Rising Sun Inn
1090, Generals Highway (MD 178), Crownsville, Anne Arundel County
The Rising Sun is a mid- and late-18th century 1 1/2-story frame house facing northeast. The house was constructed in two sections, the earlier dating to c. 1753 and covered with a gable roof and featuring a brick gable end, laid in header bond. This end incorporates a flush chimney. In the late 18th century, a frame, one-room gambrel roof wing was added to the northwest gable end of the house. A brick exterior end chimney is located at the northwest elevation of this wing. Both sections of the building rest on a brick foundation laid in English bond. There is a watertable, and a seam in the foundation marks the two sections. The walls are covered with random-width weatherboards, some of which are beaded. The roof is covered with wooden shingles, and two gabled dormers pierce both the facade and the rear slopes of the roof. Two shed-roof dormers pierce the facade and rear slopes of the gambrel roof. The principal entrance, covered by a pedimented one-story wide frame porch, is surmounted by a 7-pane transom and flanked by 3-pane sidelights. All windows are 9/6 sash with vertical board shutters, except for those in the northwest elevation which are 6/6 sash. The gable-roofed dormers are lit by 4/2 sash windows and the shed-roofed dormers by 6/6 sash windows. The basement is lit by several 3-pane windows. In its present form, the house displays a center-passage plan with one room to either side and a one-room addition on the northwest end. Since 1916, Rising Sun has been used as the headquarters of the Anne Arundel Chapter of the D.A.R. A portion of it is leased as a residential unit.
The Rising Sun is important architecturally as a rare example of a frame 18th century dwelling which features a massive brick gable end laid in header bond. Few 18th century dwellings survive in central Anne Arundel County, making this structure particularly noteworthy. Historically, the Rising Sun is significant for its use as a tavern during the late 18th century, and for its association with the Baldwin family, prominent Anne Arundel County citizens and builders of the house. Built c. 1753 by Edward Baldwin, it was expanded in c. 1784 by his son, Henry Baldwin. Henry Baldwin operated it as a tavern from 1785 until his death in 1793. The Rising Sun is also significant for its location on a major colonial road between Baltimore and Annapolis. This road was used by Generals Washington and Rochambeau during the Revolution, and continued to be an important north-south route into the 20th century. The Rising Sun is important for its association with the early-19th century owners, Richard and Mary Caton, the son-in-law and daughter of Charles Carroll, the Signer. And finally, since 1916 the Rising Sun has been owned by the Anne Arundel Chapter of the D.A.R. which rescued it from a near ruinous condition.