Rose HillEllerslie

Attractively maintained, architecturally distinctive, and historically significant, Ellerslie is one of Charles County’s most important historic landmarks. Built in the late Georgian style with Federal interior decorations, it is one of the best preserved examples of late 18th-century architecture in lower Southern Maryland. Its long association with two of Southern Maryland’s most politically and socially prominent families serves to further establish its regional landmark status.

The existing fifty-two acres, known as Ellerslie, were originally part of a tract of land called Coates Retirement. The tract was surveyed several times and patented to Bartholomew Coates in the 1660s. Coates died around 1673 and, in 1674, the patent was finally awarded to his widow, Mary. Following her death the property passed into the ownership of her heirs, William and Thomas Coates.
Rear viewBy 1720 the property had been declared in escheat (reverting to Lord Baltimore) and a new warrant for resurvey, followed by a patent for 500 acres, was awarded to Dr. Daniel Jenifer, a prosperous and influential gentleman who amassed extensive landholdings throughout Charles County. For over 100 years Coates Retirement remained in the possession of the heirs and descendants of Dr. Jenifer, including his son, Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer, a nationally prominent political figure who served in the Second Continental Congress and signed the Constitution of the United States for Maryland in 1787. Coates Retirement passed from the hands of the Jenifer family in 1835 when it was sold to Henry Brawner and became known as Elleslie. Walter H. J. Mitchell acquired Ellerslie from Brawner’s widow, in 1854. Mitchell, a Jenifer descendant who lived at Linden near Port Tobacco, was a locally prominent political figure who made an unsuccessful bid for the governorship in the late 1850s. A graduate of Yale College, he was active in legal and political affairs and maintained close affiliations with many nationally important political figures until his death in 1869. Ellerslie, containing about 700 acres, remained in the Mitchell family until Howard N. Bowie purchased the property in 1957. He subdivided the land, leaving the 52 acres around the house intact.

The Friends of Historic Ellerslie formed in recent years to raise money for purchase and preservation of the site. Tax deductible donations should be addressed to:

Friends of Ellerslie, P.O. Box 214, Port Tobacco, Maryland 20677.

For more information, call John Lohr: 301.870.3245