In Annapolis: Maryland State House

Neil Turner
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As you enter Annapolis along Rowe Boulevard you'll see State House Square on the north side of the Maryland State House that is commonly known as Lawyer's Mall and often the site of rallies and protests of all sorts.

In the square is the Thurgood Marshall Memorial dedicated to the memory of the late Justice of the Supreme Court. A statue depicts Marshall as a young lawyer fighting for the desegregation of schools.

The governor's residence in Annapolis stands across the street from the State House. It has occupied this site since 1870.  Major remodeling was completed in 1936 which gives the mansion today's appearance. The General Assembly agreed to purchase land and build a residence for the governor in 1733, but land was not purchased until 1742.

Soon after construction of the residence began, the governor had a dispute with the House of Delegates and it was never finished. Another home in the area was leased and finally purchased in 1769. It served as the governor's home until 1866.

The State House of Maryland is the third that has stood on the site and is the longest in use in the United States. Construction on the first was begun in 1669. It burned in 1709.  A similar structure replaced it and was in use until replaced by the present building in 1722. The beautiful dome was completed in 1788. It is the largest wooden dome in the United States and is constructed entirely without nails.

The old Senate Chamber served as the Capitol of the United States from November 1783 to June of 1784.

St. John's College traces its history all the way back to King William's School which was founded in 1696.  King William's School became part of St. John's which was charted in 1784. The state of Maryland gave the college four acres of land in Annapolis on which stood the unfinished governor's mansion. The building was finished and housed the first students. It was later named McDowell Hall for the first president of the college.

St. John's is famous for its liberal arts education based upon the Great Books.
After the Revolutionary War, the disputed, unfinished structure that was to be the governor's mansion was given to St. John's College.

Back on the State House grounds is the statue of General Baron Johan DeKalb who led the Maryland and Delaware troops in battle against General Cornwallis during the Revolutionary War.

DeKalb fell in battle on August 19, 1780 after valiantly leading his troops in an attack.

He fought to the very end even after being wounded eleven times.
The St. John's campus was also the site of the oldest living Liberty Tree in the United States.  The 400 year old tulip poplar was so badly damaged by Hurricane Floyd in 1999 that it had to be removed - closing the door on this living reminder of the courage of the patriots during the time of the American Revolution.

Maryland Avenue is all of three blocks long running from State Circle to a gate of the United States Naval Academy, but it is three blocks of charming shops, beautiful houses, and the feeling of being surrounded by history.

In the distance is the Naval Academy gate.

You may have already seen that block of the street and not have realized it as it was the scene of an exciting chase in the movie Patriot Games starring Harrison Ford