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Grand Finale of MD House & Garden Tours

May 08, 2012 04:22PM ● By Anonymous

The Grand Finale of the annual Maryland House & Garden Pilgrimage (MHGP) returns to the Ellicott City area on Saturday, May 19 and northern Anne Arundel County on Sunday, May 20. Tours are $30 in advance or $35 the day of the tour, and lunches will be available on both tours for an additional charge. Those on the Anne Arundel tour may choose to have lunch at the exclusive Gibson Island Club. In Howard County lunch will be served in the period Refectory Room of the Shrine of St. Anthony. Seven sites will be toured in Howard and eight in Anne Arundel County.

In Anne Arundel County one of the tours highlights is Whitehall located on Whitehall Bay with a view of the Chesapeake. It has never before been included on a MHGP tour. The elegant Palladian home of Provincial Governor Horatio Sharpe (1753-1768) was the first dwelling in America with a full-temple portico. After an extensive restoration in the 1950s the house was named a National Historic landmark.

The Ellicott City area of Howard County is a focus of this year’s tour. The town was founded in 1772 and today the entire Historic District is on the National Register of Historic Places. One of the most imposing homes on the tour is Waverly, the home of Maryland’s 25th governor. It is 75 feet long and constructed of stone. Visitors will appreciate the three large double chimneys and canopied doorway. Richland Farm, c1781, is an antique dealer’s dream with original furniture (discovered in the attic) that graces this eight-bedroom home.

This year’s tours celebrate a 75-year Maryland tradition, offering visitors the opportunity to explore some of Maryland's most fascinating and noteworthy properties. The 2012 tour included more than 50 private homes, gardens, farms, churches and historic sites across five Maryland jurisdictions. The tours to Baltimore City (Bolton Hill); St. Mary’s County and Talbot County have concluded. The weekend of May 19-20 will feature the Grand Finale of the tours in Howard and Anne Arundel Counties.

The annual spring tours are a central component of the MHGP’s efforts to cultivate awareness of Maryland’s rich architectural and cultural heritage, from historic to contemporary settings. Each year, proceeds from the tour support designated preservation projects in each host community. To date, the Pilgrimage has raised well over $1 million for the preservation and restoration of architecturally significant properties throughout the State of Maryland, while entertaining and informing many thousands of tour-goers.

“In this 75th year, we are proud to present so many unique and vastly different types of properties,” said Diane Savage, Chairman, MHGP. “guests will see the rarely open Whitehall Estate in Anne Arundel County, and an outstanding collection of 18th and 19th century sites in Howard County.”

To contact a county chair or for specific county tour details, please call Margaret Powell, MHGP Executive Director, at 410-821-6933. For more information, tour details and tickets, visit or call 410-821-6933, Monday - Thursday, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., or send an email to