Washington DC – Day Trip 2 – Charles County 2

Many people think that George Washington signed the Declaration of Independence. He did not. The men who did, and, yes, only men did as women were excluded from the nitty-grit of political life, were a special breed. However, most American colonists, landed gentry, free-men or just workers, still harbored genuine feelings for Great Britain, as their mother-country, and wrestled with the momentous decision to become independent.

They were far from hot-heads, and one of the most deliberate was Thomas Stone, the youngest signer from the state of Maryland, whose father had been appointed the state’s governor by Lord Baltimore.

Until 1936, the Stone family kept Thomas’ home. His mansion, Haberdeventure (Haber de venture – House of the Winds), which had stood over the centuries, gave us a glimpse of the family and their tobacco plantation — an American product which changed the world of commerce and fortunes for the economic viability of the fledgling United States.

On New Year’s 1977, the main part of the 200+ years old home burned to the foundation, due to a faulty furnace, unattended by volunteers due to the holiday. The original wings, chimney and foundation survived. But, a large part of a priceless piece of American history went with it. Now the property is part of the National Park Service and the Thomas Stone home has been lovingly”restored” on its original foundation and with the help of historians and curators.

Thomas Stone N.H.S. is one of only four parks in the National Park System that have homes of signers of the Declaration of Independence still standing. The others are: Adams NHP in Massachusetts, William Floyd estate on Fire Island, National Seashore, NY, and the Thomas Nelson House at Yorktown, VA. Other Signer’s homes are in private hands and may or may not be available for public viewing, if they have survived at all.

This Thomas Stone site is special, as it reflects a Southern Maryland tobacco plantation with a unique five-part colonial mansion, designed in the 1770s, as well as its 19th century farm buildings. The park has several trails and old trace roads (for walking and hiking) on its 322 acres, and you may even observe tobacco, which is fascinating to see being grown.

The National Park Service has considerable information on its site at Thomas Stone National Historic Site.
6655 Rose Hill Road • Port Tobacco, Maryland 20677

Charles County borders Washington, DC to the south-east. This is a quick journey into the Maryland country-side.

And, of course, the site is much older than the history of the Stone family as well as it being a chance to tell the history surrounding the times of the plantation — so expect to see more of the 2,000 years of history known about at Haben De Venture!

More day trips are in the Archive.

Washington, DC Travel – Archived Articles

©2011 mystic at Travel Vacation Review

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