- The Anne Arundel Colonial Tour is located along the western shores of the Chesapeake Bay.
- 40 miles (64 km)
- 1 hour
- No fees to drive the byway.
The Anne Arundel Colonial Tour travels along the western shores of the Chesapeake Bay, through old fishing towns and farmlands and into the quaint state capital of Annapolis. The central circle and radiating streets of the city have changed little since the town's planning stages in the late 1600s.
The Byway zig zags along the western shores of the Chesapeake beginning in Annapolis, following Routes 50, 2, 258, 259, 408, 214, 250 and terminating in London, Maryland.
The area has also retained its maritime flavor. All sorts of colorful pleasure boats are seen from the side streets leading to the waterway. And, its seafaring ways are further enhanced by the pride and joy of Annapolis, the Naval Academy.
The old Tulip Mansion sits quietly in the countryside - one of the many historical sites along the way. Early American burial grounds, some of the oldest in the state, are found en route, as well. The graveyard at St. James Church is one such hallowed ground with headstones dating back to 1665.
Points of Interest
Points of Interest Along The Way
Annapolis has a remarkable history that dates back to themid-seventeenth century. Founded in 1649 by a group of Virginia Puritans lured by religious tolerance as Anne Arundel Town. It became the capital city of Maryland in 1695, at which time it was renamed Annapolis, in honor of Princess Anne, heiress to the English throne.
Known as the sailing capital of America, byway enthusiasts are never far from water or boats in Annapolis. Take a guided tour of the City Harbor or board a sailing vessel to explore some of the Chesapeake.
By the 18th century, Annapolis was a lively cultural and social center for the mid-Atlantic area. All four Maryland signers of the Declaration of Independence had town homes in the city. Their residences have all been preserved and three of the homes are open to the public. Annapolis has many classic examples of 18th and early 19th century architecture to appreciate. St. Anne's and St. Mary's churches are some enjoyable illustrations of this style.
The Maryland State House is the oldest state capitol in the United States in continuous legislative use and is a National Historic Landmark. It served as the nation's first peacetime capitol building from November 1783 to August 1784. You can still see the original Old Senate Chamber where General George Washington resigned his commission and where Congress ratified the Treaty of Paris, officially recognizing the independence of the American colonies from Britain.
On the west side of the Chesapeake Bay
Captain Salem Avery House (MD)
The Captain Salem Avery House was built in 1860 on the banks of the West River in Shady Side, Maryland. Captain Avery, a Long Island fisherman, came to the area to make his living from the waters of the Chesapeake Bay.
In the 1920s, a group of families from Washington, D.C., purchased the property to use as a fishing lodge and for water-related recreation. This group added the large addition, which currently houses the great room and kitchen facilities. These families, their children, and their grandchildren enjoyed the property during the summers for sixty years
The Shady Side Rural Heritage Society, Inc., which was incorporated in 1985 as a non-profit historical and educational organization, purchased the 3/4-acre waterfront property in 1989. Since then, the Society has restored the original section of the building to its 1860 appearance for use as a waterman's museum. A boat shed was constructed in 1993, and in 1994 additional land was acquired to expand parking facilities and provide for future growth. In 1998, an extension was added to the building to provide space for a library and for the storage of archival materials.
MD 468 in Shady Side, MD
Historic London Town and Gardens is a 23-acre park located onthe South River in Edgewater, Maryland. The park is owned by AnneArundel County and managed by the London Town Foundation, anot-for-profit foundation. London Town has within its boundariespart of the late-seventeenth and early eighteenth-century town ofLondon, which is currently being excavated by archaeologists fromthe Lost Towns Project.
London Town also features the William Brown House, a NationalHistoric Landmark house museum; an eight-acre woodland garden; theRichard Hill Garden of native and imported medicinal plants; and amulti-purpose pavilion, which is rented for weddings, corporate andbusiness meetings, and other special occasions. The pavilion isalso used for lectures and cultural events.
Follow MD-2 to Mayo Road and turn left. Continue to London Town Road and turn left towards London Town.
Naval Academy (MD)
The Yard, as the campus is called, is now 338 acres and the Brigade of Midshipmen is 4000 strong. The byway enthusiast may want to take advantage of the guided tours leaving from the Visitor Center that has a wide variety of exhibits depicting a midshipman's life. Also on display here is "Freedom 7," America's first manned spacecraft. Alan Shepard, commander of "Freedom 7," was a Naval Academy graduate. An expansive gift shop with all types of souvenirs is also available.
The Chapel is a must visit. Often referred to as the 'Cathedral of the Navy,' this magnificent building, designed by noted New York architect, Ernest Flagg, was built in 1904. You can view stained glass windows designed by Tiffany studios of New York inside. Beneath the Chapel, is the crypt of John Paul Jones, the Revolutionary War hero who inspired his fellow countrymen with the noted phrase, "I have not yet begun to fight!"
Visit the Naval Academy Museum which houses an extensive maritime collection, including some of the nation's earliest battle flags and the table on which the agreement was signed for Japan's surrender at the end of World War II. Another exciting exhibit is the 1951 Gallery of Ships, a priceless collection of model ships that is considered one of the finest in the world.
In downtown Annapolis
Quaker Burying Ground (MD)
Many of the early settlers who came to Maryland after the enactment of the "Act of Toleration" of 1649 were Puritans. A number of these Puritan settlers later joined the Society of Friends, more commonly known as the Quakers. These colonists began settling parts of Anne Arundel County and eventually a land grant or "Certificate of Survey" was issued for 660 acres of land. The document distributed the land to John, Patience and Mary Brown, John Clark, his wife, Elizabeth, and their children, John and Ann Clark on October 28, 1652. The area was called Brownton, later becoming West River Landing, then Galloways, and finally Galesville in honor of Richard Gale, a prominent Quaker planter.
In the spring of 1672, local Quakers held the first West River Quaker Meeting, which represented the birth of The Society of Friends in Maryland. It was also the second such meeting in Maryland and the third meeting established in the world. The great numbers of Quakers, who came to the large Yearly or General Meetings of the West River Friends, lived in tents or hurriedly-built shelters. The adjoining creek, originally "Brown's", became known as "Tenthouse Creek", the name it bears today.
In 1684, the West River Landing, a focal point of shipping and travel in the area, was officially designated a port of entry for checking imports and exports, along with Town Point at Herring Bay, Londontown, on the South River and "Newtown", now Annapolis, on the Severn. The town continued to be the main port on the West River for both shipping and travel up to and through the steamboat era. In colonial times the landing probably consisted of a wharf together with a warehouse or two and possibly a store or blacksmith shop.
Intersection of MD 255 and MD 468
St. James' Church (MD)
In 1692, St. James Parish, Old Herring Creeke, was officially established when the Maryland Assembly, acting on the orders of Sir Lionel Copely, Royal Governor of Maryland, enacted the Act of Establishment. That Act divided the Province of Maryland into 30 Anglican Parishes.
In 1695, the vestry ordered a church built on the present site. The Rev. Henry Hall was called as the first rector, and remained at St. James until his death in 1722.
When the old church became inadequate for the needs of the parish in 1763, the vestry ordered that a new church be built. It was completed in 1765, and continues to serve the congregation today. St. James Parish opened the first parochial lending library of the American parishes of the Church of England in 1698. In 1792, the seventh rector of St. James, the Rev. Dr. Thomas John Claggett, resigned to become the first bishop of Maryland. He was the first Episcopal bishop to be consecrated on American soil.
MD 258 west across MD 2