The Waverly Mansion, built in the 1700s, is a rather conspicuous building. Unless there’s a wedding or event being held, it’s easy to overlook. What many people may not know is that the historic Waverly Mansion was once home to the Carrolls, Dorseys, and the Howards–three of Maryland’s most historically significant families.
In the 1700s, the Dorseys were a bit of an “It” family in the historic state, with ties to the Carrolls and the Owingses. Charles Carroll of Carrollton, who originally purchased the land where the Waverly Mansion was built, is one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and has eleven counties across the US named after him, including Carroll County, Ohio.
The Waverly Mansion belonged to Nathan Dorsey and the Dorsey family from the mid-1700s to the late-1700s. In this time, Nathan Dorsey married Sophia Owings. For those who are familiar with the state of Maryland, you may recognize Owings Mills, Maryland, which is a short, twenty-minute drive from Baltimore.
The last important family to own the Waverly Mansion was the Howard family. The interesting thing about the Howard family is that Howard County, Maryland, where the Waverly Mansion sits is named after this family. It is said that the Howards gave the Waverly Mansion its name, naming it after the novel Waverley by Sir Walter Scott.
It’s astounding that one building can hold so many historically significant families. While the fact that this building still stands is a feat in and of itself, the Waverly Mansion held seven to 25 slaves throughout its history–some named, and some unnamed.
Today, the Waverly Mansion is used as a wedding venue or as a tourist attraction for those who are interested in the supernatural.
With this comes a lesson: maybe that old building in your town might have been the home of someone great.