Members of the Charles County Garden Club, the Historical Society of Charles County (HSCC), College of Southern Maryland (CSM) administration and the Board of Charles County Commissioners gathered on the grounds of the La Plata Campus to dedicate the newly completed and landscaped Friendship House Garden May 16.
Weve been busy digging, and our fingernails show it, said Charles County Garden Club Pilgrimage Project Chair Peggy Schaumburg, who was instrumental in the planning and completion of the project.
Most successful partnerships are those that combine enthusiasm and energy, said CSM President Dr. Brad Gottfried, who added that if not for the HSCC the Friendship House would not be on the colleges campus. It is well preserved now and we are very pleased to have a grant to add descriptive markers that will tell not only the history of the Friendship House, but also the process of getting it here. Gottfried further thanked Schaumburg and others for their commitment of getting down on hands and knees to see the project through.
The original site of the Friendship House overlooked Nanjemoy Creek in western Charles County, according to Friendship House Foundation Chair Mike Mazzeo, who presented a historical prospective on the preservation and reconstruction of the 18th- century home on the grounds of the college. Friendship House was rescued in 1968 from demolition by members of the HSCC that disassembled the house, methodically numbering each piece. The pieces were stored in a barn until 1977 when the house was rebuilt in its present location.
This truly unique house represents the combined efforts of many talented and farsighted people who worked passionately to save something special from the past, said Mazzeo. Today it stands as a tribute to the life and architecture of Marylands earliest settlers.
Speaking on the value of preserving historical resources, Charles County Commissioners President Candice Quinn Kelly said that structures such as Friendship House provide significantly to taxpayer through added revenue from tourism. Along with Charles County Commissioner Vice President Reuben B. Collins, Kelly presented the county seal to Garden Club President Sybil Alger.