Monday, April 15, 2019

Appreciating Colonial History at the William Paca House in Annapolis

Appreciating Colonial History at the William Paca House in Annapolis

Appreciating Colonial History at the William Paca House in Annapolis

Strolling through Annapolis, one quickly notices threads of colonial history throughout. During our trips to Annapolis, we have enjoyed learning a little more about colonial history each time. On our recent trip, we treated ourselves to a tour of the grand William Paca House and Garden.



William Paca was quite the distinguished resident of Annapolis. He was a lawyer, signatory of the Declaration of Independence, member of the Maryland legislature and governor of Maryland. Wow! I am sure there is more, but that is why you, too, will need to tour the house! Before going on the tour, we viewed a small section with information about William Paca and the home. There also was a video. A great foundation for the tour!

William Paca's Georgian mansion was constructed in the 1760's.
William Paca's Georgian mansion was constructed in the 1760's.
As you can imagine, a man of Paca's stature would want to impress with his house. William Paca's Georgian mansion was built in the 1760's. Outside, we learned about the construction of the home including the fact that Paca had the bricks laid in a way so that he would have to use more thus displaying his wealth. An interesting fact -- Paca's great-grandfather was actually an indentured servant who ended up marrying a more wealthy woman. Thus, the Pacas started moving up in status.


Inside, we learned more about how Paca displayed his wealth not only in construction and design but also while entertaining. In the first room, we learned about a special scope used for images as well as other art and decor elements illustrating Paca's wealth.

Taking a peek inside the kitchen at the William Paca House a colonial home in Annapolis, Maryland
Taking a peek inside the kitchen at the William Paca House.
Next, we toured the kitchen where we learned about how the family was fed. We also learned about the hierarchy of the slaves in terms of what each was fed. If you look closely in the photo, you will notice chains attached to a bag. This is a colonial spit called a spit jack to turn it! I thought that was pretty intriguing!

Formal dinner set up at the William Paca House in Annapolis, Maryland
Dinner at the Paca House.
We could not help but be impressed by the dining room. Stunning! Here I was surprised to learn that the green on the walls actually consists of wallpaper that was painted green. While artifacts in the home are from the period, few belonged to the Pacas. The gravy boat here belonged to the Pacas. Another interesting tidbit -- dinners lasted 3 hours. Incredible!


Also in the room is an exquisite grandfather clock constructed in Annapolis by gifted artisans.


We also learned about how women dressed in the 1700's. I thought that it is pretty cool that pockets were sewn into the dress.


One of the other items in the home that belonged to Paca is this bed frame. I am surprised that they were able to obtain it relatively intact!

Elegant colonial parlor featuring dental molding at the William Paca House in Annapolis, Maryland

We ended our tour in the elegant parlor. Here you will notice the intricate dental molding indicating wealth once again. The setting, furniture, decor and everything in the parlor is breathtaking!


After the tour, we sauntered through the colonial garden. Not too much was in bloom during our visit but the garden was still beautiful and peaceful to walk through. We reflected a bit on what we learned during our tour and appreciated the new knowledge we gained about Maryland and colonial history. The tour was fabulous and an excellent choice for any Annapolis itinerary.

To Know about the Paca House:
  • You can choose between two tours -- one is 30 minutes just focusing on the first floor. The other is 1 hour including up and downstairs. Both include the garden. We went on the 1 hour tour which I highly recommend.
  • The mansion has a pretty interesting history over the centuries including being a hotel called the Carvel Hall Hotel.
  • The William Paca House is close to a number of other spots of historical interest including the Maryland State House.
Appreciating Colonial History at the William Paca House in Annapolis

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