Photo of couple at Revolutionary London Town 2018 by Bob Peterson Photography

ANNUAL REPORT: FY2018

Thank You from Executive Director Rod Cofield


2018 was another memorable year at Historic London Town & Gardens! We educated and entertained over 23,000 people (and at least 233 dogs) through our school and group tours, public programs, weddings & rentals, and general visitation. While most of our visitors are from Anne Arundel County, we welcomed people from across the state of Maryland and beyond.

 

The following are just some of the highlights of an amazing year: 

Rod Cofield by Bob Peterson Photography

William Brown House with Scaffolding, 2018

WILLIAM BROWN HOUSE PRESERVATION & BUILD THE BAR CAMPAIGN

Last year, we started the first phase of a major preservation effort on the c.1760 William Brown House. The project repaired moisture damage to the building. This included repairing (or replacing) rotted wood in the exterior windows as well as repointing the brickwork. We also fixed some rotted joists and deteriorating brick supports in  the attic. 

We worked with Worcester-Eisenbrandt (WEI). Based in Baltimore, WEI specializes in historic house restoration and renovation. They've worked on the Washington National Cathedral, Mount Vernon, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

We are now preparing for the second phase of work, which will focus on upgrading the house’s electrical and HVAC systems. 
 
We are grateful for the support of former County Executive Steve Schuh, the Anne Arundel County Council, Anne Arundel County Recreation and Parks, Senator Pam Beidle, Senator John Astle, the Maryland Heritage Area Authority, Preservation Maryland, and our many donors who contributed funds to this project.

Chris Holmgren in the Carpenter Shop, photo by Bob Peterson

While work continues on the building, Chris Holmgren of Seneca Creek Joinery will soon begin constructing the Brown House’s “lost” bar.  Originally an upscale tavern, the Brown House has long been missing its cage-style bar.

 

Thank you to the many donors who contributed to our first ever crowdfunding campaign to rebuild the bar. Because of you, $18,537 was raised to Build the Bar in the William Brown House. You exceeded the goal by 24%! 

Ribbon Cutting of the Davidsonville Ruritan Garden Pavilion. From left to right: Ric Anthony, Anne Arundel County, Recreation & Parks; Bernard Lammers, Davidsonville Ruritan; Bob Leib, previous board president

DAVIDSONVILLE RURITAN GARDEN PAVILION & NATURE PROGRAMMING

In 2018, we also cut the ribbon on the new Davidsonville Ruritan Garden Pavilion. Located where the Entry Walk meets the Winter Walk, this open-air pavilion will seat up to 50 people.

The new pavilion will be particularly crucial for our upcoming nature-related field trip programs. Beginning this fall, students will discover a love for the natural world during interactive field trips to the gardens. This new educational program will complement our current colonial history field trips, which welcome nearly 6,000 students, teachers, and chaperones annually.

Thank you to the Lothian Ruritan, Davidsonville Ruritan, Four Rivers Heritage Area, and individual donors for providing funding towards adding nature programming. Thank you to the Davidsonville Ruritan for the new pavilion and to the Four Rivers Garden Club for funding to enhance the plantings surrounding it.

Magnolia in the gardens

SUPPORT FOR THE GARDENS

Thank you to all of the donors and volunteers who supported the gardens. Additionally, thank you to the Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage, Unity Gardens, and Stanley Smith Horticulture Trust for granting funds to the gardens in 2018.

 

Your support has introduced many new features into the gardens, including enhancing the Spring Walk, improving the bio-retention ponds and adding a new bio-swale, removing invasive plants, creating new pathways, and adding to the collections. 

Additionally, thank you to the donors who raised funds at last year’s Privateer Party to fund a horticulture intern this summer. And save the date for this year’s Privateer Party on Friday, November 8th. We’ll again be seeking donations during the “Fund-a-Need” for another horticulture intern in 2020.

Vegetables with Yellow Blossoms, James Peale, 1828, Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library

DEMONSTRATION GARDEN: THE GLOBAL GARDEN

We were also grateful for grants received in 2018 from the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County and Four Rivers Heritage Area for the creation of a new demonstration garden in the historic area. You will be able to enjoy new exhibits every few years in this space.

The first exhibit The Global Garden opened on August 15th. The Global Garden uses art, history, and horticulture to examine London Town’s role in a burgeoning international economy. In the late 18th century, James Peale, brother Charles Wilson Peale, and nephew Raphaelle were part of colonial America’s most successful artistic dynasty. They celebrated the abundance of the New World in their still life paintings. In the process, they also demonstrated the international nature of the new nation. Their paintings featured plants from across the world.

You can explore reproductions of paintings by the Peales’ alongside growing examples of the plants themselves. The space is truly an intersection of the arts, history, and horticulture.

Additional thanks to Level Green Landscaping for providing so much pro-bono labor to ensure the project’s success. 

Gresham Estate

GRESHAM ESTATE

Last year, London Town began working with Anne Arundel County Recreation and Parks to manage a new historic property, the Gresham Estate.

Located about 10 minutes from London Town's main site, the Gresham Estate was constructed by John Gresham II in the late 1600s, the same time that London Town was beginning to thrive. Over the years, the Estate has been owned by several families, most notably Commodore Isaac Mayo, who lived in the house until his death in 1861. Most recently, it's been restored by Leon Johnson of Johnson Pools and his family.  

Join us on Sunday, October 13 from 12 - 4pm for our first Public Open House day. Tickets are $10 - General Admission; $5 - Member; and Free - Children ages 7 and under. You can sign up in advance here. 

Girl smelling camellias, photo by Jess Lombardi

WHAT’S COMING NEXT?


We continue to use our 2017 Operations and Capital Improvement Plan as a guideline for a great future at London Town, and there are additional exciting projects already in the works to expand and improve the visitor experience. These include:

  • designing a new open-air educational pavilion, with generous support from the Phillips Charitable Foundation

  • designing a new horticulture complex, thanks to the Maryland Heritage Area Authority

  • an expanded parking lot thanks to Anne Arundel County

You can check out the Operations and Capital Improvement Plan at www.historiclondontown.org/2027 

We couldn’t have achieved all of this without our family of supporters. Cumulatively, your giving equaled $585,941! This included donations (restricted and unrestricted), fundraisers, grants and corporate giving. Note that this amount includes funds from Anne Arundel County and the State of Maryland. A list of donors is available here.  

I welcome you to visit London Town often this year and beyond. We continue hosting great programming and will increase our efforts to preserve and share this unique history and beautiful gardens. Thank you! 


Rod Cofield
Executive Director
rodcofield@historiclondontown.org

LONDON TOWN BY THE NUMBERS: 2018


Assets: $849,356
Liabilities: $229,188
Net Assets: $620,168 

2018 Total Revenue: $1,063,805

13% Program Services Revenue: $139,953
    Admissions and Tours: $77,648
    Museum and Garden Programs: $34,196
    Memberships: $28,109

55% Donations, Grants, & Fundraising Events: $585,941
    Donations & Grants: $118,408
    Government Grants: $429,374
    Fundraising Events: $38,159

32% All Other Earned Revenue: $337,911

2018 Total Expenses: $969,827

79% Program Services: $769,905

15% Management and General Expenses: $148,835

6% Fundraising Expenses: $51,087

Financials for fiscal year 2018 (January 1 - December 31, 2018) are based on the draft 2018 990. Financials for FY18 have not yet been audited. 

J.J. Bernard & Victoria Lerch, III in the William Brown House

SAYING GOOD-BYE TO VICKI LERCH

Victoria “Vicki” Lerch has retired after 35 years of involvement with Historic London Town and Gardens. For the past 16 years of her tenure, she has served as the curator of the William Brown House (c.1760). Originally a large brick tavern providing food, drink, and lodging to local residents and travelers, the William Brown House is the crown jewel of London Town’s historic area -- with Vicki at its heart.
 
Remarkably, she’s been with the William Brown House for a longer period of time than its eponymous creator had lived there. And while William Brown lost his building to bankruptcy in the 1780s, Vicki is heading out on a high note. She just saw through the first phase of a major preservation effort on the National Historic Landmark.

Learn more about her and her husband J.J. Bernard Lerch, III's amazing involvement with London Town here. 

New Victoria Lerch William Brown House Collections Fund

London Town is proud to announce the new Victoria Lerch William Brown House Collections Fund. Donations will care for and add to the William Brown House’s material culture collection: acquiring new items (reproduction or from the time period); curatorial care for items; and other services related to caring for the collections. Please consider making a contribution in honor of Vicki here

THANK YOU TO OUR 2018 SUPPORTERS

This list acknowledges all donors and members who have contributed more than $500 in donations and memberships in 2018.  We are grateful for their support.  

Grants are listed in the year they are awarded as opposed to when the awarded amount is distributed. 

 

$200,000+

Anne Arundel County Parks & Recreation

 

$100,000+

State of Maryland

 

$7,500 - $99,999

Arts Council of Anne Arundel County

Maryland Heritage Areas Authority

Preservation Maryland

TD Bank

 

$2,500 – 7,499

Davidsonville Ruritan

Four Rivers Heritage Area

Charlie and Kelli Kreter

J.J. Bernard & Victoria Lerch, III

 

$1,000 – 2,499

Anonymous (2)

George W. Anderson Jr.

Joe & Tessie Ballard

Bruce Canham

F. Rawson Carter Jr

William & Nancy Carter

Virginia Clagett

Susan Dodds

The Entwistle Family

Betsy Kirkpatrick-Howat

Maureen & David Konschnik

The McLefresh Family

Mary Kay Robertson & Paul Kjolseth

Marcella Roenneburg

Margaret Ann Ross

Sibylle Sampson

Cyrena & Stoney Simons

Gordon & Susanne Smith

United States Marine Corps Historical Company

Unity Gardens

WaWa Foundation

Level Green Landscaping

Lyon Distilling

Main and Market

Pamela Mayberry

Nancy McDonald

Milkshake Music

Mixing Maryland

Party Plus

Bob Peterson Photography

Santoni's

Saucy Salamander

Seneca Creek Joinery

The ShamRogues

Ship’s Company

Starbuck's

Eric Stocklin Photography

United States Marine Corps Historical Company

University of Maryland Extension

Ruth Verbunt

$500  - 999

Anonymous

Barrett & Anne McKown

Pam Bell & Greg Townsend

James W. Cheevers

Larry & Ruth Claussen

Dogwood Acres Pet Retreat

Bryan & Pat Dowell

Christian* & Linda Elkington

Maureen Flanagan & Jack Weaver

Jay Graham

Janice & Gary Jobson

Art Little & Barbara Tymkiw

Michele & Todd Miller

John & Martha Schwieters

Dorothy Walizer

Karen M. Whaley, CPA

Worcester-Eisenbrandt, Inc

 

In-Kind Support $500+

American Fundraising Foundation

Annapolis Design Studio

Elise Balcom

Roger Barnes

Bayside Bull

​Jami Borek

Rod Cofield

Creative Cuisine

Bill Doepkins

Dogwood Acres Pet Retreat

Eastport Oyster Boys

Eleven Courses

Christian & Linda Elkington

Fiona's Cakes

Fresh Market

Google

Greenstreet Growers

Hank & Catriona Gundlach

Ken's Creative Kitchen

Bernard Lammers

839 Londontown Road, Edgewater, MD 21037          410-222-1919         londontown@historiclondontown.org

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