Hampton National Historic Site

Behind the Scenes

July 04, 1999|By Karin Remesch

Mission: To preserve and interpret Hampton, remnant of an empire forged with indentured and enslaved labor during the American struggle for independence. The park's structures, landscapes, collections and archives preserve a chronicle of the daily activities of the owners, laborers and slaves. The centerpiece of the 18th-century estate is an elegantly furnished Georgian mansion amid formal gardens. Hampton is managed by the National Park Service.

Latest accomplishment: The park received a $200,000 Save America's Treasures grant to restore its historic farmhouse and slave quarters for public education. The grant, added to a $200,000 state grant and $200,000 in private funds raised by Historic Hampton Inc., will help the park give voice to Hampton's population of workers -- the enslaved, indentured servants, craftspeople and their families.

On the horizon: Those who manage the park are considering how it will respond to the challenges of the next 15-20 years. Expanding park education programs will include traditional mansion and garden tours and more stories of the workers and activities that made the mansion lifestyle possible.

About Hampton: Membership: 305. Attendance: 35,000 annually. Operating budget: $639,000.

Where and when: 535 Hampton Lane, Towson. Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, except Christmas, New Year's Day and Thanksgiving. Web site: www.nps.gov/hamp. Call 410-823-1309.

Dr. Rhoda Dorsey, board president: "Hampton National Historic Site is one of the best-kept secrets in the Baltimore area. It contains a magnificent Georgian mansion, built in 1790 and occupied by seven generations of the Ridgely family. There are wonderful period rooms in the mansion, which is surrounded by over 40 acres of gardens and lawn. In addition, there is a farm property with farm buildings and three slave quarters that are being prepared for public display. ... Opening the farm site will allow us to present the full picture of a great ... Baltimore County estate and all those -- free, slaves and indentured, black and white -- who made it run."

Members of the board

Lawrence Baker

Ann Boulton

Charlotte Brice

Peggy Burke

Pamela Burrow

Pokey Brown

Stiles Tuttle Colwill

Dorothy Lee Dorman

Robert Ehrlich

Harriet Flotte

Edmund F. Haile

Eve Higenberg

John B. Howard

Connie S. Johnson

Marge Lippy

Evelyn McClarry

Cindy Padgett

Harold Reid

David Ridgely Jr.

D. Stewart Ridgely III

S. Stevens Sands Jr.

Hazel Sperry

James W. Stevens Jr.

Andrew Banks Thomas

Marily Warhawsky

Laurie Coughlan

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