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Wye House


Wye House

Wye House
Wye House mansion, seen from the front lawn
Nearest city Easton, Maryland
Built 1781
Architect Key,Robert
Architectural style Georgian, Federal
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 70000264
Significant dates
Added to NRHP April 15, 1970[1]
Designated NHL April 15, 1970[2]
The "Captain's House" on Wye Plantation

Wye House is a large Southern frame plantation house located in Talbot County, Maryland, seven miles (11 km) northwest of Easton. It was listed for preservation on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.


The Wye plantation was settled in the 1650s by a Federal architecture, which is attributed to builder Robert Key. Nearby the house is an orangery, a rare survival of an early garden structure where orange and lemon trees were cultivated, and which still contains its original 18th century heating system of hot air ducts.[4]

During its peak, the plantation surrounding the house encompassed 42,000 acres (17,000 ha) and housed over 1,000 slaves.[5] Though the land has shrunk to 1,300 acres (530 ha) today, it is still owned by the descendants of Edward Lloyd, now in their 11th generation on the property. Frederick Douglass spent a few years of his life on the plantation, around the ages of seven and eight, and spoke extensively of the brutal conditions of the plantation in his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave.[5]

Modern situation

The nearby hamlets of Unionville and Coppertown are where many descendents of the slaves who worked Wye House live today. This has created an interesting dynamic, considering the descendents of both the slave owners and the slaves still live within a very short distance of one another.[3][5][6]

The Wye House plantation gained significant media attention in 2006 for archaeological investigations led by the University of Maryland.[5][6]

In 2011, excavation of the greenhouse, built by African slaves, brought a discovery of African charms laid to ward off bad spirits at the house's furnace and entrance.[7]

See also


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places.  
  2. ^ "Wye House". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-06-17. 
  3. ^ a b Ydstie, John (October 20, 2007). "Plantation Dig Reveals Md. Town's Painful Past".  
  4. ^ National Register forms, including online information
  5. ^ a b c d Wilford, John Noble (September 6, 2006). "An Abolitionist Leads the Way in Unearthing of Slaves' Past".  
  6. ^ a b Williamson, Elizabeth (July 21, 2006). "Unearthing Slavery, Finding Peace".  
  7. ^ Dominguez, Alex. (February 13, 2011) Slaves hid African charms on Colonial greenhouse. Associated Press (via SFGate). Retrieved 2011-02-14.

External links

  • Where Land and Water Intertwine: An Architectural History of Talbot County
  • Wye House, Talbot County, including undated, at Maryland Historical Trust
  • [1]
  • [2]
  • Wye House, Mansion, Bruffs Island Road, Tunis Mills vicinity, Talbot, MD at the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS)
  • Wye House, Captain's House, Bruffs Island Road, Tunis Mills vicinity, Talbot, MD at HABS
  • Wye House, Cemetery, Bruffs Island Road, Tunis Mills vicinity, Talbot, MD at HABS
  • Wye House, Corn Crib, Bruffs Island Road, Tunis Mills vicinity, Talbot, MD at HABS
  • Wye House, Orangery, Bruffs Island Road, Tunis Mills vicinity, Talbot, MD at HABS
  • Wye House, Smokehouse, Bruffs Island Road, Tunis Mills vicinity, Talbot, MD at HABS

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