The Hammond-Harwood House has not always been as protected from acquisition, development, or renovation as it is today. When the last private owner Hester Harwood died in the 1920s, Henry Ford apparently thought about purchasing the house and moving it to Michigan to be included in his village of exemplary historic homes from across the country. That disaster was averted by the intervention of St. John’s College, which purchased the house and used it as a decorative arts study center. At least, they did until the Depression hit and they no longer had the resources to maintain it. The House was shuttered until the ladies of the Federated Garden Clubs rented it and began giving tours. But St. John’s wanted to sell the House, and it was uncertain whether it would remain open to the public, or even remain in Annapolis at all. Supposedly Henry Ford may have still been interested…Luckily, a group of concerned citizens from Annapolis and Baltimore banded together, formed the Hammond-Harwood House Association, and saved the House for posterity. I love stories with happy endings, especially when they eventually end with me getting to tell all of you more about the history of the Hammond-Harwood House.