Charles County Wanderings

While this post doesn’t contain much in the way of new material or research, I hope the following pictures of assassination related places and things are, nevertheless, enjoyable and informative.

After leaving Spangler’s grave, I continued my trek around Charles County, MD.  My next stop was Rich Hill, the home of Colonel Samuel Cox:

As you can see, Rich Hill is in delapidated condition. Neglect is taking a toll on this historic house.

From Rich Hill, I traveled down the road to the “Pine Thicket”:

Booth and Herold moved around in this pine thicket while Thomas Jones kept them hidden from federal troops. The first place Jones met the pair in the thicket was near an old hollowed out stump that was used as a point for the Confederate mail line. The Collis house was later built on this spot. I drove down the dead end street near these signs and visited the Collis house. Next door to the home I was previously shown to be the Collis house however, there is a house that also looks very similar to the engraving in Thomas Jones’ book:

So at this point I’m not sure where the real Collis house might be. Either way a small part of the pine thicket still exists, right across from the Bel Alton post office.

From here I decided to travel to Port Tobacco to see if I could sneak in a tour of the reconstructed Port Tobacco Courthouse. I passed this sign while heading there:

While the Courthouse building was open, there were many people setting up for a wedding reception so I quickly made my leave:

From Port Tobacco I took a non-Boothie stop to the Thomas Stone National Historic Site. Thomas Stone was a Maryland signer of the Declaration of Independence and his home, Habre-De-Venture, is a National Park. The property is quite beautiful and it was a wonderful day to go walking around their nature trail.

The Stone family cemetery with Habre-De-Venture in the background

I chatted with the NPS ranger in the Thomas Stone visitor’s center for awhile and learned that she was friends of the Wearmouths, authors of Charles County history books. The pair, John and Roberta, wrote many books including ones about Port Tobacco, Thomas Jones and collected abstracts from the Port Tobacco Times newspaper. They had previously run a small antique store out of their home called, “Stone’s Throw”. She called the Wearmouths and I was invited over to see one antique related to a place I had already visited that day. I traveled to the Wearmouth’s house (literally a stone’s throw from the National Park) and chatted briefly with John and Roberta about their books. I was then showed the antique I had heard about, a piece that had once belonged to Samuel Cox, Jr. and was once housed at Rich Hill:

China cabinet owned by Samuel Cox, Jr.

This large, oak, china cabinet with curved glass is circa 1895 and is from Baltimore or D.C. The piece was shipped to Bel Alton on the Baltimore and Potomac Rail Road. The back of the piece is stenciled “S. Cox Bel Alton” to assure correct delivery off of the train. The Wearmouths bought it from an antique dealer who had acquired it from a lady who lived a few doors down from Rich Hill.

After all this I was pretty tired, so my impromptu trip around Charles County, Maryland came to an end.

P.S. Apparently while I was off driving around, you all were visiting my blog.  Today was a record day with over 310 visitors! Thanks!

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Charles County Wanderings

  1. Laurie Verge

    Sad to see that Rich Hill continues to deteriorate. The Surratt Society contacted the owner over a year ago as to its conditions and his plans – no answer. About six months ago, he was also contacted by a committee from the Charles County government and the county’s Historic Preservation Commission (which asked for my assistance). To date, no results.

    • Laurie Verge

      I meant to add also that it was nice to read that John Wearmouth is back home. He had been ill for awhile recently.

  2. rich smyth

    Dave, the picture you took of Rich Hill through the trees is quite good.

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