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Pilgrimage to showcase Charles County history

The final tour on the statewide Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage (MHGP) of historic homes and gardens takes place this Saturday (May 18) in Charles County. There are eight properties on display, many of them with fascinating War of 1812 history. Profits from this tour go to Historic Oldfields Chapel, Hughesville.

During the tour the Caleb W. Jones Skipjack will be docked in Benedict. One of only a handful of operating Skipjacks in the world, local historians will be on hand to discuss the life of watermen on the Bay and 1812 history. Another outstanding attraction is the Manor of Truman’s Place in Waldorf with its War of 1812 history. For a decription of the eight properties on the tour go to http://mhgp.org/?p=Charles-County-2013

A catered bus tour is a unique option offered by the Charles County Garden Club (www.charlescountygardenclub.org). Lunch ($15) will be offered at Oldfields Episcopal Church, Hughesville with advance reservations. The 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. tour is $30 in advance and $35 on the day of the tour with tickets available in each of the homes on tour. Tickets and information at www.mhgp.org or 410-821-6933.

The Skipjack boat restoration was underwritten by Michael Sullivan and the boat will be docked in Benedict, the site of the War of 1812 landing by British troops in 1814 on their way to Washington to burn the Capital and White House. The Manor of Truman’s Place boasts lovely stained glass windows. It is a late-Federal design, two and one-half story, gable-roofed brick house with a two-story kitchen-service wing. The original dwelling, built between 1759 and 1782, was of Flemish-bond brick construction.  There is a rear sunken garden with koi pond and gazebo.

The bus tour will pick up passengers in La Plata for a daylong visit to all eight stops on the tour. Advance reservations are needed for the $70 bus tour included the bus, tour tickets, lunch and snacks (www.charlescountygardenclub.org

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