Notes on Hampton Mansion
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A. The Beginnings of the Hampton Project

Herewith is a brief chronology showing how the Hampton project was set up by an offer of the Avalon Foundation to the National Park Service. The real origin of the story is narrated by Historian Ronald F. Lee in a letter included in this report as Appendix E.

These items are taken from National Park Service files.

January 10, 1947

Donald D. Shepard, Co-trustee, the Avalon Foundation, to Secretary of the Interior J. A. Krug--a gift of $90,000 proposed if the United States acquires Hampton and agrees to protect, preserve, maintain, operate, manage and exhibit the premises as a historic site under the provisions of the Act of August 21, 1935.

April 15, 1947

C. Girard Davidson, Assistant Secretary of the Interior, to Shepard--The National Park Service believes the property can be acquired for $45,000 plus. If $15,000 is spent on acquiring furnishings from the Ridgelys, about $25,000 plus would be available for repairs, reinforcements and refurnishing.

May 10, 1947

Secretary Krug to Mr. Shepard--agrees to accept property and gift of money for rehabilitation and repairs as specified by the Foundation.

October 20, 1947

Press Release--Secretary of the Interior announces that Hampton will be acquired by the United States by gift of the Avalon Foundation.

December 18, 1947

John H. Scarff, Secretary pro-tem to the Hampton Committee--Lists wanted repairs, modern conveniences and redecorating preparatory to the operation of the Site by the Society for the Preservation of Maryland Antiquities.

December 19, 1947

Cooperative Agreement, Society for the Preservation of Maryland Antiquities with the United States Government for preserving and exhibiting Hampton. United States to pay $5,600 per annum towards costs.

March 22, 1948

NPS Associate Director Arthur E. Demaray to John Ridgely of Hampton--Title to Hampton is now vested in the United States.

August 27, 1948

Regional Director, Thomas J. Allen, Jr. (Richmond, Va.) to NPS Director--new budget submitted:

I. Purchase of mansion and grounds (spent) $45,515.00
II. Purchase of furnishings ($5,000 spent, $700 reserved for copy portraits) 15,000.00
III. Repairs, physical improvements for operation and restoration, main building only ($1,683.00 already spent for leveling floors) 25,485.00
IV. Administration, protection and maintenance 4,000.00


October 1, 1948

Scarff to Director NPS--Society for the Preservation of Maryland Antiquities is "not now prepared to accept custodianship unless a minimum and adequate water supply for use and for fire protection is provided and unless the second floor construction [Ghost Room] is stabilized."

December 29, 1948

Shepard to Secretary of the Interior--Foundation grants an additional $40,000 for water supply and other items plus matching fund of $18,000. Museum Administrator J. Paul Hudson has been working with the Ridgelys on the disposition of furnishings remaining in the house.

January 5, 1949

Newton B. Drury, NPS Director to Regional Director--cut-off date of 1825 will be observed for restoration and furnishings.

January 14, 1949

NPS Director to Shepard--Superintendent James W. Rader of Fort McHenry designated government liaison officer for Hampton.

February 8, 1949

NPS Director to President Robert Garrett, SPMA--Maryland Garden Club has donated $500.00 for a study of the Hampton Gardens.

February 16, 1949

Memo Regional Director Allen (Richmond, Va.) to his professional staff (Peterson, O'Neil, Abbott and Appleman)--agreement on details of work to be done with hope that Mansion can be opened to the public on May 5.

February 24, 1949

NPS Regional Architect Peterson to Architect Bryden B Hyde, SPMA--Estimates: Water supply $27,615.00. Leveling floor and radiant heat for Drawing Room $9,000.00. Balance for redecoration and interior repairs throughout Mansion $3,385.00.

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Last Updated: 07-Jul-2008