House and gar­den pil­grim­age al­lows en­try into his­toric So. Md. dwellings

An­nual event high­lights his­tory and ar­chi­tec­ture

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By SARA NEW­MAN snew­man@somd­ Twit­ter: @in­dy_­com­mu­nity

Vis­i­tors will have the op­por­tu­nity to tour the home of a Con­fed­er­ate sup­porter who aided in the es­cape of Pres­i­dent Abra­ham Lin­coln’s as­sas­sin, John Wilkes Booth, among other lo­cal his­tor­i­cal prop­er­ties, dur­ing an an­nual tour de­signed to cel­e­brate the area’s ar­chi­tec­tural and cul­tural her­itage.

The Mary­land House and Gar­den Pil­grim­age (MHGP) will take place for five week­ends in April and May through­out five coun­ties in the state. The tour has been an an­nual state tra­di­tion since 1937 and will end this year with a grand fi­nale tour in Charles County on Satur­day, May 28.

The event is or­ga­nized by county gar­den clubs and for co-chairs Melissa Bolton Wil­lett, Re­becca Bolton Brid­gett and Michelle Bolton Con­nor, sis­ters and life­long Charles County res­i­dents, be­ing part of the Charles County Gar­den Club is a fam­ily tra­di­tion.

“I’ve al­ways been a part of them really,” Wil­lett, of La Plata, said in an in­ter­view.

Wil­lett said she first be­gan par­tic­i­pat­ing in the tours was when she was about 8-year­sold when she would help her mother. Through or­ga­niz­ing this year’s tour, she dis­cov­ered some un­ex­pected con­nec­tions to her grand­mother.

Of the eight prop­er­ties fea­tured on the tour, three of them pre­date the Revo­lu­tion­ary War: Burlean Hall, a three-part tele­scopic house built in the last 18th cen­tury; Tim­ber Neck, a Fed­er­al­ist style home built between 1780 and 1790 by Col. Be­laine Posey, both in Faulkner; and Chan­dler’s Hope, es­tab­lished by Job Chan­dler in 1639 and home of Leonard Neale, the first Arch­bishop or­dained in the United States, in La Plata.

Un­be­knownst to Wil­lett, the last time Burlean Hall was part of the tour was 1960, the year her grand­mother or­ga­nized the event.

“I was driv­ing around and thought about places that I al­ways wanted to see,” Wil­let said. “It’s so funny the way things have just fallen to­gether.”

The tour be­gins at the Charles County Mary­land Vet­er­ans Mu­seum in New­burg which will also be the re­cip­i­ent of all funds raised dur­ing the tour. Pro­ceeds will go towards en­larg­ing and en­hanc­ing ex­hibits about the Revo­lu­tion­ary War in prepa­ra­tion for events com­mem­o­rat­ing its 240th an­niver­sary. Also on the tour is Huck­le­berry House, the pri­mary res­i­dence of Thomas Jones, who as­sisted John Wilkes Booth and David Nel­son as they eluded cap­ture from the Army in 1865 af­ter Lin­coln’s as­sas­si­na­tion. Huck­le­berry House sits on the front of the Loy­ola Re­treat House grounds in Faulkner. The struc­ture is a Je­suit re­treat house that opened in 1958 and is also on the tour along with a ren­o­vated cen­tury old to­bacco barn used as the cen­ter­piece of St. Ini­goes Youth Camp at Loy­ola on the Po­tomac. Catered lunches will be served at the Loy­ola site for $10.

Rose­wood Manor, a 1930s French-style manor house built in 1997 in Port To­bacco, will also be on tour and will be the site where din­ner is served.

Ad­vance tick­ets are $30 per per­son and will be $35 the day of the event. Lunch tick­ets are $10 and din­ner tick­ets are $24.99. For gen­eral in­for­ma­tion, tour de­tails, tick­ets and meal reser­va­tions, go to www., call 410-821-6933, or email

Rose­wood Manor


Burlean Hall

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