Thomas Stone National Historic Site
6655 Rose Hill Road, Port Tobacco, MD, USA
www.nps.gov/thst/index.htm - (301) 392-1776
Thomas Stone National Historic Site Port Tobacco Reviews
The Home of a Quiet Revolutionary Jun 03, 2012
The Thomas Stone National Historic Site preserves the Maryland plantation home of Thomas Stone (1743-1787), one of the 36 signers of the Declaration of Independence. He was one of four signers from Maryland, but had at first opposed a break with England, supporting the various tax acts until 1775.
Stone had trained as a lawyer and practiced in Frederick , Maryland, until he returned to Charles County following the death of his father. He began building his home, Haberdeventure, on family land near Port Tobacco in 1771. As its name implies, Port Tobacco was an important port on the Potomac River used for shipping of Maryland tobacco. (The town is still there.) But, by 1771, tobacco had worn out the land and was no longer the important cash crop it once had been. Thomas Stone had a farm operated by some 30 slaves growing wheat and grains instead.
Today, the Haberdeventure house is the centerpiece of the Thomas Stone National Historic Site. It is open via Park Ranger led tours. The house is in an unusual semicircular layout, with the two-story main house and two attached dependencies. The dependencies jut out at an angle rather than in a straight line from the main house. I would not describe the main house as Georgian, but the brick structure does pay attention to symmetry and the front elevation mirrors the rear. The north dependency was once the kitchen, It contains displays about Thomas Stone and Haberdeventure, including the most interesting display of all. This is one of 30 surviving copies of the 1818 facsimile of the Declaration of Independence engraved by Benjamin Owen Tyler. "Thos. Stone" can clearly be seen below John Hancock. It was in the possession of a Stone family descendant who gave it to the National Park Service.
The main house has two rooms downstairs and a central hallway. (The upstairs is closed.) One is decorated as a bedroom and the other as the East Room, a sitting room or parlor. The original Colonial era wooden wall paneling was given to the Baltimore Museum of Art in the 1920s. But, reproduction paneling based on the original pattern and color is present in the East Room today. The south dependency was the first structure on the property and was Stone's law office.
The Stone family cemetery is nearby and on the trail between the house and the visitor center.
The house and farm were privately owned until 1977. The National Park Service performed further restoration and opened the site in 1997. It's very interesting to visit and is extremely well maintained. A real hidden gem in the greater Washington area. It's located about 30 miles south of Washington, DC, off US Highway 301.
There is no admission charge. Interior photography is permitted.
Part of the Around the Chesapeake travel blog
Part of the list Historic Houses
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