What is London Town?

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By John Cowgill

Welcome to Historic London Town and Gardens in Edgewater, Maryland.  What is London Town?  It was a town that was erected on the South River a few miles inland from the Chesapeake Bay.  It was a merchant town and a place where people traveling between Williamsburg and Philadelphia would ferry across the river and would stop for a meal or a night’s sleep at what is now the William Brown House.  It was once a thriving town that died off through time.  The town was forgotten.

The only evidence of the town’s existence was the William Brown House, which also was known as the Almshouse.  From the 1830s to the mid-1860s, it was used as a home for people who had no place to live; some lived here for an extended period.  Among them were elderly, those with mental illnesses and those who could not own a home.  Archaeologists have worked on the site through the years to learn more about the history of the town.  A successful effort was made to preserve the site, and visitors can see a place resurrected for generations to come.

Today, Historic London Town and Gardens consists of the Visitor Center with a gift shop and a museum that depicts the history of the land which London Town occupies, a garden and a village consisting of Lord Mayor’s Tenement, a carpenter shop and the William Brown House.  It is open year-round, although hours may vary at different times of the year.  They also host various living history events depicting the various time periods of London Town.  Tours of the grounds are self-guided with occasional tours of the William Brown House.  If you are ever in the Annapolis area and want to get away from the crowded downtown area, this site is much less crowded.

Historic London Town and Gardens is in Edgewater, Maryland at 839 Londontown Road.  There is parking on site a short from the Visitor Center.  You can get directions and learn more about the events at historiclondontown.org.

John Cowgill (johnbcowgill1@gmail.com) loves to visit historic places to include lesser known sites.  He loves taking road trips, and he loves railroads.  You can also follow him on Facebook at John Cowgill: Photographic Journeys.

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