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Restoration of the Hancock's Resolution:
When Harry Hancock., the last family member to live at Hancock’s Resolution died, his will instructed that the house and 14 acres be passed to an unspecified Anne Arundel County historic preservation organization. Ultimately, in 1965, the property was deeded to Historic Annapolis. Historic Annapolis prepared an in-depth historic structures report, which was funded by state and county grants. Also, under Historic Annapolis’ guidance, the Cook farmhouse was relocated to Hancock’s Resolution and restored as a caretaker’s residence.
In 1997, local citizens, concerned about the deterioration of the property and the lack of public access, formed the Friends of Hancock’s Resolution (FOHR) “To preserve, protect and promote the unique historic aspects of Hancock’s Resolution for historical and educational purposes.” Working with Anne Arundel County, which provided significant funding, roof replacement, as well as crucial masonry repairs, was undertaken. The farm opened to the public on March 1999 for the first time in over 30 years with FOHR members acting as docents for the property.
In 2005, Anne Arundel County was able to negotiate an agreement with Historic Annapolis, which eventually deeded the property to Anne Arundel County. An additional 12 acres of Critical area properties was acquired to buffer Hancock’s Resolution from incompatible development bringing the total acreage of the park to just over 26.
In 2001-2002 extensive restoration of the buildings and grounds, including the family graveyard and kitchen gardens, was undertaken, funded jointly by the County, State of Maryland and Maryland Historical Trust. A new well to supply potable water to the farm and gardens was installed in 2002 funded by a generous donation from The Pasadena Business Association. The Hancock’s Resolution Foundation, Inc. was also created in 2002 to establish an endowment fund, which would eventually support a small professional staff for the farm.
In 2003, Anne Arundel County funded the development of a Strategic Site and Interpretive plan to provide an overall interpretive plan for the property. While the plans called for the development of an interpretive center, Critical Area forest conservation issues have prevented its development as originally conceptualized.
The Friends of Hancock’s Resolution (FOHR) continue to provide both advocacy and direct support to the farm. FOHR opens the farm for tours and special events to the public every Sunday from April through October as well as provides monetary and site management expertise to the County.