Phone: 301.373.6607     Email:
Where your event becomes a part of history.Enjoy the splendor and magic of Summerseat!Concerts and Special Events All Year Round!

Where your event becomes a part of history.

Located in rural St. Mary’s County, MD, Summerseat welcomes you along a quarter mile long, tree-lined driveway reminding you of times long past.

Enjoy the splendor and magic of Summerseat!

The history, romance, and elegance of Summerseat Farm will be the perfect backdrop for your wedding or special event!

Concerts and Special Events All Year Round!

Check out the Summerseat Calendar for upcoming fun times!

Have Your Event Here!

The history, romance, and elegance of Summerseat Farm will be the perfect backdrop for your wedding or special event!

Step back in time…

Located in rural St. Mary’s County, MD, Summerseat welcomes brideAndGirlsyou along a quarter mile long, tree-lined driveway leading you away from the 21st century towards a peaceful dwelling, reminding you of times long past.

Beautiful Gardens

The gazebo, patio and brick-paved walkways are an ideal location for outdoor functions, including weddings. Bordering the courtyard are the old brick smokehouse and dairy house, along with mature boxwoods, with plenty of open, flat grassy areas to accommodate tents. The lovely gardens and a sparkling goldfish pond with a soothing, melodic waterfall, offer a unique setting for the charm and grace of a memorable wedding.

Leaving for ChurchFor Summerseat Facilities Rental information, please call 301-373-6607 or email us at; calls and emails will be referred to the Facilities Rental Committee for action.

Our Facilities Coordinator will then contact you and provide additional information, answer any questions, reserve your date, and provide a tour of the beauty and splendor of Summerseat for your upcoming event!


Map of the Grounds

Rental Package

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Summerseat’s Annual Membership is up and running. If you haven’t sent in your check for the 2015 Annual Membership, don’t forget to do so.

If you have been lucky enough to visit Summerseat at one of our monthly Open Houses, Annual Plant Sales, events, weddings, or other occasions, then you’re sure to understand the importance of keeping this beautiful farm intact and running.

Your membership helps ensure the continuity of Summerseat’s mission of educational programs, daily operations, history and research, and maintenance of this 300 year old site which is part of St. Mary’s County’s history.

The original land grant for “Summer Seat” was dated June 1678. The existing house is from 1884. Don’t forget that Summerseat is a 501(c)3 IRS designated, nonprofit organization. Your dues, contributions, and memberships are deductible to the extent permissible by law.

Click here for an explanation of the Membership Levels and Benefits and the Form to fill out and return. Your membership card will be mailed to you.

Thank you for your interest in Summerseat Farm.

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Volunteers:  Are you interested in volunteering to support Summerseat Farm?  We have many activities throughout the year that can use an extra hand!

We are looking for men and women of all ages to help with different activities and events at Summerseat Farm. Please complete this form to share where your interests may lie. We have several events throughout the year and we can always use the help!

Summerseat Farm, Inc. has been designated a 501(c)(3) organization by the IRS.  Donations are tax deductible.

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Contact Us

Contact Us:

Phone: 301.373.6607



26655 Three Notch Road

Mechanicsville, MD  20659

Meetings:  Summerseat meetings are open to the public.  We meet monthly in the Summereat Manor House on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7:00 pm.  All are welcome to attend!

Volunteers:  Are you interested in volunteering to support Summerseat Farm?  We have many activities throughout the year that can use an extra hand!  Please feel free to email or call us at 301.373.6607 for more info!

Summerseat Farm, Inc. has been designated a 501(c)(3) organization by the IRS.  Donations are tax deductible.

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There are records of a property known as “Summer Seat” dating from as far back as the 20th of June 1678 with a warrant granting a tract to Baker Brooke Esq., although he died in March of 1678/79 before patents could be issued to him. The patent went to his son, Baker Brooke, Jr. on 1 June 1685. In his will, probated 27 May 1698, Baker Brooke, Jr. devised Summer Seat to his daughter, Ann Brooke.

There are some lost records between Summerseat Sign1700 and 1727, although sometime during this period Ann Brooke reportedly married Benedict Leonard Boarman of Charles County but no date has been found. The Summer Seat tract was later found in the will of a John Miles, probated on 23 January 1726/27.

Sometime between 1698 and 1727 the tract had passed from Ann Brooke to John Miles, Sr., but no records have been found to support this transfer. Later, a Philip Key in his will, acknowledged that he had bought Summer Seat from John Miles and devised it to his son, Thomas Key. On 11 November 1768 Thomas Key sold Summer Seat to Col. John Reeder Jr.

It was reported that John Reeder Jr. built a house on Summer Seat in 1773, which was a large, Georgian-style brick mansion. John Reeder, Jr. died in 1780 and his land passed down to his daughter, Susanna Reeder. Susanna married first, Doctor John Ireland, and had a daughter, Dicandia. Doctor Ireland died and Susanna then married Doctor Gustavus Brown on 19 August 1788. The description of Summer Seat appears in the Federal Direct Tax of 1798 as listed by Doctor Gustavus Brown. This is probably the house built by John Reeder, Jr.

Doctor Brown was summoned in 1799 to attend George Washington in his last illness. However, George had died prior to Doctor Brown reaching Mount Vernon. Doctor Gustavus Brown died without issue at Summerseat on 3 July 1801 and is buried at the Reeder family cemetery in the Sandgates area. His wife, Susanna died before 18 February 1821. Her only heir, by her first husband, was Dicandia Smith Ireland. Dicandia married first Henry A. Smith and then Judge Clement Dorsey.

The Dorsey’s daughter and heir to Summerseat, Susan Reeder Dorsey, was born 6 November 1814. On 19 December 1837, Susan Reeder Dorsey married Sylvester John Costigan. They had one boy and six girls. The boy, Christopher Ireland Dorsey Costigan, died from wounds received in the War of Northern Aggression. He was buried at Summerseat in January 1863. From records from the 1860s through the 1930s reveal that the Costigan’s were slowly selling off their estate. It seems they had both a home in Washington DC and Summerseat.

Two of the Costigan girls married. These were Catherine Fitzsimons who married Vernon Dorsey and Susan Reeder who married Dr. Lewis James Sutton. The “misses” Costigans consisted of:

1. Dicandia Dorsey Costigan
2. Mary Hammond Costigan
3. Frances McDonnell Costigan
4. Sarah Martin Costigan

The Misses Costigan announced the opening of a boarding school for a “limited number of young ladies” at Summerseat for September 1861. The curriculum consisted of “Music Vocal and Instrumental, French, Italian, Spanish, Drawing and Painting in Water Colors and Oil Painting.”

Summerseat HouseOne reference to the Civil War and its effects on the people of Summerseat was found in that in 1861, Sylvester Costigan was reported arrested by federal troops but was released “having been treated… with much courtesy and kindness.”

On 11 March 1874, the house called Summerseat was destroyed by fire. Sylvester Costigan died on 12 August 1875 in Washington DC; and his wife, Susan Reeder Dorsey Costigan, died 7 March 1878 at Wales, the home of her daughter, Susan R. Sutton, just across the Three Notch Road. Both Sylvester and his wife, Susan, were buried at Summerseat.. The four “Misses” Costigans were not the possessors of Summerseat. The farm was still being worked in 1882 and sports, baseball, were being played at Summerseat in 1882, as well.

On 21 March 1884, a new house at Summerseat was completed by contractor, C. E. Bennett; and by 10 July 1884, the “Misses” Costigan had moved into their new house. A two-story tenant house was built at the same time by William Collins, a mulatto carpenter.

Mary Hammond Costigan died in 1885 and left her part of Summerseat to her sisters. Sarah Martin Costigan died in 1918 and left her part to the unmarried sisters. Frances McDonnell Costigan died on 6 August 1930. Her will, made out in 1906, left her estate to her sisters Sarah Hammond Costigan and Dicandia Dorsey Costigan. Dicandia Dorsey Costigan died in 1931 and left all of her estate to her sister, Susan Reeder Sutton.

Susan R. Sutton sold what was left of Summerseat to Vernon Dorsey on 27 November 1931. The will of Vernon Dorsey, probated 17 August 1953, left his property to his wife, Evelyn Dorsey. She sold Summerseat to her stepson, Gilbert Dorsey, on 19 March 1955. Gilbert’s widow, Jean Dorsey Burgee sold the tract, 128.638-acres to Robert C. and Shelva Davis on 25 February 1985. Then finally, on 27 September 2001, Robert C. and Shelva J. Davis sold the tract to the group Summerseat Farm, Inc. See Board of Directors.


Summerseat is a working farm for crops and farm animals, andSummerseat Barns Summerseat Farm, Inc. is a non-profit organization, which owns and operates the property to preserve the rural character, history, and natural resources of the farm and prevent it from development. It is run entirely by volunteers. There is a need for feeding and taking care of the animals and their barn areas, gardening and landscaping, lawn mowing, fence and building repair, administrative work, historical research, upkeep and maintenance on buildings, special events, and several committees.

Atop the shaded knoll is situated the main house at Summerseat, which is a Queen Anne style, two story, frame dwelling. Immediately around the house are several outbuildings, probably constructed in the early twentieth century. There is, on the west side of the house, a brick dairy/root cellar and a smokehouse. Just outside the garden is the Costigan family cemetery; a frame storage (gardening) shed; a frame (potting) shed; and a clapboard covered garage (mower storage).

Northwest of the garden is a frame work house (office) and a two-story rental cottage with a gambrel roof. To the southeast of the house at the base of the ridge, is an agricultural courtyard. There is a late-nineteenth century tobacco barn; gambrel roof tobacco barn, a modern tobacco barn (dwarf Hereford/goats/pigs), a stripping shed, crib (chickens & pigs); shed roof building (sheep/goats/cats). There are also two grain/corn silos, now used for storage. There is a pasture on the north side of the driveway with Barbados sheep and the pasture on the south side of the driveway holds a herd of American Buffalo.

We’re always looking for someone with a special talent that we can use at Summerseat and that you’re willing to share. Perhaps you’re good at sign making, photography, computers, building crafty items for sale at events. We rely heavily on donations, memberships, and foundation grants to keep the farm running; and your donations are fully tax deductible.

One thought on “History

  1. John Miles on the History is my like 10th Great-Grandfather. Will be visiting this Fall, can’t wail !!!

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