“Carroll Mansions Bus Tour”

Carroll County Times Article for 9 April 1995

By Jay A. Graybeal

The Historical Society frequently receives inquiries from out-of-state residents for information about Charles Carroll of Carrollton, for whom our county was named. The researchers are often surprised to learn that Carroll never lived in the county that bears his name. If you would like to learn more about the life of Carroll and his family you may want to come along on the Society’s spring bus tour to the Carroll mansions of Annapolis and Baltimore.

The tour will be held on Thursday, May 4th and will depart at 8:30 a. m. from the Ascension Church parking lot in Westminster. Our first stop will be the Charles Carroll House in Annapolis. The property was home to three generations of Carrolls, including its most famous resident, Charles Carroll of Carrollton (1737-1832). Carroll was the only Roman Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence, one the wealthiest men in America and the last of the Signers to die. The Carroll House is the only surviving birthplace of a Maryland signer and only one of fifteen such birthplaces nationwide. A highlight of our tour will be an “18th-century Sampler,” an authentic colonial meal at the Carroll Mansion. The menu will include a relish dish of pickled onions, dilly beans and pickled beets, a main course of smoked turkey on carrot bread, cured ham with biscuit, tansey pie (crustless quiche), sallett (wild greens from the garden lot), spiced tea and a lemon tart or queen’s cakes for dessert.

Our second stop will be the Carroll Mansion in Baltimore, the winter home of Charles Carroll of Carrollton from 1820 until his death in 1832. The tour will include an exhibit, “A Maryland Patriot At Home” which shows how Carroll managed his estate in his first floor office and entertained his friends in the richly furnished second floor dining room and parlors. We will also tour the beautifully appointed third floor bedchambers and dressing rooms. The lavish decor illustrates the elegant lifestyle of wealthy Baltimore families in the early 19th century.

Our final stop will be Homewood, the 1801 home of Charles Carroll, Jr., the son of Charles Carroll of Carrollton. The younger Carroll spared no expense on the construction of his home, since it was a wedding present from his wealthy father. The beautifully proportioned interior exemplifies the Federal restraint and classical inspiration. The superb interior architectural ornamentation is all original. The Museum also exhibits an outstanding collection of 18th- and early 19th-century furnishings and decorations, including some once owned by the Carrolls.

The tour will return to the Ascension Church parking lot at 5:30 p. m. The tour price is $50 for members and $55 for non-members of the Historical Society; the fee include all transportation, lunch and admission costs. Please call the Society (410) 848-6494 to make you reservations or for more information. Seating is limited and reservations must be received by April 21st.

Photo Caption: Charles Carroll of Carrollton (1737-1832) by Michael Laty after a portrait by Robert Field. The Historical Society will sponsor a bus tour to two of his homes in Annapolis an Baltimore and to his son’s Baltimore mansion on May 4th. Photograph courtesy of the Maryland Historical Society.