The Chesapeake Bay area has a long history, thought to have begun with Paleo-Indian sometime around 9000 B.C. Since then, the bay and linked water systems have enhanced the local lifestyle by providing food, work and plenty of opportunity for fun. By about 1000 B.C., the Native American population in Maryland had grown to over 8,000. These tribes survived on their own crops grown in the fertile soil, as well as by hunting and fishing. The first English settlement arrived in the 1630s.
Several facilities in or near Davidsonville document the regionís recent history. These include the Hammond-Harwood House, the Historic London Town & Gardens and the William Paca House and Garden. The Hammond-Harwood House is a brick mansion, originally constructed in the late-18th century for a young tobacco planter. Designed by William Buckland, the Hammond-Harwood House is considered one of the nationís finest colonial homes. The facility owns one of the largest collections of locally produced historic fine arts and decorative arts.
The Historic London Town & Gardens is the site of the early-18th century town of London, currently in the process of excavation. The site is 23 acres in total and contains a house museum, woodland garden, medicinal plant garden and a pavilion used for special events.
The William Paca House and Garden depict the everyday life of the Paca family through rotating exhibits of furniture and decorative arts. Paca was a planter, but is better known as one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. The Georgian home, opened to the public in 1973, is one of Annapolisí more impressive attractions. The estate includes a fishpond and two stunning gardens.
Art enthusiasts may wish to take advantage of the variety of programs and exhibits located in Annapolis. There are several galleries, which display everything from pottery to paintings. One may also find outdoor community theater, symphony orchestra, ballet and dinner theater at one of the several Annapolis venues. Art classes and educational programs are also available. The Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, for example, offers performing arts classes for all levels.
The open landscape of the region makes it ideal for a variety of outdoor recreational activities. In addition to the county-operated park facilities throughout the area, there are also two large state parks, Rosaryville State Park and Sandy Point State Park. Both are open to the public for day use. The 982-acre Rosaryville site contains miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. Sandy Point is 786 acres in size and located on Chesapeake Bay. Bird watching is a favorite pastime at Sandy Point, but other popular activities include swimming, boating, windsurfing and fishing.
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