April 3-April 5, 2020



Once again, we hope that our conference attendees will join us on both the Friday and Sunday conference tours as we take you out of the area to learn more about American history.  Both tours are priced separately on the registration form.

April 3, 2020  9:00am - 5:00pm

Our first stop will be the Captain Salem Avery House in Shadyside, Maryland, a ca. 1860, two-story, frame house overlooking the West River and the Chesapeake Bay.  It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005, and is owned and operated by a non-profit organization. The house has been added onto over the years and has been moved, in its entirety, three times due to erosion at the water’s edge.

This was originally a nine-acre lot when owned by Captain Avery, whose family was a sea-going one that sought oysters for sale.  The Captain, however, chose to run a “buy boat,” which meant he would sail all the waters of the Chesapeake Bay to the mouth of the Rappahannock River to purchase oysters from smaller vessels in order to re-sell them in Baltimore.

Captain Avery was born and raised in the small area of Blue Point on Long Island, New York.  He and his wife, Lucretia moved their family to Shadyside in 1859. On our visit, we will see the Avery Bible and a few other items that belonged to the Avery family.  The Captain died in 1887, and his children began selling off acreage. There is only about one acre left, but much history.

After our house tour, we will have a delicious lunch here while overlooking the beautiful West River.  It will be hard to leave, but we will then head to another beautiful site, London Town and Gardens in Edgewater, Maryland.

Bet you didn’t know that the town of London was founded in 1683, here on the South River in Ann Arundel County, Maryland – and grew into a thriving port, just like its namesake across the Atlantic.  From 1710-1750, it rivaled the colonial capitals of Williamsburg and Annapolis. Ships full of merchandise from England and the Caribbean would arrive to fill the many stores and then await the arrival of the year’s tobacco crop for their return voyage.  Some of the wealthiest merchants in the area built their homes near their stores in this London.

Rope makers, barrel makers, leather workers, carpenters, and ship builders were found here.  Inns fed the people, and doctors took care of them. London was a lively place. However, as quickly as it rose, it fell.  By 1747, the Maryland Assembly passed legislation limiting tobacco export to specific inspection stations, and London was not one of them.  Thus, it lost its reason for existence. By the Revolutionary War, only ferries and a few buildings remained. We will tour the house built by ferry master William Brown (ca. 1760) and see some of the grounds before returning to Surratt House to gather at the James O. Hall Research Center for a little feasting and friendship. The doors are set to open at 5:00pm.

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April 5, 2020    8:00am - 6:00pm

Note that this tour will depart from the Colony South Hotel lobby at 8am on Sunday morning, April 5.  Our first stop on Sunday’s trip will be the new American Civil War Museum and its core exhibit, A People’s Contest: Struggles for Nation and Freedom in Civil War America.  This features hundreds of original artifacts, theater experiences, and compelling imagery.  You will be able to explore, understand, and feel the dramatic tensions, episodes, and outcome of the war that changed the face of America.  

This museum is more active and fluid than the original Museum of the Confederacy, which it replaced.  Organized chronologically as well as by topic, each gallery within the exhibit explores an aspect of the 1850s and 1860s related to the Civil War.  Political developments are interwoven with civilian experiences and military events, providing multiple perspectives in a multi-faceted manner. Technology is used selectively to influence the visitors’ experience and to encourage their engagement with artifacts and images.  You will have two hours to absorb this history.

Lunch will be at the Sine Irish Pub at Historic Shockhoe Slip

 Food Choices Include:
Beer Can Chicken Salad – Black Bean Burger – Fish & Chips

We will then travel back to the 1700s with a visit to Tuckahoe Plantation, the boyhood home of Thomas Jefferson.  The home was built between 1730 and 1740, and is considered one of the finest, early-18th century plantation homes in America.  Tuckahoe was built by the Randolph family, who had an enormous influence on shaping the habits, customs, and politics of both the Virginia colony and the nation.

William Randolph and Maria Judith Page started their family in the 1730s, but by 1745, their three children were orphaned after the untimely death of both parents.  Before his death, William had ensured that his children would be cared for and educated at home should he die. In his will, he named his good friend, Peter Jefferson, and cousin, Jane Randolph Jefferson as guardians of his children.  After William’s death, the Jeffersons moved into Tuckahoe with the children, including two-year-old Thomas Jefferson. Thus it was that Thomas Jefferson spent his youth at Tuckahoe in the small, one-room schoolhouse that still stands today.

After touring this grand estate, we will return to Colony South Hotel and say our good-byes.