History

Please be advised that uninvited guests may show up for special events at the Rising Sun Inn. It has happened before. Board of Directors officers, Mary Fisher and Susan Giddings revealed that occasionally, Abigale or Randolph, resident ghosts have made their presence known by the sounds of footsteps, the rustling of clothing, or hushed voices. Some have even reported sightings.

Rising Sun Inn
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The Rising Sun Inn, a historic tavern and museum is located on Route 178 (1090 Old Generals Highway) in Crownsville, included on the list of Scenic & Historic Roads by the Office of Planning and Zoning. This road was known to have been frequently traveled by George Washington, the most famous trip being when he resigned as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army at the Annapolis Statehouse in 1783.

“teas have been attended by Girl Scouts, sororities, and senior citizen groups.”

Rising Sun Inn
Image courtesy of the author

The structure, listed on the National Register of Historic Places and originally the farmhouse of the Baldwin family, was constructed circa 1753. It’s hidden not far from the road, behind the growth of American and English boxwoods. There are many fascinating stories to be told about what has taken place within the walls of this building, as owners and uses changed over hundreds of years. It was best known as a tavern, but also served as a post office, a stagecoach stop, and a public meeting place, just to name a few.

Rising Sun Inn
Image courtesy of the author

The Inn exists today due to the formation of the Ann Arundel Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Mrs. Alice Leakin and 10 other women achieved their visionary goal of purchasing the property in 1916, to restore, preserve, and maintain the old structure as a museum and historic site.

The Tea & Tour is one of the special events open to the public by reservation. A private function can be scheduled for a group of 8-12, and more may be accommodated. The tour is customized based on the age and make-up of the participants. Think about this unique experience for birthdays, graduations, reunions, or book clubs. The possibilities are endless.

“Recently,” Susan Giddings said, “teas have been attended by Girl Scouts, sororities, and senior citizen groups.”

There are two types of teas  – The Elevenses and the Afternoon Tea. The Elevenses, a more casual event is held at 11am and consists of tea and sweets, while the Afternoon Tea includes the addition of finger sandwiches, with the option of vegetarian and other menu choices. Both teas consist of a guided tour by an enthusiastic and knowledgeable docent recounting facts about the lives of owners and residents. It’s a hands-on experience as participants are invited to handle and view items of the 18th century, such as eyeglasses, books, pottery, and courting candles.

Rising Sun Inn
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There is so much more to learn about this wonderful place. Filled with beautiful furniture of the era on the original floors, educational displays, dishes, clothing, and maps, it’s operating today by the Friends of Rising Sun Inn Board of Directors, who have carefully documented its colorful history.

Rising Sun Inn
Image courtesy of the author

The Inn is open to the public for guided tours on the second Sunday of each month from 1-4pm. There are several upcoming events and fundraisers, including the Historic Candlelight Ghost Stories Tours, October 18-19 and a visit by Dr. Robert Selig, historical consultant on November 2, as he discusses “Do You Believe in Magic? Tales of Witches and Witchcraft during the American War of Independence.”

Lois Villemaire

Lois Villemaire is retired from a career in local government and is now exploring her interest in creative writing, sometimes combined with researching family history. The latter has provided her with colorful and unique material. Lois enjoys walking around downtown and practicing yoga. She volunteers at The Wellness House of Annapolis, a strength and support resource for cancer patients, survivors, and their families. She lives in Annapolis with her husband and they love reading, restaurants, music, and spending time with their children and grandchildren.