In August of 2009, we found ourselves in Maryland and were able to catch a couple of games at Camden Yards, visit Fort McHenry, as well as tour the Maryland State Capitol. More formally known as the Maryland State House. Whatever they call it, I call it beautiful. Not only was the architecture of the Capitol beautiful, but the grounds were also amazing. We had a great time walking around and taking in its history.
Speaking of history, there is a lot of it in the Maryland State House. Actually, they are proud to say they have four centuries of history. The Old Treasury Building is also on the grounds. Built-in 1735 and is the oldest public building in Annapolis. Pretty impressive.
Apparently, they suggest you check out the archives room with brochures and exhibits. We only grabbed a flyer and made our way to the Rotunda. Built between 1772 and 1779, It is the center of the Maryland State House. Later the dome was added between 1785 and 1794. On an interesting note, the dome is the largest wooden dome in North America. It was built entirely without nails. How did they do that? lol
The highlight of the tour for me is always the House of Representatives and the Senate Chambers. This one was especially cool as the Senate Chambers features portraits of Maryland’s four signers of the Declaration of Independence. What I typically call the House of Representatives, in Maryland, is called the House of Delegates. They also had portraits of former speakers of the House, arranged in chronological order in this room.
Some of the other rooms you can check out are the Old Senate Chamber, Old House of Delegates, Senate Committee Room, Stairwell Room, and the State House Caucus Room. They were all interesting but we didn’t really have as much time as I would have liked. We were running late as usual and they were getting ready to close for the day. 🙁 I hope to get back one day and do some more exploring.
I couldn’t end this post without a few more fun facts about the Maryland State House. It was America’s first peacetime capitol. Today it is the oldest state house in America still in continuous legislative use. On March 28, 1772, Governor Robert Eden laid the first cornerstone. In 1960 it was declared a National Historic Landmark. It was the first statehouse in the nation to win such designation.
Another interesting fact about the Mary State House is that it was the capital of the United States from November 26, 1783, to August 13, 1784. It was in the Old Senate Chamber that Congress ratified the Treaty of Paris on January 14, 1784, formally ending the American Revolutionary War. Thought those were some very interesting facts that people may not have been aware of and wanted to share.
When visiting the Maryland State House you also have to take a stroll through the gardens. There are many memorials, statues, and plaques to read a learn even more about history. Here is a list of some of them:
- POW/MIA Memorial “The Freedom Tree”
- St. Mary’s City Cannon Memorial
- Women’s Rights Movement Memorial Tree
- USS Maryland Memorial & Bell
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Tree
- Memorial Plaque Honoring Matthew Henson
- Maryland’s First Eight Hundred Volunteers, US Navy 1917
- The Lithuanian Society
- Frederick Douglass Statue
- Harriet Tubman Statue
- Molly Ridout Statue
- George Washington Statue
- Thurgood Marshall Memorial
- Admiral Winfield Scott Schley
- Baron Johann DeKalb
- Charles Carroll of Carrollton
- John Hanson
- Original Senate Chamber of Maryland
- The American’s Creed
- Signers of the Declaration of Independence
- Thomas Johnson
- Restoration of Old State House
- Renovation to Senate Chamber
- National Historic Trust
- Site of Methodist Church
We had a great time touring the capitol and the grounds. Gene had an enjoyable time checking out the cannon on the grounds. It is called St. Mary’s City cannon and came from England by some of the first settlers in 1634. Originally mounted on the walls of the fort at old St. Mary’s City, it was later removed and presented to the state in 1840. Here is a link to their website with more information in case you are planning your own trip. Happy travels.
Maryland State House Visitor Information
9 am – 5 pm
NO tours at the moment due to the stupid Wuhan virus. I will update once it is open again. Sorry folks 🙁
From the North
Take I-95 S, I-695 S and I-97 S to MD-70 S/Rowe Blvd in Parole.
Take exit 24 from US-301 N/US-50 East
Continue on MD-70 S to Annapolis State House
Meter rates are $2.00 per hour for a maximum of two hours. Vehicles must be moved after two hours of parking. Re-feeding the meters is not permitted.
The City of Annapolis does not enforce parking on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Years Day.
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