The Bishop's House Bed and Breakfast
Table Of Contents
The Bishop's House is a landmark of Talbot County, conveniently located within 10 miles of Oxford and St. Michaels. Built in 1880 as the home of former Maryland Governor Philip Frances Thomas, (1848-1851), and the first State Comptroller of the Treasury, (1851-1853), the Victorian house was sold to the Episcopal Diocese and served as the Bishop's home until 1955. Located in the heart of Easton, Maryland (rated the 8th Best Small Town in America), the Bishop's House is within walking distance of the historic and picturesque Town Center, art galleries, museums, specialty and antique shops, and casual and gourmet restaurants. On site Private off-street parking, secured bicycle storage, take-away cycling maps, and complimentary bicycle use, are available to guests.
Guests rave about our breakfasts featuring our own recipes. Our full hot sumptuous breakfast, is served at 9 AM, in the spacious first floor dining room. Breakfast is included in your room rate. Hot entrees are prepared for serving at 9 AM. The decorative painted dining room features a 14 foot ceiling, ceiling medallion, plaster molding, and faux finished mantel. The dining room's painted ceiling depicts the four seasons with stag motif.
Our sumptuous breakfasts, is prepared on premises daily, and consist of a choice of seven fruit juices, individual fruit platters or fruit cup, fresh oven-baked muffins, bread or scones, breakfast meat, a "specialty egg dish," and a special entree such as Puffed Blueberry Pancakes, our specialty French Toast, or Banana Flavored Belgium Waffles. We also offer coffee and a choice of a variety of teas or hot chocolate.
The Bishop’s House offers its guests the opportunity for rest and relaxation; a location for a romantic getaway; and a central location for site seeing throughout Talbot County and the Delmarva Peninsula.
The house is filled with eclectic collections acquired by your hosts through more than 50 years of collecting. These collections bid you to explore every nook and cranny to see what may be found around the corner. The walls of the three story center hall are adored with hats dating back to 1908, many donated by former guests. If the hats could talk what wonderful stories they could tell!
"Our goal is to make your visit to the Bishop’s House and the Eastern Shore of Maryland both enjoyable & memorable."
The Bishop’s House Bed and Breakfast, our Maryland inn, offers 5 luxury guest accommodations (4 with en-suite baths, 1 with a European styled detached private hall bath). All guest room baths have shower panels with multi-jet shower heads & body jets and each guest room is equipped with a Cable TV & DVD, Mini Fridge, Clock Radio, Clock Radio with charging station for iPod, CD Player, phone jack for modem hook-up, complimentary high speed wireless connection, Ceiling Fan, Doeskin guest robes, luxurious 1000 thread count bed linens, down comforters (in season), steam iron and ironing board, hair dryer, lighted makeup mirror, and Mitsubishi Electric's Mr. Slim split system for individually controlled heat and air conditioning.
Four guest room baths have whirlpool tubs, two have walk-in showers as well as tubs, and three guest rooms have king size beds and working fireplaces.
The Front first floor Drawing Room contains a Cable TV, VCR, Telephone, and Computer that may be used by our guests. Guests may also choose from a video library and an eclectic selection of books. Two of the first floor common rooms have gas log fireplaces and complimentary high speed wireless is available throughout the house (including the wrap-around porch and courtyard).
Our guests may also use the Third Floor Sitting Room. The sitting room has a Cable TV, a DVD & VCR, a Video and DVD Library, microwave oven, refrigerator, coffee maker, ice maker, and wine cooler. The sitting room is also stocked with complimentary coffee, a selection of teas, hot chocolate, sodas, and snacks for our guests.
On site private off-street parking, Garden Courtyard with fish pond and fountain, wrap-around porch with porch swing and rockers, secured overnight bicycle storage, should you wish to bring your own, and take-away cycling maps are available to our guests. Bicycles are available for use by our guests, (includes use of helmet, lock, and chain), but must be reserved prior to your arrival to ensure availability.
Our Maryland bed and breakfast, a circa 1880 Victorian, was built by Captain Edward Roberts for Philip Frances Thomas, (1810-1890), and Clintonia Wright May Thomas, (1826-1902). The Honorable Philip Frances Thomas was the 28th Governor of the State of Maryland from 1848 to 1851, the 1st State of Maryland Comptroller of the Treasury 1851 to 1853, and the 23rd U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, 1860-1861, in the Presidential Cabinet of President James Buchanan. Upon Philip's death in 1890, the house and property were sold to the Episcopal Church for use as the residence for the Bishop of the Diocese of Easton. Since then, the house has been known as the Bishop's House, a designation that was used in identifying the house at the formation of the Easton Historic District. Philip Francis Thomas is buried in Spring Hill Cemetery, Aurora Street, Easton.
The Bishop's House was purchased in 1986, and the initial two-year restoration program was begun. This historic inn was opened for business in 1988, and the remaining restoration plan was implemented. Each year a phase of this plan is under taken. The completed work that is visible to our guests includes:
- Modern fire suppression system (sprinklers and smoke alarms with remote monitoring) throughout the house with exterior fire department connection
- Standing seam metal roof on wrap-around porch
- Upgraded electrical service with whole-house surge suppression to protect electronic equipment
- Installation of commercial kitchen equipment
- Chimney/flues relined with fireboxes rebuilt to permit use of fireplaces
- Central air conditioning for common areas
- Installation of Mitsubishi Electric's Mr. Slim Split System for individually controlled heat and air conditioning in all guest rooms
- Installation of Shower Panels featuring multiple jet Showerhead & Bodysprays in all guest room baths
- Addition of four bathrooms with whirlpool tubs
- Cable TV and modem hook ups in all guestrooms
- Replacement in kind of 16 of 51 windows
- New skylight to highlight curving staircase
- Replacement of missing plaster molding and ceiling medallions in small drawing room and dining room
- Addition of crown molding, frieze (replica from Department of Treasury), and ceiling medallion (replica of Naval Academy medallion) in entrance hall.
- Addition of ceiling medallion in a second floor guestroom (replica of Naval Academy medallion)
- Installation of gas lines/gas fire logs in first floor common areas
- Faux finishing and marbling of four fireplaces
- Faux painting and stenciling of walls and ceilings in first floor common rooms
- Installation of lightening protection with Ben Franklin style rods to maintain historic perspective
- Addition of a Garden Courtyard with a Fish Pond & Fountain
- Replacement of wrap-around porch decking using reclaimed lumber
All projects are completed while maintaining "the historic fabric" of the house. Modern conveniences are a necessity to accommodate our guests. We strive, however, to minimize their impact on the original design/fabric of the house. This allows our guests to see how a Victorian house might have looked in the 19th century.
Easton's first building, the Third Haven Friends Meeting House, was constructed in 1682 at the headwaters of the Tred Avon River on a Native American trail. A short time later, the General Assembly authorized a courthouse and the town began to grow. In 1788; the legislature renamed the town, originally named "Talbot Court House", to Easton, which became known as "The Colonial Capital of the Eastern Shore."
Easton has retained its charm through three destructive fires (1810, 1855, and 1878), the coming of the railroads, and wars. The townspeople are committed to historical preservation so that others might enjoy Easton's magnificence now and in the future.
While on your Maryland vacation at the Bishop’s House, there are many things to see and do in the area. We have listed some of them, as well as prepared a 5+ Day Itinerary, as a resource for planning an extended visit to Talbot County and the Delmarva Peninsula.
Explore the countryside on Bishop's House bicycles. Complimentary bicycle use is available to our guests for half/full days complete with chain, lock, and cycling helmets (reserve bikes when making your reservation). We also provide our guests with route maps for cycling in Talbot County. Secured overnight storage is also available for our guests, in the event that you choose to bring your own. The local near flat to flat terrain is very popular with first time as well as experienced cyclists. Routes may be chosen ranging from 10 to 60 miles through the scenic and picturesque area. The most frequently traveled bike route is the Tred Avon Circle which provides a full day adventure. The Tred Avon Circle takes you through the quaint historic town of Oxford; across the Tred Avon River on the Oxford-Bellevue Ferry; through the village of Royal Oak on to St. Michaels, the home of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum and back across Oak Creek to Easton.
Additional bicycling destinations are available at Bed, Breakfast And Biking web site for bike-friendly B & B's and inns along or near the bike trails and byways throughout the state of your choice. The innkeepers along the bike trails offer hospitality and respite for travelers. They will be happy to help you plan a trip using their B&B as a base or as one of several stops on your biking, (or hiking), vacation.
Local activities include exploring art galleries and exhibits, historic tours, specialty shops and boutiques, antique browsing, public golf courses, boating (sightseeing, nature, or sailing cruises), tennis, cycling, bowling, and wildlife refuges. Easton, provides the most exciting opportunities for antiquing on the eastern seaboard and is quickly becoming the antique Mecca of the Eastern Shore.
A variety of dining experiences are available in Easton for both lunch and dinner. For lunch, you may choose to dine indoors or out or utilize the many carry-away facilities offered in the community for picnicking in Idlewild Park, Thompson Park, or Talbot County Courthouse Grounds. Restaurants for dinner vary from casual to formal atmospheres specializing in traditional local cuisine or gourmet dining. Casual to dressy casual attire is acceptable at most of our restaurants. We strongly recommend that dinner reservations be made in advance of your stay, particularly if you wish to dine in one of the gourmet style restaurants of the area.
Providing an ideal base for your visit to Maryland's Eastern Shore, the Bishop's House is centrally located in Talbot County within 10 miles of historic Oxford and St. Michaels and only 24 miles from Tilghman Island or the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Dorchester County.
Step outside and you're two minutes away from Easton's Town Center. You're within 2 miles of the Tred Avon River, tennis courts, swimming pool, and chartered boat fishing. Pickering Creek Audubon Center is within 7 miles for canoeing, hiking, and horseback riding, and the local beach is within 10 miles. Adkins Arboretum is 15 miles northeast of Easton featuring a 400 acre preserve and educational center dedicated to promoting the appreciation and conservation of the region's native plants.
Evening entertainment includes a 400 seat, year-round performing arts center, The Avalon Theatre located in Easton's Town Center, or current release movies offered by Easton's Premier Movies located in the Tred Avon Shopping Center. NightCat, 5 Goldsborough Street, 443-786-2750, offers a "new small" for intimate shows and national talent. Live and D.J. music for listening and dancing pleasure is offered by a number of Talbot County's establishments. Times and locations vary for this venue and we recommend a review of the local paper, The Star Democrat Newspaper for a listing of these offerings.
Attractions & Special Events:
April - Annual Talbot County Charity Antiques Show and Sale, Easton
June - Chamber Music Festival, Easton; Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum's Antique & Classic Boat Festival, St. Michaels; Tilghman Island Summer Seafood Festival, Tilghman Island.
July - Easton's Old Tyme Fourth of July Celebration; Tuckahoe Steam & Gas Show, Easton; Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum's Big Band Night, St. Michaels.
August - Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum's Crab Days.
October - Academy Art Museum's Arts Marketplace, Easton; Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum's Mid Atlantic Small Craft Festival, St. Michaels; Day, Tilghman Island.
November - Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum's Oysterfest, St. Michaels; Waterfowl Festival, Easton; Festival of Trees, Easton.
December - Historic Easton's Olde Tyme Holiday Parade & Tree Lighting; Xmas in St. Michaels; First Night Talbot, Easton.
Easton is the perfect location for exploring all points of interest on the Delmarva Peninsula; Maryland's State Capitol, the city of Annapolis; the nation's capital Washington, D.C.
How To Find Us
From Annapolis, Baltimore (75 miles) and Washington (80 miles), follow Route 50 East across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to Easton. Turn right at Goldsborough Street. Turn left at Aurora Street and immediately turn right into our driveway.
From the South, follow Route 13 North to Route 50 West to Easton. Turn left at Goldsborough Street. Turn left at Aurora Street and immediately turn right into our driveway.
From Dover (75 miles), follow Route 301 South making a left onto 213 South to Route 50 East. Follow Route 50 East to Easton. Turn right at Goldsborough Street. Turn left at Aurora Street and immediately turn right into our driveway.
Washington Dulles International Airport 1 hour 57 minutes 99.96 miles
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport 1 hour 29 minutes 73.49 miles
Baltimore-Washington International Airport 1 hour 16 minutes 57.43 miles
Providing an ideal base for your visit to the Eastern Shore of Maryland, the Bishop's House is centrally located within 10 miles of historic Oxford and St. Michaels and only 24 miles from Tilghman Island or the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Dorchester County and centrally located for visiting all points of interest on the Delmarva Peninsula.
Step outside and you're two minutes away from boutiques, art galleries, specialty shops, antique shops, and casual and gourmet restaurants of Easton's Town Center. You're within 2 miles of the Tred Avon River, tennis, swimming, boating, fishing, and canoeing. A wildlife center is within 7 miles, and hiking, horseback riding, and the beach are within 10 miles.