Hammond Harwood House

Hammond Harwood House, Annapolis, Maryland

Hammond Harwood House

At the corner of Maryland Ave and King George St sits an interesting museum. What once was a unique home is now a tourist attraction that houses some of the finest antique furniture that will take a visitor back in time to when the house was at its prime. The house also seems to come with a very unusual story.

In the 1770s Mathias Hammond purchased land at what is now 19 Maryland Ave. He hired an architect named William Buckland to build him a unique home on the property. Despite the work put into building the house, Hammond never lived in the home. His home was in Gambrills, which he stayed until his death.

The home was a rental for awhile to Judge Jeremiagh Townley Chase. Afterward it was owned by multiple well known families such as the Pinkneys and the Loockerman families. It also at one point belonged to the architect William Buckland’s descendants. The last person to live in the house was Hester Ann Harwood, until her death in 1924. The home was then purchased by St. John College and was used for one of their art programs. Due to the Great Depression, the school had to sell the house and a group formed in the 1940s called the Hammond-Harwood House Association who bought the house and turned it into the historical site and museum it is today.

One odd legend that came from building this house is the story of Hammond’s fiancé. It is said that Hammond was so focused on the construction of the house; he ended up ignoring her and forced her to leave him. Afterwards she regretted her decision and they had a secret affair after he married another. She would use secret passages in the house to see him and eventually died, being buried somewhere in the passages. People claim to see her in the upstairs windows of the home.

Some of the legend can be dispelled however. It has been revealed that Hammond never did marry and never lived in the house. The stories believed to have originated from a novel called The Brass Keys of Kenwick by Augusta Huriell that was based on the Hammond-Harwood house and suggested a woman buried somewhere in the garden of the house. This could be where the alleged ghost story originated but it is still a mystery of who has been seen in the upstairs window?


Goldsmith Day, D. (1997). A Guide to Historic B&B in The Free State: Historic Inns & Famous Houses of Maryland.Eastwind Publishing. MD

Hammond- Harwood House Museum (n.d.) retrieved from http://hammondharwoodhouse.org/about-hammond-harwood-house/

Okonowicz, E. (2010). The Big Book of Maryland Ghost Stories. Stackpole Books. Mechanicsburg, PA.