In 2006, several neighbors in Cape St. Claire, a community on the Broadneck peninsula near Annapolis, found an undiscovered Temple of the Mayans. Okay, they didn’t really, but it felt that way. It was a recently vacated and historic home from the 18th century – right behind their children’s elementary school, hidden behind a long layer of trees and random undergrowth.
What is this?
None of them knew each other, but they had this amazing discovery as a shared experience. They stared in awe at this home that time forgot. Who had lived here and why was it empty? It was unlocked, in near perfect condition, with original architecture everywhere: windows, stairwells, fireplace mantels, period interior construction and a stucco finish which covered up the ancient bones.
To their dismay, as the weeks went by, the home was slowly but deliberately attacked. Teenagers wreaked havoc on the place, literally beating it to death. Many of them were caught, often red handed with their weapons of mayhem, spray paint and beer. It was a slow train wreck.
Feeling helpless, this group of neighbors who lived just blocks away started patrolling the grounds of the property, hoping to stop the invaders. They found a tall chain link fence in the north of the county, which was listed for free, and then requested the help of a local company to install it. The fence was long enough to encircle the house and the small dairy barn next to it. Over time, they had to cover the spray paint, board up the broken windows and enclose the porch. The vandalism started to decrease and after a while it stopped altogether.
Let’s do this!
Now what? A committee that had formed on-the-fly got organized. More people joined the cause. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation was created and volunteer positions were filled. A website was built. The grounds were mowed. A history was painstakingly researched and documented. Security cameras were added. Things took off from there.
Today, Historic Goshen Farm is a premier destination for educational programs. Committees of volunteers provide tours of this wonderfully preserved farming artifact from the early years of Anne Arundel County. The restoration is still a work in progress and there is much to do, but this farm is a beautiful place to behold with every visit.
Walk the grounds with your best friend
If you live nearby, you may visit to attend musical or educational events and walk your dog. When anyone becomes a member of the Goshen Farm Preservation Society Inc. for a small fee, the world opens: you may lease one or more 10×10’ garden plots, volunteer for fun events, join committees and walk the property as an insured member.
What is the best activity at Historic Goshen Farm? While it is hard to pick, your four-legged best friends would tell you if they could: It is the dog walking on the soft green fields that surround the main house. No contest. Rain or shine, cloudy or sunny, Historic Goshen Farm will never disappoint you, your family or your furry buddy.
In the Capital Gazette newspaper
Historic Goshen Farm has enjoyed the support of our local newspaper for many years.
February 2007, Officer catches young vandals damaging historic farmhouse