scheme and minimal artwork encourage visitors to focus on water views, which can be seen from every room in the home. The open concept living area features one large art piece depicting oyster shells, titled Family Portrait which was commissioned by local artist Molly Hewitt. Possibly the most unique feature of the home is across the street where a cabana was built on top of the pier. This structure, while original to the home when purchased in 2017, was completely remodeled to serve as a guest house. It features a wall of western facing windows and doors that offer panoramic views of the incredible sunset behind the Thomas Johnson bridge. Unique to the property, and adjacent to the cabana, is a small private beach, making it one of the most special spots on the island. Owners: Andi and Tony Velazquez.

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The Bird House

14758 Patuxent Avenue/171, Solomons 20688. The Bird House sits on land originally owned by Isaac Solomon and bears the name of its current owner. On December 12th, 1905, John Fletcher Webster purchased the land for $475 whereupon he built his home. John Webster most likely picked this spot for the home as it was the highest elevation on the island and safe from flooding. Behind the house, he built and operated Webster’s Store (the Tiki Bar now sits on this spot.) Unfortunately, the land upon which he built the store sat at a much lower elevation and flooded regularly. There are tales that after the flood, canned goods would be sold at a discount because the labels washed off and customers would have to shake them to see what they contained. In 1907, Joseph “Cook” Webster bought the property from his brother. Cook was a respected local businessman and a Maryland Senator who could regularly be seen wearing a derby hat and chewing on a cigar (that he never lit), walking the wooden walkway that connected his home and Webster’s Store. He was credited with keeping the island afloat in difficult times, until tourism and oystering improved. Cook Webster lived in the home until his death in 1938. In the 1940s, the side porch was enclosed to create a “Florida Room” where, with its wall-to-wall windows, became the perfect spot to enjoy a meal and watch the watermen sail up river to oyster and fish. The covered front porch, with its westerly view of the Patuxent, is another fine spot to watch the ships and enjoy the sunset. Inside, the original hardwood floors are highlighted by inlaid walnut trim. Original oil paintings, done by a local artist, adorn the walls and through every window you can catch a glimpse the Patuxent River and its surrounding creeks. The front garden is a collection of flowering plants that provide year-round color. In the 1990s, an in-ground swimming pool and detached garage were added. The garage has two-car bays plus a heated and air-conditioned professional wood-working shop. The second floor is a 1900 sq. ft. rental apartment. Owners: Thomas Bird and Lynn Delima.


Exit Site #9 and turn left. Follow Patuxent Street for 0.2 miles around as it curves to the left. At the stop sign, turn right onto Carl’s Way. Follow Carl’s Way for 425 feet around to left as it turns into Farren Avenue (no road sign). Site #10 is ahead on the left. 

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Marsh-Beaven House

90 Farren Avenue, Solomons 20688. This 21/2 story private home is a Second Empire Victorian that faces the confluence of the Patuxent River and Chesapeake Bay. Mary E. Marsh purchased the lot on Feb 25th, 1881 for $200 and erected a two-story square, wood frame building, dubbed The Maples. The June 1893 renovation added two major features: the canted bay windows on the first two floors of the southwest facade, and a third floor with a mansard roof, giving the home its characteristic Second Empire Victorian architecture, a style rare to Southern Maryland. Serving as both the family home and a place of business, Dr. William Henry Marsh, the first island doctor, used two first floor rooms for his private practice and “Miss Mollie” took in boarders. In December 1943, the home was purchased and remained in the Beaven’s family until October 1997. Dr. George F. Beaven, a pioneering fisheries scientist and leading authority on Chesapeake Bay shellfish, and his wife, Evelyn, added central heat, electricity and indoor plumbing. Dr. and Mrs. Beaven, who had a keen interest in horticulture, are responsible for the unique plantings on the property including a large double flowering Persimmon, and a Coast Redwood (sequoia). The property is also ringed by many varieties of camelias as well as pines, magnolia, and willow oak, which are a favorite of the osprey, bald eagles and red-tailed hawks. The house was repaired and renovated again in 2007-08 by the current owners, who added a two-story addition to the west facade with the goal to keep the original building unchanged. The interior has original hardware, tin ceilings in the sitting room and first floor hall, original heart pine floors, three coal fireplaces, and working transoms on the second floor. Many of the rooms have the cast iron hot water radiators that still heat the house today. Owners: Raymond and Marie Godin.


The formal tour ends here. As you exit the house to return to your vehicle you have a choice. You can turn right to retrace your steps along Solomons Island Road or for a more scenic walk, turn left and walk along the river to the circle. At the circle, you can continue straight for about 100 feet to visit the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory Visitor Center which occupies the oldest home on the Island. Leaving the visitor center, return to the circle, turn right and walk along Charles Street. This takes you back to Solomons Island Road; it also takes you past the Tiki Bar that sits on the site of the old Webster Store that was mentioned in the description for Site #9. 


Return Directions:


Follow Solomons Road to Rt. 4, leading  to all major routes.