It’s officially the Christmas season! Actually, if you believe the major retailers, the Christmas season started immediately after Halloween. But anyway, next week we will be decorating Hammond-Harwood House for Christmas. Lovely volunteers from local garden clubs will transform the House into a veritable holiday wonderland. This photograph is from a past year, but this year’s scenes will be a little different because…we’re going Victorian! That’s right, the House with the most beautiful Colonial doorway in America is fast forwarding a hundred years from its construction, to an era replete with ribbons, beads, and even Christmas trees. Your first chance to see the decorations yourself will be at the Preview Party on December 2, and we will be open for holiday house tours from December 3 through January 1. For more information, visit our website.
Monthly Archives: November 2011
This house doesn’t look like it has much in common with the house I posted last week – it’s certainly smaller, and is located in the heart of downtown Annapolis rather than on a spacious estate. But like Doughoregan Manor, the Sands House is still occupied by a descendant of the family who lived there in the 18th century. Ann Jensen lives in and gives tours of the home, and I highly recommend it. The Sands family never threw anything anyway, so there is an amazing assortment of items from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. More information can be found here.
Like most wealthy gentlemen of his day, Charles Carroll of Carrollton owned multiple houses, including one in Annapolis. But the one that he preferred was Doughoregan Manor, the home believed to have been built by his father Charles Carroll II around 1727. It started as a one-and-a-half story brick house with a gambrel roof and two sizable outbuildings, a kitchen and a family chapel. Charles Carroll V enlarged it in the 1830s, giving it the Greek Revival appearance it maintains today. The house and the estate surrounding it are still owned and occupied by members of the Carroll family. Supposedly a Carroll family member observed that, “only God, the Indians and the Carrolls have owned this land.”
The Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C. currently has an exhibit called Something of Splendor: Decorative Arts from the White House. It is in honor of the 50th anniversary of the White House Historical Association, which was created in 1961 to “to research and publish books and educational materials interpreting the White House and its history.” More information about the exhibit, and a slideshow featuring some of the objects included in it, can be found here. There are some impressive items in the show, but this unassuming box is my favorite. The box itself was made in China around 1811, and the wallpaper lining it is French, produced around the same time by Jacquemart et Bénard in Paris. These are the only known fragments of wallpaper to have survived the burning of the White House in 1814. Pretty impressive bits of paper aren’t they?
Last week’s Pumpkin Walk at the Hammond-Harwood House was a rousing success! I had a great time oohing and aahing over small children in adorable costumes and the kids had fun eating donuts, listening to spooky tales from the witch, and marching down Maryland Avenue. Links to video and photos from the event are on our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/HammondHarwood