Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Hampton Mansion - National Historic Site

On Sunday, the folks drove to Towson, MD to visit the Hampton Mansion which is a national historic site.  Admission is FREE.  The estate was owned by the Ridgely family for seven generations, from 1745 to 1948. The Hampton Mansion was the largest private home in America when it was completed in 1790 and today is considered to be one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in the U.S.
Hampton Mansion


A ranger gives visitors tours of the mansion. It is scheduled to last an hour, but the folks' tour lasted 1 hour and 20 minutes.  At one time, the estate had 25,000 acres.  There were also 350 enslaved people working here.  They use the word "enslaved" and not "slaves" on the tour.  The enslaved people were not just African Americans but also people from Europe who signed a contract to work for the "master" for a number of years.  The ranger said that all the enslaved people were mistreated and abused. 

It was a little confusing keeping track of all the "masters" as they were all the same family and some had the same names.  The curator decided to decorate one room for each "master" so that visitors could see what it would have looked like during the time period that he lived there.

The ranger said that the slipcovers were removed during the summer months as were the carpets and heavy curtains. They don't do it now because they don't have the staff.




A greyhound!  The ranger said she used to have a greyhound.  Well, you know that Mom had to chime in on that.  The whole tour agreed that greyhounds are good dogs.
The foyer.



The family dined on pineapple and oranges.  Very uncommon for this area.  They had a green house.

The blue color shows that they were a wealthy family.

This is their furniture not just period pieces.



This was the kitchen which was connected to the house.  Most kitchens were not connected to homes during that time due to fear of fire.

Very unusual according to ranger.  This was basically a modern day crock pot. The picture is looking down into the crock pot.

Oven

Original floor.  You can see how it is worn down by people walking on it.
Master bedroom.  We all decided that the baby crib would not have been there. The ranger said that she and the curator disagree on this.  The mother would not have been the one feeding the baby in the middle of the night not with all the enslaves they had. This family had 11 or 12 children.

Another bedroom

Women's riding coat is on the bed. 

Dad walking into the ice house.  Mom stayed above ground.

The mansion as seen from the Lower House and the slave quarters.

Slave quarters

The slave village was made to look nice so that the mansion owners had a nice view.

This is the Lower House.  The Master lived in this house while the mansion was being built.  The final owners of the mansion lived here because they could no longer afford the upkeep of the mansion.  The wife of the final master lived here until 1978.
 Tours of the Lower House are given, however, the ranger was not available when the folks were there.

Mule stable
 There are also gardens to explore as well as the cemetery.  The folks did not do that as they were hungry and wanted to eat lunch.

The folks ate lunch at the Rec Room in Towson.  It is a family-owned restaurant/bar.  They started their meal off with Rockfish Tenders.  Mom was surprised that Dad ordered fish as an appetizer, but it was good.

Rockfish Tenders

Their meals came with a salad.  Mom said it was really good.
 Mom ordered the Hungry Man.  Are you ready for this?  It is thinly shaved pit beef over waffle fries smothered with au jus mushroom gravy.

Hungry Man
 Dad ordered the Rasta Pasta. It is char-grilled jerk chicken with bowtie pasta, sundried tomatoes and a red onion in a light spiced jerk cream sauce.

Rasta Pasta
So, what did the folks think?  They loved it!  They ended up taking half their meals home and ate them for dinner.  Mom said they may be returning.

Joey,
The Greyhound Who Is Happy His Corn Was Removed This Morning
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