May 21, 2013

Day 210 - May 20, 2013: Moving on to Baltimore, MD

Annapolis is a great city, and before moving on we wanted to see just two more places: The Maryland State House and the Charles Carroll House (which was in view from Great Laker on the mooring ball).

In 1695, Maryland's governor moved the capital from St. Mary's to Annapolis, and the first State House was built starting in 1772 on a hilltop site overlooking the Severn River. This State House is the oldest state capitol in continuous legislative use and the only one to have been used as the U. S. capitol (from Nov. 1783 to Aug. 1784). It has been rebuilt and added onto three times, and still retains the original and largest wooden dome in the country. This dome has a lightning rod and grounding system designed by Ben Franklin which is still in place and working. One notable event of many was that General George Washington resigned his commission as commander in chief of the army here in 1783. We did a self guided tour of the building and grounds.

Maryland State House
Working Senate Chamber
Then we walked over to the Charles Carroll House. In 1689, Carroll left his native Ireland to escape English discrimination against his Catholic faith and carried a commission as Attorney General of Maryland granted by Lord Baltimore. He first settled in St. Mary's and later moved to Annapolis and built his home and surrounding gardens which housed three generations of Carrolls between 1706 and 1832. Charles Carroll was the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence, and General Washington was a guest at his home.

On the way back to Great Laker, we picked up sandwiches at The Big Cheese Deli and then departed for Baltimore, MD. On the way we passed under the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, the only Bay crossing between the Atlantic and Baltimore, and under the Francis Scott Key Bridge, where Key wrote the Star-Spangled Banner while observing the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge
Francis Scott Key Bridge
We arrived at the Inner Harbor East Marina, right in the heart of Baltimore in 80 degrees, with high humidity and almost no breeze. While we have had little use for Great Laker's air conditioning so far, we are thankful to have it and expect we will be using it some this week.

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