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Home > Visit a Gateway > By Theme > Early Discovery and Settlement of Chesapeake Bay > Driving Tour: A Tale of Two Cities
Driving Tour: A Tale of Two Cities

This tour takes visitors to one of Maryland’s “Lost Towns” and then to Annapolis, Maryland’s capital since 1695.

A Lost Town Found
Historic London Town and Garden, Edgewater, MD.

Historic London Town Historic Annapolis City Dock Few early Bay settlements have survived into this century. Many are lost completely, but some we’ve been fortunate enough to rediscover. Such is the case with London Town. Created as a ferry landing in 1683, the town on the South River became a major Chesapeake tobacco port. Colonists considered making it the state capital, but when they chose Annapolis instead, just a few miles north, London Town’s fortunes faded. All that’s left of Scott Street, where hogsheads of tobacco once rolled to waiting ships, is a deep cut in the bank leading down to the river’s edge. Today London Town is a premiere archaeological site in Maryland’s Lost Towns Project. Archaeologists have been able to map much of the town’s footprint. It’s also the site of William Brown’s house, A Georgian-style home built between 1758 and 1764 and now an excellent example of wealthy colonial living.

The Nation’s First Capital
Historic Annapolis Gateway-City Dock, Annapolis, MD.

Annapolis has one of the most remarkable stories of any town in America. From its State House on a hilltop, the sight of the deep, protected harbor below and the distant Chesapeake beyond still inspires awe. Finished in 1779, the State House is the oldest such building in continuous use in the nation. It served as the nation’s capitol in 1783-84. Here, you can stand in the Old Senate Chamber and imagine George Washington in 1783 resigning as commander in chief of the Continental Army. A few months later, Congress ratified the Treaty of Paris here. Nearby are dozens of buildings and sites from colonial Maryland. Walking the narrow streets laid out more than 300 years ago, you pass buildings where tobacco was weighed in the 1700s and where supplies were stored for Revolutionary soldiers. Much of youthful America’s story can be told in this one place.


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