Inside Annapolis | About Annapolis 

A Brief History of Annapolis

Annapolis is located in central Maryland on the southern bank of the Severn River as it feeds into the Chesapeake Bay. It is the capital of Maryland and seat of Anne Arundel County and from November 26, 1783 to June 3, 1784, Annapolis served as the capital of the United States.

The Maryland State House was built between 1772 and 1779. Surrounded by State Circle, it sits at the top of the hill overlooking Annapolis Harbor and the Bay. It is the nation’s oldest state house in continuous legislative use and is well known for its beautiful setting and large wooden dome which can be seen from many parts of town. It was this historic building in which General George Washington resigned from the Continental Army in 1783 and the Treaty of Paris, which ended the American Revolution, was signed in 1784. Maryland lawmakers meet here at the beginning of each year for their three-month legislative session.

The seafaring town of Annapolis is known for its rich cultural and maritime history, well-preserved homes and breathtaking views from Church Circle at the top of Main Street down to the water. The quaint historic district and lovely harbor are framed by the mouth of the Severn River and picturesque Spa Creek as they merge into the expansive Chesapeake Bay, the nation’s largest estuary. Home to the United States Naval Academy, founded in 1845, and St. John’s College, founded as the King William’s School in 1696, Annapolis welcomes thousands of visitors every year to these institutions and the lovely town.

Originally settled by followers of Puritanism from Virginia in 1649 as the town of Providence, Annapolis later became known as Town of Proctor’s, Town at the Severn, and Anne Arundel Town. In 1694, the community became the provincial capital of Maryland and was renamed Annapolis in honor of Princess (later Queen) Anne of England. The narrow streets are lined with lovingly restored historic buildings from many different periods in their characteristic styles. In fact, Annapolis has more surviving colonial buildings than any other location in the country. The city’s historic district is also a major tourist attraction and a gathering place for shopping, dining and entertainment along the streets that slope down to the harbor.

Annapolis is considered one of the ten best places to live in the United States. Loved by visitors and residents alike, more than 35,000 people have chosen to reside here. Although it has nearly 20 miles of waterfront of its own, Annapolis is situated in Anne Arundel County which boasts more than 500 miles of shoreline along the Bay and the creeks and rivers that feed it. With its fine harbor and proximity to the Chesapeake Bay, Annapolis is considered the sailing capital of the nation and is host to the largest in-the-water annual sail and powerboat shows in the country.

Beyond the waterfront, you will find rolling countryside with both established neighborhoods and new communities, most an hour or less from the big city bustle of Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Md. Located near the western base of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, Annapolis provides a port of entry and a commercial and distribution center for the surrounding agricultural communities. It thrives economically on government activity, the production of radar electronics and underwater military devices, and communications research and development. As a result, the greater Annapolis area is home to many significant corporate and governmental leaders.

It is not surprising that the area attracts the finest in health care and education. Anne Arundel Medical Center, founded in 1902 and regionally and nationally recognized for high-tech medical services and personalized patient care, is located in its new facility just minutes from downtown Annapolis. Anne Arundel Community College, named the 2001 Community College of the Year, is well-situated across the Severn River.

What event in the Annapolis area are you most looking forward to in 2006?

Powerboat Show
Sailboat Show
Renaissance Festival
Seafood Festival
County Fair

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