Ancestral Homes · Cherry Grove

Cherry Grove


Cherry Grove, Jenning's Chapel Road, Glenwood, MD. Home of Benjamin Warfield, who served in the American Revolution.

Richard Warfield, the Founder and progenitor first settled west of Crownsville "in the woods", his land reaching back to Round Bay within sight of the Severn River. Richard also owned the Black Horse Tavern, 9 miles west of Annapolis. Still in his youth, Warfield took up land in the lower district of Anne Arundel County, known as Middle Neck Hundred, where he purchased for 3,000 pounds of tobacco a tract known as "Wayfield", originally patented to Nicholas Wyatt in 1664 as "Wayfield". His later additions of land adjoined this property and included Warfield's Addition, The Encrease [Increase] and Hope. Still later Richard Warfield acquired scattered parcels including Warfield's Right, Warfield's Plains, Brandy and Warfield's Forest.

In 1670 Richard married Elinor Browne, daughter of Captain John Browne of London and Annapolis, a mariner of considerable wealth. They had seven children, including John, Richard II, Alexander, Benjamin, Rachel, Elinor and Mary. Wayfield with its surrounding acreage, is believed to have been the site of his dwelling plantation.

Richard Warfield was recognized as a man of considerable talent and foresight. While serving as a militia officer in the provincial forces of Anne Arundel County, he signed the 1689 address to King William following the seizure of power by William and Mary in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. He was among the first of the Anne Arundel settlers to move westward, where he explored the lands of Upper Arundel. With his son John he patented Warfield's range, a tract of 1,080 acres on March 26, 1696.

John Warfield, who was to become the grandfather of Captain Benjamin Warfield of Cherry Grove, married Ruth Gaither, daughter of John Gaither on February 16, 1697. Although an "outstandingly successful farmer", Benjamin Warfield was also a patriot who left an admirable record of service to his country. He is mentioned in the archives of the Revolutionary War. By order of the Council, a commission was issued to Benjamin Warfield, Captain in Elk Ridge Battalion of Militia, Monday, March 2, 1778. Thirty four years later two of his sons, Philemon and Beale, served in the War of 1812, barely missing action in the ill-fated battle of Bladensburg (the "Bladensburg Races").

Cherry Grove was left to his youngest son, Joshua; Beale settled on his mother's estate and built Springdale; Philemon made his home on Ridgely's Great Range north of Cherry Grove. He called his home Brick House Farm, which is known today as The Heritage. Captain Benjamin was buried at Cherry Grove in a family plot that has since become the final resting place of many of his descendants. In the early 20th century, Governor Edwin Warfield and his brothers, great-grandsons of Captain Benjamin Warfield, marked the burial ground by encircling it with a protective stone wall.

In 1940, shortly after the famous landmark was acquired by Arthur Nichols, a Washington attorney, it was written: "Few houses in the State are more suggestive of the world that used to be than this vine-clad, rambling structure, whose boxed stairway, extensive paneling, huge fireplaces and tiny windows combined to make it snug in winters." Cherry Grove, on high ground among hoary elms, "also reflects the genius possessed by the early settlers for placing their houses in the best advantage."

Excerpts taken from "Old Homes and Families of Howard County, Maryland", by Celia M. Holland, 1987, p 240.


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©2005 George A. Scheele MD