Saturday, January 19, 2013
Mount Airy was the latter home to Maryland's 1st family, the Calverts, until 1903. It is located in Upper Marlboro, in southern Prince Georges County and was built in 1725. The plantation and land were a gift to Benedict Calvert from his father, Charles, the fifth Lord Baltimore, in 1751. The house was converted to a restaurant in 1903. In 1931, the house was sold to Eleanor Patterson, then editor and publisher of the Washington Times-Herald.
In 1973, Mount Airy plantation was acquired by the state of Maryland and the land holdings were converted into the Rosaryville State Park. The mansion stood vacant for nearly ten years before it was purchased by the Kulla family and once again was opened as a restaurant.
Rumors of the house being haunted circulated for years. In the 1930's, it was even visited by the London Society for Psychical Research, who detected the presence of Elizabeth Bresco Calvert. She is said to walk the halls of the mansion at night, searching for some of the family's missing jewels. There is also said to be the ghost of a girl in white, an old woman who roams from room to room at night waking the sleeping occupants and a horseman who has been seen on the grounds in old-fashioned riding attire.
The stories of the house tell of a haunted room, where candles will not stay lit and of a former occupant named Miss Eleanor Calvert who lived in the house until 1902. It seems that Miss Eleanor lived at Mount Airy until age 81 and was regarded as a bit of an eccentric. According to the legend, she did not like the front parlor to be used and always kept it locked. She passed away after a fall down the stairs and for her funeral, she was laid out in the front parlor on the night before the service. The next day, the key to the room, whose door had been locked could not be found. The parlor had to be broken into and the key was discovered inside...on a table next to Miss Eleanor's coffin! Workers involved in the restoration had some strange stories to tell....stories of apparitions and of doors opening by themselves. At one point, the contractors simply refused to work on the house after dark. Ghosthunting Maryland has an excellent account of the location.
NOTE: I spent an evening at the Mt. Airy Plantation several years ago as part of a group from Baltimore. We did witness several objects move, in particular a large painting in the dining area. There were many orbs...which is very common. Lon