Java Plantation Life
Old Fields to New Plantations
Notice that it is built high on a hill, yet close to a navigable waterway. This was a typical location for the 17th or 18th century houses in Maryland. The house was originally built around 1700 by Thomas Sparrow with successive owners adding to it. By the time John Contee named the property “Java” in 1828, the mansion had 2 ½ stories with hyphens and wings on each side.
For most of three centuries Java was farmed as a business venture. The owner lived elsewhere and an overseer was left in charge.
The mansion burned in 1890 and was rebuilt using fire damaged brick. This left it structurally unsound and it was eventually abandoned. All that remains are the ruins you see.
During the War of 1812, America naval officers were rewarded by Congress for capturing British ships. John Contee served as an officer on the USS Constitution when it captured the HMS Java. According to legend it was with this bounty money that Contee bought this property and named it “Java.”
Location. 38° 53.355′
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Java Plantation Life (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Java Plantation Life (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Java Plantation Life (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Java Plantation Life (a few steps from this marker); Prized Property (approx. 0.2 miles away); Indians of the Chesapeake (approx. 0.3 miles away); Java History Trail (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Old South River Club (approx. 1.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Edgewater.
Categories. • Agriculture • Colonial Era • War of 1812 •
Credits. This page was last revised on September 6, 2018. This page originally submitted on February 16, 2015, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 226 times since then and 45 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on February 16, 2015, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. 8, 9, 10. submitted on September 4, 2018, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.