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Anne Arundel County in Maryland has a long history stretching back to 1649. The second Lord Baltimore, Cecilius Calvert, founded this area as a royal colony. Named after his lovely wife after her early and unfortunate death, the area has seen it's share of turbulent and peaceful times. Anne Arundel has been a county for longer than the United States of America has been a nation. The past is never far away in Anne Arundel and the entire area is full of historic homes dating back to the colonial period.
The capitol of Anne Arundel County, and the entire state of Maryland, is the maritime city of Annapolis. Many people assume that this city is also named after Anne Arundel, but this is only partly correct. The original city was called Anne Arundel Towne, but its name was changed in 1695 to honor the Princess Anne, sister to England's Queen Mary. Today, Annapolis is a thriving city, but it is also deeply rooted in history. The Maryland State House, where the State Congress of Maryland meets, is the oldest in the nation. The United States Government even briefly used Annapolis as the national capitol during the end of the Revolutionary War.
One of the reasons why Anne Arundel County has so many historic sites is that since the English Civil War, part of which was fought in the county, the area has not seen much destruction. It has often been used as a safe harbor, such as during the Revolutionary War, and even the Civil War. Furthermore, while the city of Baltimore rapidly expanded, Anne Arundel County grew at a more moderate pace. It's residents took care to preserve their historical buildings instead of tearing them down to build new ones. In fact, residents claim that there are more 17th century buildings in use in Annapolis than anywhere else in the county.
Due to its location on the western shore of Chesapeake Bay, sailing and boating is a big part of life in Anne Arundel County. The United States Naval Academy has been training sailors here since 1845. Early maritime battles were fought in this region, with the earliest being the Battle of the Severn during England's Civil War period. The Chesapeake Bay and Severn River were once the lifelines of Anne Arundel County. Visitors to the region should look into renting a boat or using a tour guide to view the area's waterways. Check out the region's large sailboats and feel free to take a lesson or two.
Other interesting historical attractions in Anne Arundel County include the Historic Annapolis Foundation Museum. Visitors can see what life was like in this early American port city during colonial times. Those wanting to leave Annapolis and tour other parts of the county can venture southwards. The London Town House is the only surviving building of London Town, a lost colonial port that was the first capitol of the area.
Major Cities in Anne Arundel County include: