Somerset County offers a pristine woodland vista near sandy beaches. The two Somerset County Museums house everything from the sublime to the incredible. Visit the Early Americana Museum at Rt. 667 and Old Westover Road in Hudsons Corner. Lawrence W. Burgess was a scavenger and started the museum in a converted poultry house. It contains everything from political buttons to oyster tongs. The Governor J. Millard Tawes Historical Museum in Crisfield's exhibits pertain to the late governor, the history and development of the Crisfield Seafood industry, local art and folk lore and Indian life. Cruise to picturesque Smith Island or Tangier Island. Listen to the Elizabethan dialect and view the watermen harvesting the bounty of the Bay.
At the head waters of the Manokin River in Somerset County is the town of Princess Anne. Charming and hospitable in the tradition of the Eastern Shore, its Washington Hotel hosted many distinguished men of Revolutionary times. The town was named in honor of the twenty four year old daughter of King George II. Located in a peaceful, sylvan area amid tall trees, it was at a narrow point in the river called the "wading place" where the land was well elevated that the founders chose to build. The town was created by an act of Maryland's General Assembly in 1733. It was conveniently suited for the purposes of a centrally located town in this serene county. The Somerset County Couthouse was built in 1904-05. Princess Anne is distinguished by many fine Federal style dwellings and mid-to-late 19th century Victorian houses. The William Geddes House circa 1755, is the oldest dwelling in Princess Anne at 11790 Church Street. The Charles Jones House, circa 1780, is one of the few 18th century homes. Princess Anne Days fills the town with tourists each October.
In Princess Anne stands the Teackle Mansion, an outstanding example of early 19th century architectural design, built between 1802 and 1818-19 by merchant and statesman Littleton Dennis Teackle (1777-1838) and his wife Elizabeth Upshur Teackel. In 1802, Littleton Teackle purchased nine acres of the Beckford Plantation, and probably began construction on his federal-style dwelling that same year. Only the center section and part of the adjacent hyphens were built during the 1802 phase of construction. With a Flemish bond brick facade and highly-ornamented center section, the house was quite an impressive landmark.
Despite Teakle's strong interest in architecture and travels to Scotland and England, a professional probably oversaw the design and construction of the building, at least in its initial phase. The detail and ornamentation of the mansion's temple front is of symmetrical arrangement both inside and out, and its elaborate ornamental plaster work all point to the hand of a professional architect. The mansion's most notable architectural features include three decorative plaster panels on the front facade, two interior mirrored windows, false doors and archways in the front hall and drawing room, an interior marble-laid bath and underground cisterns and a kitchen with a large fireplace and beehive oven. The estate also had a number of outbuildings, including two dwelling houses for servants, a dairy / wash house and a smokehouse.
Littleton Teackle had a diverse career as merchant, statesman and entrepreneur, and established the Bank of Somerest in 1813. He also served for many years in the Maryland House of Delegates. He died in Baltimore in 1838 after selling the mansion which is now owned by two local historical societies and is open Mon, Wed and Sun 1-4pm between April and December and in Winter Sun 1-4pm.
[Return to Historic Inns & Famous Homes of Maryland.]