In the first days when Captain Charles and Rebecca Ridgely lived in the Lower House, they watched their mansion at the top of the hill rise from foundations dug by enslaved, indentured, and paid laborers. Ridgely called the Lower House Huntsman's Lodge during this period.
In the 1840s, as the Overseer's House, the building was expanded to include a three-bay east wing, with new porches built on the east and south sides of the wing. The Lower House then became the Farm Manager's house after the abolition of slavery in 1864.
In the 1930s, it became known as the Huntsman's Lodge once more, and housed guests attending foxhunting events at Hampton. Finally, in 1948, when the Mansion and 43 acres became a unit of the National Park Service, the Lower House became the residence of the last generation of Ridgelys: John Ridgely, Jr. and Jane Rodney, until her death in 1978. The 14 acre farm landscape is now a part of the Historic Site.
The buildings and landscape you see today have filled many functions across two hundred years. They have witnessed the labor of many people and hold many memories. For more information on the stories found in this virtual tour, please consult our website: https://www.nps.gov/hamp/ and thank you for exploring with us!