“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Edgewater in Anne Arundel County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

The Lord Mayor's Tenement

The Lord Mayor's Tenement Marker image. Click for full size.
By F. Robby, November 7, 2007
1. The Lord Mayor's Tenement Marker
Inscription. [drawing of tenement house]
Lord Mayor's Tenement: An architectural drawing by Willie Graham, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Discovering the Lord Mayor's Tenement
This building has been reconstructed on the footprint of the original 1700s house. Measuring 20 x 20 feet, it met the building requirements of the early town - each lot owner had to construct such a building within five years or lose their property.

Owned by David Macklefish, the self-styled "Lord Mayor" of London Town, it was not his residence but likely a rental property or tenement housing a family or craftsmen or laborers, servants or slaves.

Through careful excavation, archaeologists found stains in the soil showing the outline of the house. It was an "earthfast" or "post-in-the-ground" building - its vertical posts were sunk into the ground with no underlying foundation.

Archaeologists also found a burned area where the fireplace once stood.

During the 1600s and 1700s, most buildings in the Chesapeake area were earthfast. They did not last long due to termites and decay. The Lord Mayor's Tenement probably only stood for 30 or 40 years.

[painting of town]
London Town: An artist's interpretation of the colonial town. Painting by Lee Boynton.

The Lord Mayor's Tenement Marker image. Click for full size.
By F. Robby, July 23, 2009
2. The Lord Mayor's Tenement Marker
Lord Mayor's Tenement was rebuilt in 2002-2003, based on the archaeology and other information about early Chesapeake architecture. Approximately 200 years after its first construction, master housewright, Russell Steele, and volunteers recreated the tenement, using tools and building techniques of the 1700s.

[pictures of tools]
Froe: was an important tool used in making clapboards and shingles.
Drawknife: woodworkers used the drawknife to split and shape rough boards.
Maul: a hammer or mallet. It was used to drive the blade of a froe or a wedge in splitting wood.
Broad Ax: was used for squaring logs.
Wedges: made of wood or metal. When hit at the thick end by a maul, a wedge helped to split the wood along the grain.

What was it like to live in the Lord Mayor's Tenement during 1700-1720? The tenant family had few, if any luxuries. Their simple belonging might have included a table, some chairs, one or two beds and very little in the way of personal objects.

Most of their activities, including cooking took place in the hall - the room with the fireplace. The second room was unheated but was used as a bedroom or for other household work. The children and servants slept in the loft area.

The houseyard surrounding the dwelling was the scene of intense daily activity
The Lord Mayor's Tenement image. Click for full size.
By F. Robby, July 23, 2009
3. The Lord Mayor's Tenement
- laundry, butchering animals, leather-crafting and chopping wood. The kitchen garden supplies a major part of the family's food; taking 40 hours of work a week by the women and children to maintain it.

The Lord Mayor's Tenement project was funded by a generous gift from Donna Valley Russell.

And through contributions by Alice Murray, Bernard and Victoria Lerch, the Frohring Foundation, the Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimmage, the Maryland Association of History Museums, the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority and the friends of Bernard and Faye Rosenberg.
Location. 38° 56.472′ N, 76° 32.41′ W. Marker is in Edgewater, Maryland, in Anne Arundel County. Marker can be reached from Londontown Road 1.3 miles north of Mayo Road (Route 253). Click for map. Marker is on the grounds of London Town Park, at the end of Londowntown Road, near the brick house. Marker is in this post office area: Edgewater MD 21037, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Dr. Hill's Medicinal Plants (within shouting distance of this marker); Tobacco Barn (within shouting distance of this marker); Historic London Town and Gardens (within shouting distance of this marker); London Town Publik House (within shouting distance of this marker); Archaeology at London Town (within shouting distance of this marker); Establishing a Colonial Town (within shouting distance of this marker); William Brown House (within shouting distance of this marker); Scott Street (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Edgewater.
Categories. Colonial EraSettlements & Settlers
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 822 times since then and 61 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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