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THE STATELY SNOWDEN MANSION
Sep 24, 2014 by: Maurene_K from Dover, New Hampshire
This stately Georgian red brick mansion is in a picturesque, peaceful country setting on 70 acres off Route 197 / Laurel-Bowie Road, a very busy secondary highway. Built between 1781 and 1785, Montpelier Mansion was home to Maj. Thomas Snowden and his wife Anne. It was originally a 9,000 acre plantation. Maj. Snowden had 162 slaves, plus indentured servants. From the types of barns on the grounds, it is believed that it was a tobacco plantation. Maj. Snowden was also an owner in the family’s ironworks. Famous visitors to the house included George Washington and Abigail Adams en route to the White House after her husband John became second President of the U.S. During our visit on a Saturday, we took a self-guided tour. Rates were $3.00 for adults, $2.00 for seniors, and $1.00 for children ages 6-18. We found the house furnished in period furniture. The first major room was the dining room. There was sofa, the original dining table, reproduction chairs, and two sideboards along with crystal, glasses, and a tureen. Next was the lady’s chamber. The remarkable furnishing here was the white quilt on the four-poster bed. Documentation on it stated that each puff in the quilt was stuffed individually. The parlor was next. There were antique maps. One dated from 1752 and was done by Thomas Jefferson’s father Peter. It was in good condition. The room contained antique violins, playing cards, a game of dominoes, and a jigsaw puzzle. It was obvious that this was the home a very well-to-do family as these pastimes were not part of family life for the middle and lower classes. In the library, there was a curiosity. It was a sizable standing fox that turned out to be holding an ashtray. There was also a nice French gold gilt mantel clock. Room documentation said that it dated from the 1840’s and was not original to the house. And, as expected, there were antique books along with portraits of various Snowdens. Upstairs, the first bed chamber had another curiosity. Next to the washbowl was a shiny pewter item. Room documentation stated it was a baby bottle. There was also a 1770 Chippendale mahogany-frame wing chair. Next was a fun room for youngsters. It was the Hands-On Room. There was chest with period items such as tri-corn hats, sunbonnets, aprons, a shawl, period shirts and skirts, etc. for youngsters to dress up for those times. There also toys such as Jacob’s ladder, whirligigs, and ball and cup. Last was the Snowden’s bedroom which contained an actual Snowden family bed form 1830. There were also two wingback chair reproductions. On our way outside, we stopped by the small gift shop in the entryway and the restroom nearby. Outside, we visited the colonial herb garden, carriage house, art center, and summer house where ladies would have tea. Then, we explored the path through a fruit tree orchard. Montpelier Mansion has a number of events that include holiday candlelight tours, educational programs for schools and Girl Scout/Boys Scout groups, concerts, festivals, reenactments, special exhibits, lectures, seminars, and occasional teas. The mansion is also available for rental for weddings, receptions, luncheons, and meetings. We enjoyed our visit to this well-kept, scenic museum home. It is one of major attractions in Laurel. We recommend a visit to anyone staying in the Baltimore-Laurel-Washington area. If you found this review helpful, kindly click YES below.
Beautiful place and lots of history
Aug 18, 2014 by: SummerLove11 from Baltimore, Maryland
My father grew up in a historic Howard County mansion originally built for one of the daughters that grew up in Montpelier. Going and visiting Montpelier was like taking a walk back in time for my father, but also a wonderful experience for the rest of us as well. The house is beautiful and interesting and the grounds are gorgeous and a great place to explore for a few hours. We also really enjoyed the gift shop and got some really nice blankets with the mansions on them. I wanted to have my wedding here but they did not hold the number of guests I invited. It is a beautiful location and such a big difference from the busy street just steps away. It is a great day trip and a nice trip away from the hustle and bustle of things. I really enjoyed how beautifully the bedrooms were decorated!
Aug 14, 2014 by: adrianaenvy from Laurel, Maryland
Lovely mansion with tons of history. They have a ton of free activities and movie nights, a small quiet garden area.
Fun Trip to learn about the history of MD plantations
Jul 30, 2014 by: John P from Fairfax, Virginia
We enjoyed visiting one of the few remaining plantation homes in this part of Maryland. The docent guided tour was very god and quite informative.
lots of free events
Jul 10, 2014 by: Elias David B from
This mansion has art shows and lots of events for little or no cost. You can find prettier plantations but I don't know any one with more activities per year. If there is an admission fee it is never high.
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