A guide to Maryland Day Weekend activities in and around Annapolis
Date: Capital Gazette, March 28, 2019, E.B. Furgurson III
Father Andrew White and his fellow travelers planted a cross on St. Clement’s Island in what is now St. Mary’s County 375 years ago after a harrowing voyage from England aboard the Ark and Dove. Now we celebrate Maryland Day to mark that occasion.
Monday was the actual anniversary of the 1634 ceremonies establishing the colony on behalf of Lord Calvert. But the weekend-long celebration comes Friday through Sunday with events planned in Annapolis and around Anne Arundel County.
More than 40 activities at 20-plus venues are free or cost $1.
You can take in plenty just wandering around Annapolis or take a hosted tour for the historic highlights. Visit the State House or historic mansions of founders William Paca or Charles Carroll. Or check out Hogshead, the museum of more plain folk.
Enjoy games, hands-on demonstrations and more throughout the city, in nearby Historic London Town and Gardens, or in south county. You can even take a tour aboard the Baltimore clipper replica Pride of Baltimore II which pulls into port at City Dock Friday through Sunday.
Though many of the places participating in the weekend’s commemorative events are open regularly, Maryland Day Weekend is a good excuse to revisit their history.
Here are a few of the activities and places to take in. For a full list, visit marylandday.org.
Historic buildings and villages
Charles Carroll House, 107 Duke of Gloucester St., Annapolis, noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free. Visit the mostly intact 18th-century property in the Annapolis Historical District, once home to Declaration of Independence signer Charles Carroll.
Deale Area Historical Society, 389 Deale Road, Tracy’s Landing, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Free. Get a feel for rural life in South County in the late 1800s to early 1900s. Visit the historic village at Herrington Harbour South, which includes a two-room home, a one-room schoolhouse, an African-American beneficial society building, a tobacco barn, a Russian Orthodox chapel and various smaller buildings. A Society docent will be on hand to answer questions.
Hammond-Harwood House, 19 Maryland Ave., Annapolis, 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. $1 to tour the house, free to visit the garden. The house, built in 1774, is a fine example of Colonial architecture filled with an historic collection of late 18th- and early 19th-century paintings, furniture and decorative arts. Half-hour guided tours of the museum, limited to 20 people, kick off on the hour, from 1 p.m. through 3 p.m. The garden will be open all day.
Historic London Town & Gardens, 839 Londontown Road, Edgewater. 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday. $1, or free for members. Throughout Maryland Day weekend, you can try your hand at making rope, see Colonial muskets fired, learn about hearth cooking, buy handmade furniture from a master carpenter and more. The 23-acre facility owned by Anne Arundel County was the site of a busy colonial port before Annapolis grew in size and importance. Anchored by the William Brown house (1764) it has reconstructed colonial buildings, the county archeology museum and extensive gardens.
Maryland State House, State Circle, Annapolis, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Free. Ours is the oldest state capitol in continuous legislative use in the country. See portraits of our earliest founders, the room where George Washington famously resigned his commission and more in the only state house to have also served at the nation’s capital.
William Paca House and Garden, 186 Prince George St., Annapolis, noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. $1. Witness the re-creation of the 1781 marriage of Julianna Jennings and James Brice performed by a cast of living history actors. James Brice built Brice House around the corner between 1767 and 1774. He served as Annapolis mayor twice before serving as Maryland’s governor on a temporary basis in 1792. After the ceremony, meet the historic interpreters and enjoy a host of other activities.
Annapolis Maritime Museum, 723 Second St., Annapolis. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday through Sunday.Free. Learn all about oysters and other Chesapeake Bay critters. You can even get a little wet and dirty learning about the bay’s mollusks up close and personal on the museum’s Back Creek docks.
Banneker Douglass Museum, 84 Franklin St., Annapolis, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Free. Learn how African Americans lived and contributed to a growing nation from their arrival in 1633 to today.
Hogshead, 43 Pinkney St., Annapolis, noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free. Learn what life was like for the lower working class in early Maryland with guides dressed in Colonial attire who provide a hands-on experience to see and touch authentic and reproduction artifacts from the city’s early days. The museum is housed in a preserved early 19th-century wood-frame building with a gambrel roof, emblematic of the inexpensive housing where early Annapolitans lived.
Events and tours
Maryland Day Flag-Raising Ceremony, Susan Campbell Park, City Dock, Annapolis, 10 a.m. Saturday. Free. The ceremony kicks off the day with a performance by Annapolis Drum and Bugle Corps and flag detail by the U.S. Naval Academy League Cadets of the Training Ship Mercedes.
Watermark Tours trek to historic hotspots, Susan Campbell Park, City Dock, Annapolis, 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Free. Watermark Tours present a short trek through the historic district led by Annapolis native, and former mayor, Squire Richard Hillman. The excursion steps off from City Dock immediately after the 10 a.m. flag-raising ceremony.
Brewer Hill Cemetery tour, 802 West St., Annapolis, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Free. Take a guided tour on the hour of the cemetery and learn more about the city founders, casualties of the Revolutionary and Civil wars and members of the African-American community in the historic resting place. Participants will also learn about efforts to preserve the cemetery. Descendants of those buried at Brewer Hill are encouraged to bring photos, bible records and oral histories to share on a website being developed about the cemetery.
Pride of Baltimore II deck tours, City Dock, Annapolis. 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free. Step aboard the visiting tall ship to learn about the history of Baltimore Clippers and talk to crew members about what it’s like to sail today.
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