In the mid seventeenth century, attempts were made to force puritans living in Virginia adopt Church of England worship. Lord Baltimore, who owned the colony of Maryland saw an opportunity to populate his colony by offering the puritans land grants and religious freedom. In 1649 the puritans established a settlement called Providence at the mouth of the Severn River on Chesapeake Bay. The following year Lord Baltimore established Anne Arundel County, named after his late wife, which covered Providence and the land around it. By 1694 the puritans had moved on, the town had moved a little further north and had been renamed Anne Arundel's Towne. In 1695 the the town replaced St. Mary's City as colonial capital, and it was renamed Annapolis in honour of Princess Anne, heir to the British throne. As Queen in 1708 she gave Annapolis its charter as a city. Annapolis grew rapidly until in 1780 Baltimore, which had a deeper harbour, took over as the main port of entry. Annapolis continued as capital of Maryland, and after the 1783 Treaty of Paris ended the Revolutionary War it was for a short time the capital of the USA. In 1845 the city became the home of the United States Naval Academy where it remains to this day. Today, Annapolis remains a thriving naval and government centre, but the loss of trade to Baltimore allowed many historic buildings to survive across the city.
William Paca House
Lawyer William Paca built this Georgian Mansion between 1763 and 1765 to his own design. Paca was on of four signatories from Maryland on the Declaration of Independence and from 1782 to 1785 he was governor of Maryland. He sold the mansion in 1780 and it passed through several hands until in 1901 it was bought by the Annapolis Hotel Corporation. The mansion became the lobby and conference facilities of the Carvel Hall Hotel which opened in 1906. In 1964 plans were drawn up to demolish the hotel but Historic Annapolis Inc. (now the Historic Annapolis Foundation) stepped in to buy the mansion in order to save it. In 1965 the State of Maryland acquired the grounds. The mansion was restored to its original appearance and the William Paca House opened to the public in 1973. The grounds have been restored to re-create William Paca's original colonial garden.
Houses in Pinkney Street
If you are visiting Annapolis, once you have seen the State House and some of the historic mansions, it it worth taking a wander down Pinckney Street. Here you will find a cross section of historic buildings including timber clad houses, as shown here, a former tavern at No 18 and a small warehouse at No 4. Most of the houses are still privately owned but several properties have been restored by the Historic Annapolis Foundation.
Click on Minimap to navigate
Just across the street from State House is Government House, the home of the Governor of Maryland. Early state governors lived in the Jennings House, the residence confiscated from the last colonial governor. In 1868 work started to build a new residence and in 1870 Governor Oden Bowie and his family moved into it. The house was extended in 1935 and further renovations took place in 1947. Government House remains the residence of the governor to this day but certain rooms of are open to tours on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings by prior appointment only.
To move forwards or backwards through the Maryland trail click the arrows above, or select your next destination on the Minimap.
Charles Carroll House & St. Mary’s Church
Maryland was founded by the Calvert family as a predominantly Catholic colony, and this attracted settlers from places like Ireland. Charles Carroll (known as ‘The Settler’ or CCS) arrived in St. Mary’s City from Ireland around 1689. He was seeking to escape discrimination against Catholics in Ireland. The religious freedom that he sought did not last long as in 1691 King William III removed the Proprietor and appointed Protestant Sir Lionel Copley as governor. CCS had become Attorney General of the Colony, but Catholics were barred from office under the governor. CCS married a wealthy widow in 1693 and the following year they moved to Annapolis where he acquired a considerable amount of land. He lived in a Frame House that already existed on land that he had bought. CCS died in 1720, a year after his eldest son Henry, so the estate passed to second son Charles Carroll (of Annapolis or CCA, to distinguish him from his father). CCA immediately started building a brick house close to the Frame House where his mother and sisters still lived. He later extended the house and in the 1770s his son Charles Carroll of Carrollton (CCC) extended it further. In 1822 work started on St Mary’s Catholic Church on land adjacent to the house. In 1852 the house and gardens were sold to the Redemptorist Catholic missionary congregation. A Catholic Elementary school was built in 1862 and a High school was added in 1946. From 1907 to 1968 the house was used for training missionaries. Charles Carroll House is on the left of this picture with the school building on the right and the church behind it. The house and gardens are open to the public Saturday & Sundays in season.
Hammond Harwood House, Maryland Ave.
Matthias Hammond was a wealthy landowner who owned several tobacco plantations and was elected in the Maryland legislature in 1773. Having embarked on a political career he decided that he needed somewhere to live in downtown Annapolis so in 1774 he hired architect and builder William Buckland to design and erect an Anglo-Palladian brick mansion for him. Buckland designed a house with three wings, but sadly he died shortly before it was completed. Matthias Hammond never lived in the house, he continued to live at his plantations. It is believed that by the time his house was finished his political views were out of favour in Annapolis. The house was rented out and tenants included some notable citizens of Annapolis. By a strange twist of fate William Buckland’s great-grandson William Harwood married into the family living in the house and took ownership of the house in 1832. He had to sell off land and rent out the house to make ends meet but the house remained in the family until 1924. Afterwards the house was used by St. John’s College but they had to abandon it during the depression. The house had changed little since it was built and in 1940 it was purchased by the newly formed Hammond-Harwood House Association. They opened the Hammond-Harwood House as a house museum filled with colonial furniture and artwork.
This building was completed around 1767 as the City Ballroom or Assembly Room. At that time the 1704 State House was in a bad state of repair and in the early 1770s the General Assembly ordered its demolition to make way for a new State House. The City Ballroom a temporary state legislative hall pending the completion of the new State House, but also continued to be used for public events such as dances until the impending Revolutionary War caused such events to be banned. After the Revolutionary War the building was used as the County Court House. Major rebuilding in 1868 saw the building turned into Municipal Offices, but still retaining a Ballroom for public events. The front facade was restored in 1974 to return the exterior of the building to its 1867 appearance. Located at 150 Duke of Gloucester Street, the building continues to be used as municipal offices.
Late sun on dock & State House from Marriott
This picture shows the two key aspects of Annapolis, its maritime location on Chesapeake Bay at the mouth of the Severn River and and its role as the seat of government. The oldest state capitol still in continuous legislative use stands proudly overlooking the dock.