Cape St. Claire, Annapolis: From Farmland to Suburb

real estate  /   /  By Tracy

Annapolis is a community full of military connections, particularly with the navy. Currently, the United States Naval Academy is based within this beautiful city. Yet, Annapolis is also home to the site of the 1786 Annapolis Convention, which called for the Constitutional Convention that was held the following year. During 2007, the Annapolis Peace Convention was also held in the city. Yet for all these important aspects of Annapolis, it is also full of neighborhoods that contribute their own unique tales to the city.

Welcome to Cape St. Claire, Annapolis


One such suburb is Cape St. Claire. This unincorporated section of Annapolis was originally farmland until the late 1920s. Much of the farmland was controlled by a small number of families. There are still two houses and assorted buildings standing from this era, the Stinchcomb House and Goshen Farm House plus its outlying buildings. In the early part of the 20th century, a doctor named Hugh H. Young began to buy up the farmland. His goal was to create a new community. However, it proved to be an ill-timed venture. The Great Depression reared its ugly head, forcing further development to be put on hold.

His children formed the River Bay Company after his death to manage the property. Their plan was also to develop and build a community, but with the vision of being a retreat for residents of the nation’s capital. The district saw some growth, but continued to be run primarily by representatives of the River Bay Company. In 1989, the county approved the formation of a tax district that encompassed Cape St. Claire. The tax receipts have allowed this community to build a fish/crabbing pier, purchase more common property for the benefit of the residents and improve other community assets.

The district is very family friendly and geared to accommodate those with younger children. It has a school system, which includes an elementary school and high school. In addition, there are three marinas, numerous beaches and parks, a shopping center and even a swim club. Thus, families have plenty of outdoor activities available. Clubs in the area include the Cub, Boys and Junior Girls Scouts, a recreation council, garden club, yacht club and the Goshen Farm Preservation Society.

Cape St. Claire, Annapolis

Over the years, the members of the community have striven to adjust the covenants to reflect changing times. Recently, they removed a section that made racial references considered offensive by the community today. As part of the preservation efforts at Goshen Farm, they have created a community-sharing garden, where individuals and families can grow their own vegetables, spices and fruits. Thus the community as a whole is encouraged to get dirty and eat fresh. Contributions are also solicited for the care and overall upkeep of the historical buildings still standing on the property. The Board of Education owns the primarily wooded 22 acres.

This area allows its residents to enjoy the amenities of Annapolis, while capturing a piece of small town America. The outside wonders become part of the beauty of this little suburb.

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