Toad Hall going under hammer Bushes were guests at Arundel estate

November 10, 1996|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

George and Martha Washington may not have slept there, but George and Barbara Bush were visitors at Toad Hall, an elegant 170-year-old, 7-acre waterfront estate near Annapolis to be sold to the highest bidder in an auction sale tomorrow.

Located on Arundel on the Bay Road on a peninsula between the South River and Chesapeake Bay, the 19-room country house includes a pool house in one of the wings, with a 25-meter heated indoor swimming pool and an adjacent entertainment area.

Other features include a climate-controlled wine cellar, gourmet kitchen, fenced paddock, playground and five garages.

Built in 1820, on land deeded in 1757 to the family of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, the house has been enlarged and remodeled over the years. It is said to have been named by a little girl who once lived there, drawing on the book "Wind in the Willows," because she so loved the massive weeping willow tree outside the window of her dormered bedroom.

Its most recent residents were candy heir and former U.S. Sen. William E. Brock and his wife, Sandy, an interior decorator who made substantial changes in the house. While the Brocks lived there, the Bushes were frequent guests, according to Marshall & Associates, a public relations agency representing the National Auction Group of Gadsden, Ala., which is to conduct the sale.

The Brocks sold Toad Hall to J. Duncan Smith, an officer in the family-run Sinclair Broadcast Group which includes television Channels 45 and 54 in Baltimore.

Smith's family did not take up residence, however, and he put Toad Hall back on the market.

The auction is scheduled for 4 p.m., with registration beginning at noon at the estate at 3188 Arundel on the Bay Road. It will be an absolute auction, with no minimum bid.

Bidders on Toad Hall must be prepared to pay 10 percent down on auction day, with closing in 30 days. They must have $100,000 in certified funds in order to register.

Pub Date: 11/10/96

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