Things to Do Museums

William Paca House and Garden

186 Prince George St., Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 990-4543
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About William Paca House and Garden

The William Paca House & Garden is a National Historic Landmark, restored to its colonial-era splendor by Historic Annapolis, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving Annapolis. Take some time to experience the 18th century life of lawyer, and signer of the Declaration of Independence, William Paca, as you browse through his breathtaking home. The House is open for docent-led tours for individuals and groups. Tours take place hourly on the half-hour, last approximately 40 minutes, and encompass two floors of 18th-century history. Walk through the parlor, kitchen, grand foyer and many bedrooms, getting a true sense of what it was like to be a part of the high-society of Annapolis during the 1700s. You can take a self-paced tour of the garden at any time during open hours. After a tour, visit the gift shop and pick up some souvenirs to remember this unique experience. The house and garden can also be rented out by those seeking an historic setting for events such as weddings, meetings, and reunions.

Facinating Historic tour
Visited Paca house during the Christmas holidays. There were four visitors in our group. Our tour guide, Michele, was very knowledgeable, friendly, and answered all our questions. She made our... Read Full Review
Holiday Open House
We toured the house, which was fun with all of the people in period costumes in each room. The house is wonderfully restored. They had a violinist playing Christmas songs which was quite festive... Read Full Review
Nice Garden...Much nicer in season!
We stopped in for a tour of the Paca house and garden. We were visiting in early December, so the garden was not at all in its glory. Still, we enjoyed wandering around and seeing the layout. The... Read Full Review

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Gospel Brunch - A Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Celebration Event
William Paca House and Garden

Gospel Brunch - A Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Celebration Event

July 14, 2018

Barely a fortnight had passed after the ratification of Maryland’s “Free Constitution” when Frederick Douglass returned to his beloved home state. His return was welcomed by a large Baltimore church, which he entered as the choir jubilantly sang “Home, Sweet Home!” What better way, then, to celebrate the life of Frederick Douglass than with gorgeous gospel music, accompanied by a delicious brunch? Join Historic Annapolis and Extensions of Faith Choir for a wonderful morning of tasty food, classic gospel songs, and a great celebration of the life of the great African-American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman. Reservations required. Please register at www.annapolis.org.

Fourth of July Celebration and Naturalization Ceremony – A Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Celebration Event
William Paca House and Garden

Fourth of July Celebration and Naturalization Ceremony – A Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Celebration Event

July 4, 2018

Fourth of July events at the William Paca House and Garden present an annual opportunity to celebrate freedom on this historic day. Special this year, hear Frederick Douglass read his famous speech What to the Slave is the Fourth of July? – originally presented in front of the Maryland State House in 1852 – an exciting way to ponder and celebrate the meaning of freedom. In addition, the day will include an inspirational Naturalization Ceremony where dozens of people from communities around the globe become America’s newest citizens. Subsequently, the William Paca House will be filled with living historians interpreting many Mr. Paca himself and other notable Annapolis residents who will share why they pledged their lives, fortunes, and honor to the revolutionary cause of American independence. Throughout the day, hands-on activities for all ages will bring the struggles of freedom and independence to life.

From a Haunted Plate: Becoming an 18th and 19th Century Black Chef - A Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Celebration Event
William Paca House and Garden

From a Haunted Plate: Becoming an 18th and 19th Century Black Chef - A Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Celebration Event

May 14, 2018

Throughout Frederick Douglass’ memoir, My Bondage and My Freedom, he vividly details the interactions that the enslaved had with food and cooking. “The dinner of the slaves consisted of a huge piece of ash cake, and a small piece of pork, or two salt herrings. Not having ovens, nor any suitable cooking utensils, the slaves mixed their meal with a little water, to such thickness that a spoon would stand erect in it; and, after the wood had burned away to coals and ashes, they would place the dough between oak leaves and lay it carefully in the ashes, completely covering it; hence, the bread is called ash cake.” Michael Twitty, culinary historian and author of The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South, discusses how foodways of West and Central Africa melded with those of indigenous people and Europeans. The lecture also examines the cooking techniques, cultural transformations, and flavor principles unique to this blend of Western cuisine by early African American chefs. Reservations required. Please register at http://www.annapolis.org/  

A Suitable House for a Gentleman
William Paca House and Garden

A Suitable House for a Gentleman

March 13, 2018

The definition of a "suitable house" changed during the eighteenth century, but its purpose remained the same throughout: to display the wealth and taste of its owner and thus to affirm his right to a place of social, economic, and political leadership. This presentation, given by Dr. Jean Russo, provides an overview of the men who built these houses (many of which still grace the streets of the city today), the families who occupied them, the ways by which they accumulated their wealth, the standards of embellishing and furnishing them, and the intricate kinship web that bound these households together. Reservations required. Use the ticket link to reserve and purchase tickets.

Mary Paca's World
William Paca House and Garden

Mary Paca's World

March 8, 2018

Mary Paca was born on Wye Island in Queen Anne County, into a paternal lineage with roots in southern Anne Arundel County, and spent almost her entire life in Annapolis. Elements of the three places that made up her world shaped the course of her life. By studying the fragmentary clues left in probate records, letters, newspapers, and other primary sources, in the context of similar households and women for whom we have more explicity evidence, Dr. Jean Russo will demonstrate in this lecture that we can gain a richer understanding of this enigmatic woman. Reservations required. Use the ticket link to reserve and purchase tickets.

Dressing 18th Century: A Ladies' Afternoon
William Paca House and Garden

Dressing 18th Century: A Ladies' Afternoon

February 25, 2018

Kimberly Walters and Kerry McClure will present a short history on the different classes of ladies dress that would have been common between 1765-1775. The focus of the discussion will be on the lower sorts, middling, and gentry classes. There will be a demonstration on how to dress, showing the proper look of the time. Special emphasis will be on docent dress for the Paca House and Garden. This program is for ladies only. Reservations required. Use the ticket link to reserve and purchase.