9650 Muirkirk Road, Laurel, MD 20708
301-377-7817; TTY 301-446-3302; Fax 301-377-7818
Montpelier's construction began in 1781 after the marriage of Ann Ridgely and "Major" Thomas Snowden in 1774, each a member of prominent Maryland families. Situated upon a high knoll above the Patuxent River, the site commanded an unequaled view. Two firebacks in the house inscribed "TSA 1783," indicate the owners and probable completion year of the mansion.
Seventy acres and the house itself remain of what once was a plantation with land holdings of approximately 9,000 acres, an array of outbuildings, including various tobacco barns, stables, and slave quarters, among others. Although limited documentation is available about the daily operations, enslaved Africans and indentured servants provided the labor as field hands and skilled craftsmen at the plantation and the Patuxent Ironworks.
The Snowdens' reputation for genteel hospitality and the proximity of their home to the main road to northern cities, such as Philadelphia and New York, made Montpelier host to many famous people. George Washington visited several times, most notably on his way to and from the Constitutional Convention in 1787. Abigail Adams also stayed at Montpelier and described the estate as a "Large, Handsome, Elegant House, where I was received with what we might term true English Hospitality."
Montpelier remained in the Snowden family until 1890. Throughout the years following 1890, the estate changed ownership several times and new facilities were constructed. In the early 1900's, the kitchen and servants' quarters extension off the south wing were added, as was the seven-stall garage, known as the carriage house. The house was restored in the 1980s to reflect the occupation of Nicholas Snowden who inherited the house from his father and owned it until his death in 1831.
Montpelier Mansion, a National Historic Landmark, is one of the finest examples of 18th century Georgian architecture in the state. Large trees and boxwood grace the landscape which features a rare surviving 18th century summer house.