Queen Anne's County
Maryland's history actually began on the Isle of Kent in 1631, when William Claiborne landed about two miles northeast of Kent Point and contracted with the natives there for their rights to possess the land for the Crown of England. This commenced the first English settlement in Maryland and one of the first in the nation, predated only by James town, Plymouth Rock and the Massachusetts Colony. Unfortunately, the exact location of Claiborne's settlement has not been found. However, records show that Claiborne built a fort named Crayford, which lies between the present Chesapeake Estates and Kentmorr, so named from Crayford Parish, Kent, England where he was born.
The 1631 settlement began as a trading post with rights from Governor Yeardley of Virginia in about 1625 for Claiborne to "trade and truck with the Indians" and from King Charles I on May 16, 1631, who issued him a license to trade in the Chesapeake. He had been in charge of the plantation for three years when the Ark and Dove arrived at St. Mary's City and for more than a year before Cecil Calvert received his charter to the Province of Maryland. Yet, Cecil Calvert instructed his brother, Leonard, to arrest Claiborne if he did not submit "unto his Lordships patent."
Years of bloodshed and turmoil, including hangings, ensued. After Lord Baltimore took control, some of Claiborne's men stayed on under the rule of St. Mary's. Claiborne had left the island for England, but he later took a strong role in the leadership of the Virginia Colony and appealed to the crown for reimbursement of his lands. His petition was ignored.
Kent Island is a part of Queen Anne's County, famous for the Wye Oak, one of the oldest in the country and for the Old Wye Grist Mill, in operation since the 1670s. Ground cornmeal from this mill was purchased by Robert Morris, financier of the American Revolution, to be used as provisions for George Washington's army at Valley Forge in 1778. Open Sat and Sun 10am to 4pm from March - December. Call 410-822-7922.
The Wildfowl Discovery Center and adjacent captive wildfowl collection in Grasonville, surrounded by more than 300 acres of natural beauty, holds workshops, guided walks, a wetland festival and lectures. One-half mile from Rt. 18 off Perry Corner Road on the way to Prospect Bay Road. Open 9am to 5pm Wed-Sun and closed on major holidays. 410-827-6694.
Some great places to eat in Queen Ann's County:
Harris Crab House and Seafood Restaurant
Fisherman's Inn and Crab Deck
Bloomingdale Place, a colonial Georgian manor dating to 1792, has a columned pediment on both storeys divided by a terrace on the top storey. From the entrance, a long hall leads to a spacious living room on the left and dining room on the right. The owners now open the house for parties, weddings and reunions with inside or outside catering. This is not a bed and breakfast. Bloomingdale was patented by Captain Robert Morris, under the name of Mt. Hill in 1665. It was acquired by John Seth, who willed it to his son, Charles, who became owner of the entire grant. Later, Thomas Seth acquired the property and sold it to Dr. Edward Harris. He willed it to his daughters, who rechristened the lovely manor house, Bloomingdale. In 1879, Mrs.DeCoursey was being entertained by Sallie Harris, one of the doctor's daughters, when they saw a wraith-like spirit ascend the stairway toward the bedroom that Sallie's nephew, William Sterrett, had occupied when he lived in the house before he had drowned in the old mill. The spirit entered the bedroom much to the dismay of the shocked women. When Sallie Harris summoned the courage to enter the bedroom, the spirit was no longer there, but the bed clothes were rumpled.
Brittland Manor is a bastion of old world luxury. Built in 1938, it rises over 530 acres down to the Chester River. Captain William Hemsley, one of the most distinguished Colonial officials of his day in Talbot Couty arrived in Maryland in the year 1658. He received large patents of land including Chesterfields, 900 acres, Cloverfields, 770 acres and Hemsley's Britland, 500 acres. He was commissioned by Lord Baltimore's Council as Sheriff of Talbot County in 1663, which included the present Queens Anne's County. The estate passed down through his heirs and was sold to a German family after 1938. They furnished it in impeccable taste with beautiful English antiques.
When you drive up the curving lane, you are surrounded by fields, woodlands, a pond and wildlife, leading to a circular drive in front of this Georgian- style mansion. The spacious lawns and surrounding meadowlands are made for grand receptions and retreats.The palatial interior offers many rooms of fine design components. Shimmering chandeliers, glowing original floors and exquisite antiques assure you that your stay will be memorable. A russet loveseat in the hallway matches the chair seats and window treatments in the distinguished dining room where Original English dental moldings and builtin shell cupboards add special enhancements. A butler's pantry leads into a stream-lined modern kitchen, while a sunroom in cheerful yellows and greens features tall windows with splendid views, light furnishings and a wet bar. A more formal living room in moss green with floral accents gives out through French doors on lawns down to a classic pool.
Up a magnificent, curving staircase are eleven bedrooms, three with king beds, six with queen beds and two with twin beds. The master bedroom walls are lined with silken wallpaper in mottled hues and accented by a gold framed mirror, while the wife's room is graced by a canopied bed with Rosette gathered silk top. The master' study in beige tones with burgundy leather has handsome accessories. The regal staircase and grand hall make this mansion a preferred venue for weddings and corporate events.
INNKEEPER: Natalie Turner. ADDRESS: 800 High Street, Chestertown, MD 21620. PHONE 410 810-7591. ROOMS 11 bedrooms/sleeps 22. BATHS: 8.5. Linens provided, kitchen with stainless appliances, butler's kitchen, laundry room with front load washer/dryer, sunroom, dining room, living room, grand foyer, library. Irons hairdryers, AC exercise equipment, basketball, pool and gardens. NEARBY: hunting, fishing, drive to Chestertown shops restaurants, galleries.
Brittland Manor Web Site
The Kent Manor Inn - Queen Annes CoThe Kent Manor Inn
Historic Kent Manor Inn on Kent Island just over the Bay Bridge is at the end of Kent Manor Drive off of Route 8 just off Route 50. Gateway to the Eastern Shore. It is one of the most spectacular historic attractions in Maryland. Rising magestically one mile from historic Stevensville, it is near the site of Maryland's first settlement on Kent Point in 1631.
In the gracious antebellum mansion, built c. 1820, one may step back to a time of quiet country elegance. Romantic touches, such as a cupola with love notes on the walls take one back to the times of Scarlet O'Hara. From the rooftop cupola you can look down over the inn's lush 222 acre fields to the water beyond. From the glass observatory, you can look down over lush fields to the water beyond, viewing a treasure land of deer and waterfowl. Several dining and banquet rooms are graced with English and Chinoisere, Oriental carpets and lamps as well as damask linens and lace. At the hallway's end is a glass enclosed veranda, looking out on a Garden House, which is perfect for weddings as well as meetings, yoga and retreats.
The beautiful site was part of the tract called Smithfield, which comprised "The Courthouse now Wetherell", granted to Thomas Wetherell in 1651. It passed through several owners and the Bright family opened the house in 1898 as a summer hotel called Brighsworth Inn. Later, it was a hotel called Kent Hall, when Kent Island was only accessible by ferry, which ran from Baltimore to nearby Love Point on Kent Island.
Travelers will enjoy a comfortable room or suite, decorated with attention to the details of an historic country manor inn. The inn features 24 guest rooms with private baths and fireplaces. Your stay includes a complimentary deluxe continental breakfast. Whether you visit for pleasure or a conference, your time will afford lasting, sumptuous memories.
INNKEEPER: Thad Hoy CHEF: William Lackey. ADDRESS: 500 Kent Manor Dr. Kent Island, Stevensville, MD. 21666. PHONE 410 643-5757. reservations@ kentmanor.com. ROOMS: 24 with private baths and fireplaces. CHILDREN: yes. MEALS: full breakfasts, lunches and dinners in four Victorian dining rooms with fireplaces, an enclosed porch or outdoor deck. NEARBY: Hunting, fishing, golf, boating, shops and restaurants. Complimentary kayaks and bicycles as well as a variety of lawn games.
Kent Manor Inn Website
Pintail Point Manor House Queen Annes County
Pintail Point Manor House
Built in 1936, the gracious English Tudor-style home, called the Manor House at luxurious Pintail Point offers its guests breathtaking water views in a relaxing atmosphere. The original owner is said to have been a Portugese prince. Little is known about the family, save that it was built for them when they migrated from Hawaii.
Pintail Point, itself, is comprised of approximately one thousand acres including a sporting clays facility, a working dairy farm, recreational hunting and fishing tracts and two bed & breakfasts. Currently owned by Lou Schaefer, owner of Schaefer and Stromenger auto dealerships, the Manor House is in its 5th family of owners. He purchased it in the late 70's to serve as a summer home for his family, then converted it to a bed and breakfast in 1999.
A cottage on the property offers a double bed, a full hot breakfast and full use of Manor House and guest pantry with sodas, water, beer and wine. Each room in the house offers the same facilities. The Chesapeake Suite has a queen bed and two twins in a separate bedroom for families or hunters, while the Master Suite has a king bed and double futon in its sitting room and the Skipjack Room has one Queen bed. All afford the guests with comfortable private baths. Parties may rent the house exclusively by calling Pintail Point. Private catered parties are also welcomed.
The Manor House has undergone interior design changes over the years, moving it to a more subdued 17th century style. The artwork signed "Dixon" was commissioned by Mr. Schaefer in the late 1970's, when Jim Dixon lived in the house and modeled his work from the surroundings of Pintail Point. American Indian artwork may be found in the den, living room and game room. The Schaefer collection of milkglass from the Chrysler estate is in the dining room china closet, and Franklin Porcelain is displayed through- out the house. The standing blue and white plates in the china closet are artifacts recovered from the British ship "Adgillus", lost at sea on October 20, 1874.
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