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

The Lower House

Hampton National Historic Site

The Lower House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, October 23, 2014
1. The Lower House Marker
Inscription. Lower House, constructed ca. 1745; with later additions in the 1700s to ca. 1950.

This building, historically referred to as the “Lower House” by the Ridgely family, served a variety of purposes. Originally, Hamptonís first master, Captain Charles Ridgely, lived in this house before the mansion was completed. In the 19th century, the building served primarily as a residence for the farm manager or overseer. Close to both fields and farm slaves, it was “lower” in many respects: the overseer was lower in social standing than the estate owner and his quarters were located geographically lower than the mansion. Activities of the Home Farm were managed from this building. When Hampton became a National Historic Site in 1948, John Ridgely Jr., the last owner of the estate, moved from the mansion back here to the Lower House.

(Inscription under the bell in the upper left)
The bell (ca.1850) atop the Lower House called the enslaved into and out of the field.

(Inscription beside the overseer in the lower left)
On a large estate like Hampton, overseers were often caught between the demands of the masters and the needs of the workers. Hamptonís overseers were a diverse group of men, including some who were relatives. Most stayed on about ten years.
Erected by

The Lower House image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, October 23, 2014
2. The Lower House
National Park Service-United States Department of the Interior.
Location. 39° 25.248′ N, 76° 35.184′ W. Marker is in Towson, Maryland, in Baltimore County. Marker is on Hampton Lane. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 535 Hampton Lane, Towson MD 21286, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The View from Below (here, next to this marker); Quarters #2 & 3 (within shouting distance of this marker); A Slave Village (within shouting distance of this marker); Corn Culture (within shouting distance of this marker); In Memoriam (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ice Cream in July-Icehouse, ca.1790 (approx. 0.3 miles away); Hampton: An American Story (approx. 0.3 miles away); Ridgely's Pride (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Towson.
Categories. African AmericansCivil RightsPatriots & Patriotism
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 261 times since then and 80 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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