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Birthday celebrations planned for Charles Carroll's 258th


If the Annapolis Opera can pay tribute to Ludwig van Beethoven on the occasion of his 225th birthday this December, why shouldn't Annapolis' own hometown boy receive similar homage?

No reason at all, it turns out.

This weekend, the Charles Carroll House will celebrate the 258th birthday of its most illustrious occupant.

Charles Carroll of Carrollton was born Sept. 19, 1737, and wound up living longer than any other signer of the Declaration of Independence.

He died in 1832 at the ripe old age of 96.

The Carroll estate, behind St. Mary's Church at 109 Duke of Gloucester St. in Annapolis, is a historic national landmark and was home to three generations of the Carroll family.

The house offers a history of Maryland architecture, and the grounds are home to one of loveliest terraced gardens in the country.

The home is the only surviving birthplace of a Maryland signer and one of only 15 such birthplaces in the United States.

Mr. Carroll's party begins today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a workshop in basket making led by instructor Diana Wood of Dover, Del.

Baskets will be designed in accordance with Charles Carroll's letters detailing methods of gathering "chamomile flowers."

Basket materials are included in the $35 fee ($33 for Carroll House members).

Each participant must bring a bucket, an old bath towel, a flat-head screwdriver, a tape measure, pruners and a pencil.

At 6:30 p.m. today, Carroll House friends and volunteer members are invited to attend a candlelight reception in Carroll's honor.

A Carroll family luncheon will be held at 1 p.m. tomorrow.

Sister Virginia Geiger will speak on genealogical research and will be available to sign copies of her book "Daniel Carroll."

Reservations are encouraged for the luncheon, which will cost $8. A Carroll family Mass is planned for 3 p.m.

From noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, the Carroll House will be open to the community free of charge in celebration of Charles Carroll's birthday. Rumor has it Mr. Carroll will be there, along with Maryland's three other signers of Mr. Jefferson's Declaration.

For program information about Charles Carroll's 258th Birthday Weekend, call 269-1737.

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