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Extended hours based per event.

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About the Farm

Hancock Family

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Events Calendar

Upcoming:

PICNIC AND LOCAL HISTORY DAY

July 14, 2024

July Displays

July 21, 2024

July 4 Displays

July 28, 2024

August Displays

August 4, 2024

August 2 Displays

August 11, 2024

Christmas on the Hill - 1956

Photo by Philip Cook

When I was young, every Christmas we visited “on the hill”. Great grandmother Cook (Rhoda Virginia Hancock Cook) and Aunt Pansy and Aunt Tillie (after great grandmother’s death) had the kitchen table covered in the most wonderful special treats. We had our choice of fresh coconut cake, walnut cake, or hot milk cake with fudge icing. There were all kinds of special cookies, nuts in the shell, fresh fruits, and punch. Everyone got to go into the parlor and sit and talk. Just before we left, we would go out to the kitchen and have our treats. We only got to go into the parlor on special occasions.

This picture was taken in the Cook house kitchen. The woman on the left is Rhoda Virginia Hancock Cook. The man in the middle is Harry Hancock, her brother. The man on the right is Thomas Clifton Cook, her youngest son. Rhoda Virginia was a strong minded woman. She felt that the house at Hancock’s Resolution was an important historical place. Her brothers and sisters, her children, and her grandchildren were informed on a regular basis that she expected them to see that the house was taken care of and preserved for future generations. Many family members have tried to honor this wish.

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Split Rail Fence

The traditional “Snake and Cross” or “Zigzag” fence is based on remnants of the original fence. The 11 foot, hand split rails would have been constructed of chestnut. The chestnut blight killed most of the towering trees in the early 1900’s.

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Entrance

Hancock’s Resolution is now a Historic Park in the Anne Arundel County Park System. While farmsteads like this used to cover this county side (except this one was constructed with stone while the great majority were wood frame) this c. 1785 stone house and milk house are the last surviving authentic, restored but not renovated, farm structures left in the entire region. As such they are of singular importance. (1785 was four years before George Washington became President of the United States.

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Cook House

The owner of this two story farmhouse, Henry Alfred Cook, married Rhoda Virginia Hancock, who was born upstairs at Hancock’s Resolution. Constructed in the mid 1800s with an addition added later in the century, this house was originally located approximately a mile west of its present location. It was moved to the park in 1991 to serve as a care taker’s home.

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Bodkin Creek

In either one or both of June 12 and 14, 1608 (N.S.*) (the first date before going up the Bolus (Patapsco) River and the second date coming back down the river) Capt. John Smith and his crew entered and mapped Bodkin Creek, very probably looking for fresh water. (* “N.S” stands for “New Style”, meaning the Gregorian calendar presently in use and not the earlier “Julian Calendar”, in use at the time of his voyage.”

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Graveyard

The Hancock family graveyard contains at least 125 head and foot stones. The graves are marked with headstones made of the local sandstone, which was readily available. While many of the tombstone’s inscriptions have worn away, several from the 19th and 20th centuries are still readable including one marked “A. H.” and dated 1809, which marks the grave of Anne Hancock, third wife of Stephen. Stephen’s grave is some distance away to the left and the space between the graves may contain the graves of Stephen’s children and earlier wives.

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Farm Field

The farm field is an area where exhibition crops are planted and farming using historical methods is demonstrated.

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Bee Hives

Bee hives in boxes, baskets or even parts of hollow logs were a part of traditional farming practices. Beehives were documented on Francis Hancock’s 1832 probate inventory; honey and beeswax were important to both 17th and 18th century farms. The bees at the farm are tended by the farm’s master gardeners and housed in modern “Langstroth’s Hives.” These movable frame hives, patented in 1852, revolutionized bee keeping and are still preferred today.

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House

Stephen Hancock built the house in 1785 and Hancock descendents continued to live in the house until the 1960s. Lacking electricity, plumbing and central heating the house is largely unchanged since its construction. The house is constructed of native sandstone. Galleting is used on the entire wall surface of both the house and the adjacent milk house. It is the only known rural example of this technique in the Chesapeake region. The first floor contains one large room with plaster over hand-split lath. Original Federal period trim, including baseboards, chair rail, window and door surrounds, decorate the room as does the elaborate mantelpiece.

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Milk House

In the 18th and early 19th century dairy products were stored in the milk house. The Hancock family used the building as a grocery and dry goods store in the early 20th century until the frame building was later constructed. It also has the galleting that is also used on the house.

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Gardens

A “kitchen garden” located just outside the home consisted of both foods and herbs and ornamental plants. Kitchen gardens were common place into the 1900s. The current garden is a historically accurate reconstruction of the Hancock family garden. A grove of ancient Lilacs and a thicket of Chickasaw Plums (known to be utilized by the pre-Colonial Indian populations of Anne Arundel County) are found outside the gardens.

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Well

The well is believed to have dated from the 18th century when the house was constructed. The well remained in use until the 1950’s when the elderly Mamie Hancock could no longer manage the daily chore of hauling water for everyday use and a modern well with hand pump was installed closer to the house. Approximately 14 feet deep, the well is lined with stones “dry laid” and is untouched except for repairs at the frost line.

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Store

The Hancock family ran a dry goods and grocery store in the 20th century. The store served the local farmers, lighthouse keepers, fisherman, and oyster dredgers as well as the seasonal workers who were employed at the farm. This current building is a historically accurate reconstruction of the frame building and houses displays and a small gift shop.

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Barn Site

This is believed to be the site of an early barn. At some future date, we hope to reconstruct the barn and have farm animals.

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Trail

Self-guided Tour (map available at entrance)

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Trail

Self-guided Tour (map available at entrance)

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Bodkin Creek

War of 1812 Burning of Lion picture – wording to use: On August 24, 1814, a British raiding party, patrolling the Patapsco area in advance of their attack on Baltimore, entered Bodkin Creek and burned a “fine” American schooner they identified as being the “Lion of Baltimore”. That is the same name as one of America’s best privateers in the War of 1812 although, it turns out, there may have been more than one vessel of that name.