The Good Old Days? Women's Daily Lives Historic Sites In The Washington, DC Area

Historic Homes in Maryland:

1) Darnall's Chance House Museum


Location: 14800 Governor Oden Bowie Dr , Upper Marlboro, MD
Open: Tours by Appointment, Tues. - Thurs: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Walk-in Tours : Fri: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sun: noon – 4 p.m. Call 301-952-8010 to schedule a tour.
Admission: Adults $3, Seniors $2, Children ages 18 and under $1
For more information, visit: http://www.pgparks.com/index.html

Darnall's Chance House Museum focuses on showing visitors what life was like for the former female inhabitants, particularly it's first, Lettice Wardrop Thomson Sim, who lived there from the 1740s to the 1770s. The Wardrops managed a large residential complex that included their brick house, outbuildings, orchards, livestock and an ornamental garden. Their household included 32 slaves, ranging from house servants to skilled craftsmakers to field hands. Curators try to accurately reflect the African-American community that existed at Darnall's Chance House. Museum tours highlight the similarities and differences between the Lettice Wardrop's life and the lives of other 18th century women, from the upper to middle to enslaved classes. In addition, visitors can enjoy various special events and programs throughout the year that reflect the history and culture of 18 th century Prince George 's County.

2) Montpelier Mansion


Location: Route 197 and Muirkirk Rd. , Laurel , MD
Open: March-Nov: Sun. - Thurs: noon – 3 p.m., Dec-Feb: Sun: 1 – 3 p.m. (Weekday tours for larger groups by appointment). Tours are given on the hour
Admission: Adults $3, Seniors/groups $2, Children (ages 5-18) $1, Children under 5 are free
For more information, visit: http://www.pgparks.com

Built in 1781 by Ann Ridgely and Thomas Snowden, prominent members in their community, Montpelier has been restored to reflect the family life of their son Nicholas Snowden in the early 19 th century. Seventy acres and the house itself remain of what once was a plantation with land holdings of approximately 9,000 acres, an array of outbuildings, including various tobacco barns, stables, slave quarters, and orchards. Although limited documentation is available from that time, it is certain that enslaved Africans and indentured servants provided the labor for the family as field hands and skilled craftsmen at the plantation and at the Patuxent and Muirkirk Ironworks.

In addition to guided tours to learn about the inhabitants of the plantation and the challenges they faced, visitors can also enjoy the periodic concerts, festivals, re-enactments, exhibits, lectures, and seminars put on by the staff and volunteers.

3) Surratt House Museum


Location: 9118 Brandywine Rd , Clinton , MD
Open: January – mid-December: Thus. - Fri: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Sat-Sun: noon – 4 p.m.
Admission: Adults $3, Seniors/groups $2, Children (ages 5-18) $1, Children under 5 are free
For more information, visit: http://www.surratt.org

Built in 1852 for a middle-class couple Mary and John Surratt and their three children, the Surratt House quickly became a community gathering point by serving as a tavern and hostelry, a post office, and polling place during the decade before the Civil War. During the war, it was a safehouse for the Confederate underground. Restored in 1976 by The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission to reflect the period of 1852-1860, the museum presents visitors with a variety of programs and events, recapturing the history of mid-19th century life. United States government after being found guilty of conspiring with John Wilkes Booth to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln.