Project Spotlight: The Riversdale Plantation Museum

Riversdale is a Federal style manor home built between 1801-1807 for Henri Josef Stier, a Belgian-born aristocrat, and completed by his daughter, Rosalie and her husband George Calvert.

Rich in history, this manor home was home to two generations of Calverts. Rosalie’s detailed correspondence to her family back in Belgium is the bases for “Mistress of Riversdale” a book of letters that has provided detailed accounts of the building and decor of Riversdale.

Charles Benedict Calvert their son, a progressive farm, turned the 729 acre plantation into an agricultural showcase. He founded the Maryland Agricultural College which is now the University of Maryland.

Adam Francis Plummer born into slavery moved to Riversdale at the age of ten. He was one of the few slaves that could read and write. In 1841 he began keeping a diary, one of the few first hand account of slavery and emancipation in Maryland.

The first private land owner of Riversdale was Abraham Walter Lafferty, he sold Riversdale in 1949 to Maryland National Park and Planning Commission. It was restored in 1988 and opened to the public as a museum in 1993.

During the restoration of Riversdale, a small floorcloth remnant was found under the radiator in the salon room. The design was recreated by artist Bonnie Bush and I have made a new floorcloth measuring 18.8 ft x 18.8 ft for the Riversdale salon room.

Testimonials

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