Smallwood Retreat House
Sunday, December 8th
Located in Smallwood State Park in Marbury, Smallwood Retreat House was the home of General William Smallwood.
Originally known as Mattawoman Plantation, Smallwood erected the home in 1760 and lived there until his death in 1792.
A lifelong bachelor, Smallwood was a gentleman farmer, who made a sizeable fortune farming tobacco in Southern Maryland. At one time he owned over 5,000 acres.
During the Revolutionary War, General Smallwood, a two-star general, was the highest ranking military man from the State. No stranger to positions of leadership, he served three one-year terms as the Governor of Maryland beginning in 1785.
Smallwood had no children, and like Thomas Jefferson and several other patriots, he died in debt. Out of necessity, his home sold at public auction to satisfy his obligations.
After the sale, various renters and tenants occupied the property until it fell into ruin. Luckily, in 1934, concerned citizens formed the Smallwood Foundation in an effort to save the house. The restoration began in 1954 and reached completion in 1958.
Today, the period furnishings in the building correspond to those listed in the inventory for the property housed at the Maryland Archives.
This holiday season, you can tour the house and learn more about General Smallwood’s life and times. In addition to the Christmas decorations made with greens and fruits, you can also enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of the colonial kitchen where costumed volunteers prepare recipes authentic to the period.
Once outside the house, you are invited to indulge in hot cider and cookies around the fire while Revolutionary War interpreters outfitted in period clothing provide a “taste” of life during the War for Independence.