Historic Habitats

By Sarah Hagerty


In Anne Arundel County, buildings steeped in history are always just around the corner... and open for our education and entertainment.


Photo by Geoffrey Hodgdon


The Paca House is a don’t-miss-experience in Annapolis. It was built in the 1760s for Paca, a signator of the Declaration of Independence and the third governor of Maryland. Remarkably, it has been lovingly restored, protected and preserved. Today it serves as a window to our past and often our future—it is one of the most desirable wedding locations in Maryland.

186 Prince George Street, Annapolis | 410.990.4543

Monday–Saturday, 10 AM to 5 PM
Sunday, 12 noon to 5 PM

$10 full guided house tour and self-guided garden tour.

(There’s also a guided tour of the house’s first floor and a self-guided garden tour for a fee of $8 and a self-guided garden tour for $5. Closed January, February and early March.)



Photo by Geoffrey Hodgdon

Photo by Geoffrey Hodgdon


The Brice House is the “newest” oldie but goodie on the Annapolis block. This “work in progress” is also providing a very special opportunity for all of us who love history—a look behind the scaffolding. The noble house (built by an Annapolis native son, former mayor, former governor and one of the largest land owners on the east coast) is being restored to its 18-century glory.

42 East Street, Annapolis | 410.267.7619

There are monthly tours scheduled during the summer (Saturday June 16th; Saturday July 21st, and Saturday August 18th). General admission is $18. Group tours can also be arranged.






Photo by Geoffrey Hodgdon

Photo by Geoffrey Hodgdon


Construction of the Chase-Lloyd House began in 1769 when Samuel Chase was only 25 years old. (Yes, another signer of the Declaration of Independence.) Chase ran out of money and sold the home to wealthy plantation owner Edward Lloyd IV (hence the hyphenation). The desire for independence and love of their new country didn’t stop our founding fathers from borrowing the beautiful and imposing Georgian design from the old country. It was one of the last of its kind to be built in Annapolis and, though it has been restored and updated many times, it has remained true to its original design.

22 Maryland Avenue, Annapolis | ChaseLloydHouse.org

Open Monday–Saturday 2 PM to 4 PM March through December (“Flat shoes please.” Always a good tip when exploring historical homes.)






The impressive home and gardens are perfectly situated on Spa Creek. (If you had all of Annapolis to choose from—as Charles Carroll did back then—you might have picked this spot as well.) Appropriately located behind St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Charles Carroll’s home is part of Maryland’s long Catholic history. When the first Charles Carroll (known as “the Settler”) died in 1720, he was considered the wealthiest and largest land owner in the state. The Carroll family continued to support this new land including an ancestor who signed the Declaration of Independence. The family motto, “Anywhere So Long as There Be Freedom,” speaks volumes.

107 Duke of Gloucester Street, Annapolis 410.269.1737 | CharlesCarrollHouse.org

Open weekends June through October from noon until 4 PM. Admission is free.






A bit off the beaten path, the simple farmhouse charm of the Benson-Hammond House is especially evocative of a time gone by. (A little surprising considering its incongruous smack-in-the-middle-of-BWI-acreage location.) The house is chock full of farm life artifacts, furniture, quilts and more. A real little charmer.

Ann Arundell County Historical Society (yes, that is how they spell it) continues to operate the house as the only remaining example of what was once a thriving business in North Anne Arundel County—truck farming.

7101 Aviation Boulevard, Linthicum Heights | 410.768.9518
410.760.9679 (Ann Arundell Historical Society) | aachs.org

Open Saturdays 11 AM to 3 PM and Sundays noon to 3 PM from March through December. However, their hours and days can change, so it’s always a good idea to call first.





Built in 1875, it is the last screw-pile lighthouse on the Bay in its original location. Delightfully, what may be the most iconic image of the Bay, is open to the public.

In the Chesapeake Bay at the mouth of the South River.

Tours of the inside are offered during the summer on Saturdays—June 9; July 7, 14, 28; August 4, & 18; September 1, 8 & 29 and October 6. Times: 9 AM and
12 noon. $80 per person.

Things you should know:

• Only 18 passengers per tour.

• Tour participants must be at least 12 years old and 48 inches tall.

• No flip-flops, Crocs, open-back shoes or high heels.

• The tour of the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse is adventure travel involving some physical exertion.





As modest as Paca House is grand, Hogshead served as a home for many billeted Revolutionary War recruits on their way to battles. It was fully restored in the 1960s and provides a look inside the life of our ancestral everyman.

43 Pinkney Street, Annapolis | 410.267.7619

Open weekends (Saturday and Sunday noon to 4 PM) late March to early December. Free admission, donations appreciated.



Photo by Geoffrey Hodgdon



This mansion is indeed a showplace. With its five-part plan and exquisite craftsmanship, it is one of the most significant examples of extant colonial architecture in the United States. William Buckland, the architect responsible for the Chase-Lloyd House, brought his genius and innovative styles to the Hammond-Harwood property as well.

19 Maryland Avenue, Annapolis | 410.263.4683

Open noon to 5 PM daily. Closed Tuesday. Tours on the hour, $10, $8 for AAA members and senior citizens.







London Town is a living history museum with gardens, out buildings, docent guides and the William Brown House, a national historic landmark, at its center. The house was built at the ferry landing on the South River by, appropriately, the ferry master William Brown. That South River location and the lush gardens have made London Town one of the areas most sought-after wedding and special event venues.

839 Londontown Road, Edgewater | 410.222.1919

Open April through November, Wednesday through Sunday 10 AM to 4:30 PM, closed Monday and Tuesday. Adult admission is $12 (there are discounts through AAA and senior discounts.) Kids admission varies according to age.


- Always double check hours of operation and fees prior to your visits. -