Included in Your Online Relocation Package for Anne Arundel County, Maryland - Home of Fort George G. Meade, NSA, Northrop Grumman, BWI, and the U.S. Naval Academy.
The Annapolis Visitor's Bureau describes Annapolis as "a place where history lives in a museum without walls." While this is true, history also lives within the walls of many homes outside Gate 1 of the U.S. Naval Academy. If you're relocating to Annapolis, these homes are just some of the historical treasures that will become your neighbors:
THE WILLIAM PACA HOUSE at 186 Prince George Street, one of the most elegant landmarks in Annapolis, is the restored home of William Paca, signer of the Declaration of Independence and Revolutionary-era Governor of Maryland. In 1965, the Historic Annapolis Foundation purchased this property from the Annapolis Hotel Corporation to save this landmark by rebuilding the 2-acre garden through extensive archaeological research and returning the house to its 18th-century appearance. It opened to the public in 1973.
Exhibits of antique furniture, silver and decorative arts highlight different aspects of everyday life in the 1760s and 1770s for William Paca, his wife, Mary, and other members of their household.
HAMMOND HARWOOD HOUSE, at 19 Maryland Avenue, is an elegant home from the Georgian period of the Golden Age of Annapolis's history, built for 25-year old Mathias Hammond, who had just inherited a lot of money. The American Revolution interfered with construction in 1776, and it's not know for sure when it was finished or if Hammond ever lived in the home. It is known that other prominent Annapolis families lived there including the Chase family, the Pinkneys, and the Harwoods. In the early 20th century, St. John's College owned the house, using it for classes and then as a fraternity house.
The Federated Garden Club of Maryland rented Hammond Harwood House from the college in 1938, and then bought it. It is now owned and managed by the Hammond-Harwood Association, which operates a museum showcasing a superb collection of decorative & fine arts, with special emphasis on Annapolis cabinetmaker John Shaw and paintings by Charles Wilson Peale and three other members of his family. Period rooms feature exquisite silver, china & furnishings of 18th and early 19th century. Visitors may visit the exhibition gallery and garden at no charge, and tours of the house are available,
GOVERNMENT HOUSE, on State Circle, has been the official residence of Maryland Governors for more than 125 years - since the Administration of Governor Oden Bowie. At that time, it was a Victorian mansion with a mansard roof. In 1935-36, the conversion of Government House to its present appearance took place and other renovations were done in 1947 and 1987.
Furnishing, paintings and other items in Government House include portraits by Charles Willson Peale, one of America's foremost portrait painters, and furnishings by Potthast, eminent Baltimore furniture makers of the 19th century. Beautiful pieces from around the nation and the world also decorate Government House, where visitors have included Mark Twain and Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.
This historic home at 107 Duke of Gloucester Street is a restoration project in progress. It bears great historical significance to the state of Maryland and America as the home of Charles Carroll the Settler, first Attorney General of Maryland, his son Charles Carroll of Annapolis, and his grandson Charles Carroll of Carrollton. In spite of persecution and restrictions for his faith, Charles Carroll of Carrollton secured his family's vision of personal, political and religious freedom when he became the only Catholic to sign the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
The Barracks at 43 Pinkney Street is typical of the small downtown homes leased to provide housing for soldiers before they deployed to battle during the Revolutionary War. There was very little food available to the soldiers and the homes were meagerly furnished; any furniture in the house at the time was probably burned to provide heat. The building is now owned by the state of Maryland and was restored as part of a Bicentennial Project grant. It is managed by the Historic Annapolis Foundation and now houses the offices of Preservation Services.
Other historic properties described by Historic Annapolis on their website include 77 Main Street, 99 Main Street, Waterfront Warehouse, and Shiplap House.
Randall House, an 1870 era house at 30 Randall Street built in the Victorian Italianate style, is currently a Bread & Breakfast operated by Jerry and Sandra Jenkins. The house is a "gem of old world elegance" with its original front porch, crown molding and doors. Other fabulous furnishings include a Schoenback crystal chandelier, handsome 1892 burl sideboard, walnut game table, and an Empire sofa from Sorrento.
For other historic homes that are now operated as a Bed & Breakfast, visit Historic Inns and Famous Homes of Annapolis.
Why just visit, when you could own and live in an historic home outside the gates of the Naval Academy? There are 27 homes on the market in Annapolis right now over 100 years old - one of them is 238 years old. They are priced from $179,900 for a home at 7 Ridout Street to a fixer-upper next to the Naval Academy and Saint Johns College, at 8 Maryland Avenue, that now houses 18 fire-damaged rental units - priced at $3,450,000. Twelve of these historic homes are over a million dollars, but the others are less, with several in the $400-500 thousands - about the cost of living in a nearby suburb. (Link takes you to all Annapolis homes for sale, not just the historic ones.)
If military relocation is bringing you to the U.S. Naval Academy or Annapolis Naval Station, be sure to visit the Annapolis Visitor's Bureau to learn about places to stay for your house-hunting trip. As they say, "you can sleep on a schooner, in an 18th-century historic inn, a charming bed and breakfast or a first-class hotel".
And visit the Maryland Office of Tourism to request a free travel kit including things to do, a map, and other information to make your visit enjoyable.