Prince George's County Department of Parks and Recreation
Snow Hill Manor
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History

Historical Significance

Snow Hill Manor is a 2½-story brick plantation house of late Georgian style located on 15 acres of land in Laurel, Maryland. Situated on a knoll overlooking the Patuxent River, the home was built in 1755 alongside a main road connecting it to the highway leading to Philadelphia and New York.

One of many homes in the Laurel area formerly owned by the distinguished Snowden family, Snow Hill Manor has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1974.

History

Snow Hill, built between 1799 and 1800, is a late Georgian style house built by Samuel Snowden, the son of Richard Snowden III?, grandson of Captain Richard Snowden, and great grandson of Richard Snowden, “The Immigrant”.  The Snowden family emigrated from Wales to Maryland in 1675, settling in what was then Calvert County.  From 1676 to 1685, “The Immigrant” received 1,976 acres of land near the Patuxent River; by 1690, he had settled in present day Howard County near Laurel.  Captain Richard Snowden, who built “Birmingham Manor” (burned 1891), had a single heir, Richard III, who inherited the entire Snowden estate amounting to over 26,000 acres in modern Anne Arundel, Prince George’s, Montgomery and Howard Counties and Washington DC, as well as the iron works on land patent “Iron Mine” granted to the family before 1700.  In 1726, Richard Snowden III formed the Patuxent Iron Works, with Edmund Jennings of Annapolis; by the time of Snowden’s death, he was sole owner of the iron works. 

Richard Snowden III had four sons and six daughters. His son Samuel was born in 1727 and died in 1801, leaving his estate to his nine children.  Samuel inherited one third of his father’s iron works, as well as 6,000 acres of land in Anne Arundel and Prince George’s Counties.  In 1774,  Samuel  served on the Committee of Safety, and although a Quaker, is supposed to have actively assisted the patriot cause during the Revolutionary War.  He died in 1801 and left the following in his will dated 17 September 1800:

To his son Samuel, Jr. “all my lott or parcels of land (whereon my dwelling house was burnt) lying in Prince George’s County aforesaid being part of Birmingham Manor containing eleven hundred and thirteen acres of land”, as well as his household effects, cattle, four horses, and wagons belonging to the plantation.  He also gave to son Samuel, Jr. “a sum not exceeding five hundred pounds like money (including the sum of one hundred and twenty five pounds which I have already engaged to pay) for the purpose of being laid out and expended in procuring materials for, and for rebuilding and refitting, my late dwelling house, which was burnt, and which I have devised as aforesaid to my said son Samuel and his heirs forever”. 

On 19 June 1801, eight days before his death, Samuel Snowden added a codicil to his will, withholding 1250 from his son Samuel “in light of the considerable sums of money” expended in the “finishing of the dwelling house devised by me to my son Samuel Snowden.”

Samuel Snowden, Jr. built the present Snow Hill between 1799 and 1801 (with the financial assistance of his father as shown from his will, above).  He died in 1823 and his land was divided among his children, Samuel C., Mary, Sarah, Martha, Joseph, and Rebecca.  From a survey drawn at the time of this division, it shows that Sarah Snowden inherited the portion that included the dwelling house.  In 1865, she and her sister Mary Tyson sold their lands to Benjamin and Sarah Alsop, who conveyed them to John Alsop, whose son Thomas Alsop lost the estate in a mortgage foreclosure.  Anna Frye then acquired Snow Hill and later sold it to H. Rozier Dulany in 1907.  Alice McCauley purchased it from Dulany, and the last private owners, the Warrens, acquired it from McCauley in 1940. 

In June 1992, the site was purchased by M-NCPPC for use as a rental facility for public and private functions.




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