The Great House

The Great House (HM1IVR)

Location: Leonardtown, MD 20650 St. Mary's County
Buy Maryland State flags at!
Country: United States of America
Buy United States of America flags at!

N 38° 17.383', W 76° 38.167'

  • 0 check ins
  • 0 favorites
On this site, lot 39, as designated of a plat of Leonardtown c. 1728, was constructed the "Great House" of John Stewart. Built c. 1734, the structure stood until 1960 and over the years served many purposes being referenced at various periods as the "Great House", "Thompson's Inn", "The Tavern Lot", "The Old Tavern Lot", "Clarke's Hotel" and the "Beacon Building".

During its 225 years the Great House provided offices for county agencies, local businesses and professionals while serving as a boarding house, hotel, tavern, billiard room, stage depot, and private residence.

In 1802 the Georgetown and Port Tobacco mail stage was extended to Thompson's Inn at Leonardtown. James Thompson Jr. proprietor was father of 8 sons, four who fought the British during the War of 1812 and thus became known to posterity as the "Fighting Thompsons'."

In 1818 then tavern proprietor, Philip Greenwell, for the yearly rent of one bottle of Madeira wine to Henry G.S. Key, enjoyed the use of a 15 foot strip of land running along and parallel with said lot, to wit a sidewalk.

The Leonardtown Herald and subsequently the Saint Mary's Beacon were published from this location from 1839 until the demise of the building in 1960. From 1855 through 1952 three generations of the King family, John Franklin, Francis Vernon and Aloysius Fenwick lived and ran the paper from this location.

On April 25, 1905 the Leonardtown telephone exchange, located in the "Beacon Building" opened with 25 phones on the line.

In September 2 1911, after inspecting the new road from Mechanicsville to Leonardtown, Governor Crothers posed for a photograph in front of the Beacon building with a team of oxen symbolizing the passing of the ox team in St. Mary's as an essential element of transportation.

St.Mary;s County Health Department was located on the second floor of the Beacon Building from 1934 to 1953.

The two English yew trees located on this lot were located in the front yard of the structure and are thought to have been brought from England and planted during the Colonial period.
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, January 19th, 2015 at 1:04pm PST -08:00
Sorry, but we don't have a picture of this historical marker yet. If you have a picture, please share it with us. It's simple to do. 1) Become a member. 2) Adopt this historical marker listing. 3) Upload the picture.
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 356915 N 4239226
Decimal Degrees38.28971667, -76.63611667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 17.383', W 76° 38.167'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 17' 22.98" N, 76° 38' 10.02" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)202, 301, 240
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 41610 Court House Dr, Leonardtown MD 20650, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

Is this marker missing? Are the coordinates wrong? Do you have additional information that you would like to share with us? If so, check in.

Nearby Markersshow on map
Check Ins  check in   |    all

Have you seen this marker? If so, check in and tell us about it.

Comments 0 comments

Maintenance Issues
  1. Is this marker part of a series?
  2. What historical period does the marker represent?
  3. What historical place does the marker represent?
  4. What type of marker is it?
  5. What class is the marker?
  6. What style is the marker?
  7. Does the marker have a number?
  8. What year was the marker erected?
  9. Who or what organization placed the marker?
  10. This marker needs at least one picture.
  11. Can this marker be seen from the road?
  12. Is the marker in the median?