Anne Arundel County is the focus of the annual Maryland House & Garden Pilgrimage (MHGP) on Saturday, May 16, 10am-5pm (rain or shine). There are 11 stops on the tour. A longstanding Maryland tradition, the Pilgrimage provides access to some of southern Anne Arundel Counties most noteworthy private properties and enables residents to see their home state with fresh eyes. Advance tickets for each tour are $30 per person ($35 if purchasing day-of). Catered lunches will be available on all tours. Purchase tickets and get more information at mhgp.org or 410-821-6933.
“I look forward to introducing guests to the rich longstanding heritage of Anne Arundel County,” said Cheryl Rigdon, County Chair of MHGP, “and to providing special access to historic sites like the Captain Avery Museum and lovely private homes like Fairhaven Landing.” Every year, proceeds from the tour support designated preservation projects in each host community. Anne Arundel’s special project is the Captain Avery Museum in Annapolis, and the funds will go towards a number of museum enhancements to bring visitor engagement into the 21st century.
This tour provides an extraordinary variety of stops (eleven in total) and gives access to eight private homes, rarely open to the public. Located on Norman’s Retreat, the Stephen Steward Shipyard is the most archaeologically intact 18th-century shipyard in the mid-Atlantic. The Federal style main house is especially significant because many of its original interior ornamental features remain, including the original kitchen chimney and ceiling beams. Dodon Winery, owned and operated by nine consecutive generations of Steuart’s (now Pittman’s), is an excellent example of the changing agricultural identity of Maryland. Over the generations, the farm has gone from growing tobacco to raising livestock and growing crops. Today, the property is known for its locally sourced winery and equestrian training center. Wine samples will be available for a nominal fee and this stop includes a free 30-minute Wagon Ride to see the horse facility, family graveyard, and main house. One of the private homes on this tour is Holly Hill, a rare surviving example of Medieval Transitional architecture. The oldest portion of the house was built in 1698 and there are many unique design details, including the original barrel-vaulted cellar.
The 2015 tour includes 44 private homes, gardens, farms, wineries, churches and historic sites in five counties. They are St. Mary’s County (Sunday, May 3); Dorchester County (Saturday, May 9); Anne Arundel County (Saturday, May 16); Baltimore City/Roland Park (Sunday, May 17) and Washington County (Saturday, May 30). The annual spring tours are a central component of MHGP’s efforts to cultivate awareness of Maryland’s rich architectural and cultural heritage. To date, the Pilgrimage has raised more than $1 million for the preservation and restoration of architecturally significant properties throughout the State of Maryland while entertaining and educating thousands of attendees.
“We eagerly look forward to beautiful spring days spent exploring the gardens and landmarks of Maryland,” said Meredith Boren, Chairman, Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage. “Since 1937, our group has dedicated itself to preserving and lauding our heritage and this year we have an extraordinary schedule of sites. Guests on the tours will get the chance to explore an Indian Village, a Plantation house on the Patuxent River, gorgeous Federal and Colonial style homes, and gardens featuring 100-year-old boxwoods, flowering trees, irises. There’s even a wagon ride! Not only that, but guests will also get to sample local fare, such as the brisket plate from Fax Maxine’s Barbecue in Anne Arundel County.”
Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage (MHGP), a nonprofit organization, is dedicated to the preservation and restoration of architecturally significant properties in the State of Maryland. The Pilgrimage has remained constant with this purpose since its formation in 1937. It is the only statewide house and garden tour organization and the oldest tour in the State of Maryland, raising and distributing well over $1 million dollars in its 78-year history to support preservation projects in each host community.