London Town Foundation

BEHIND THE SCENES

February 07, 1999|By Karin Remesch

Mission: To serve as steward of Historic London Town and Gardens and to research, explore and teach tidewater history through the story of the lost towns of Anne Arundel County. The foundation is committed to preserving its historic, archaeological and horticultural resources and to contributing to the fields of history, archaeology, preservation, architectural history and horticulture. Historic London Town and Gardens, a 23-acre park on the South River, is owned by Anne Arundel County and managed and interpreted by the nonprofit London Town Foundation. London Town thrived from the late 1600s to the mid-1700s as a tobacco inspection station and a stop for travelers using the ferry across the South River. A Georgian mansion built in 1760 by cabinetmaker and ferry operator William Brown is the only building that remains from the town.

Latest accomplishment: Producing an original play, Jim Gibb's "Ghosts From the Past," to sold-out audiences on three nights in late October. Record-breaking crowds attended the 29th annual Heritage Antiques Show Jan. 22-24. And being selected for inclusion as one of 18 sites in Anne Arundel County's 350th anniversary Passport of History.

On the horizon: More performing arts productions, including John Gray's "The Beggar's Opera," July 8-11. Site work is scheduled to begin this year, and construction will begin in about 18 months, for a new Visitor's Center and Archaeology Museum. And starting April 24, the public is invited to participate in monthly dig days, working alongside archaeologists, excavating the late-17th-century town of London.

About Historic London Town and Gardens: Attendance: 22,000 annually. Operating budget: $645,000. Endowment: $60,000.

Where and when: 839 Londontown Road, Edgewater. Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, except major holidays. January and February, gardens open, house tours by appointment only. Call 410-222-1919.

Melissa Marsh Heaver, president of the board of directors: "London Town is fortunate to have an outstanding public/private partnership with Anne Arundel County to broaden the site's educational and interpretive activities. Through the county Board of Education Goals 2000 program and the plan to adaptively reuse a 1960s-era structure on the site as a visitor's center and archaeology learning facility, London Town is poised to serve as a major player in the state's heritage corridor strategy."

Members of the board

Malcolm Foster

Louise Hayman

F. Carter Heim

Michael Loften

Al Luckenbach

Michael T. Maddox

Mary Jo McCulloch

Boots Michalak

Don Riddle Jr.

Charles Ruch

Brian Woodward

Gregory Stiverson

Pub Date: 02/07/99

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