`Friends' are reclaiming former farm for history

Neighbors

January 29, 1999|By Peg Adamarczyk | Peg Adamarczyk,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

AS A 20-YEAR resident of Pasadena and a visitor for years before that, I thought I had learned a lot about the area.

I knew about the historical sites: the Indian canals in Pinehurst, the remnants of the old Thom estate at Downs Park and the ancient landmark rock off Ritchie Highway. But Hancock's Resolution was not something that readily came to mind when I talked about Pasadena's history.

Many longtime residents were vaguely familiar with the old, overgrown property off Bayside Beach Road. You couldn't see much, just the roof of an old stone house and an outbuilding.

The original parcel first shows up in land records in the 1660s. Stephen Hancock Jr. erected a stone farmhouse with a log kitchen, a stone milk house, a smokehouse and a log corn house in 1785.

When Harry Hancock, the last Hancock to own the land, died in 1962, the house was willed to the Historic Annapolis Foundation, which kept tabs on the property but never did anything with it.

In 1989, the foundation gave a 25-year lease for the property to the county, which planned to restore it, but energy for the project faded when funds dried up.

Two years ago, nearby residents formed the Friends of Hancock's Resolution to raise money and stir up interest.

The group has been researching the property's past and making plans to restore the farm and its buildings. Jim Morrison, the group's president, said members hope that one day the farm can be a living classroom.

As a part of the celebration of the county's 350th birthday, the organization is getting the site ready to open to the public from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays from March 21 through Oct. 31.

Over the next few weeks, the group will be sprucing up the place and could use some help.

Morrison has recruited Charles and James Calvert, who have been in Bayside Beach since their boyhoods in the early part of this century, to build a fence on the property with the help of a local Boy Scout troop on Feb. 6.

"We will be using new material to construct the fence, but the lumber, all hand-cut split-rail fencing, will be historically accurate," Morrison said.

There's more work to be done.

If you are interested in helping, the Friends of Hancock's Resolution would like to hear from you. The group needs docents for the Sunday open houses, researchers, fund-raisers and workers to help with clearing brush and the like. For details, call Trixi Nordberg, 410-360-3913.

Another Super Bowl game

To get you warmed up for the Super Bowl, the auxiliary of the Lake Shore Volunteer Fire Company is sponsoring Super Bowl Sunday dinner bingo at the fire hall on Mountain Road near Lake Shore Drive.

Doors open at noon, lunch is served at 1 p.m., and the games begin afterward.

The cost for the package, including 12 bingo cards, two books of specials, a jackpot and dinner is $20.

Door prizes will be awarded.

Information: 410-768-0423.

School open house Tuesday

Gibson Island Country School will have an open house from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday for its pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade classes.

Visitors can tour the classrooms, talk with parents and administrators about the school and its curriculum and observe classes.

The school, at 5191 Mountain Road near the Gibson Island gatehouse, is accredited by the Association of Independent Maryland Schools and offers a curriculum that includes science, French, computer classes, art and music.

Applications for 1999-2000 school year are being accepted. Information: 410-255-5370.

Pub Date: 1/29/99

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