Riversdale was constructed between 1801 and 1807 for Henri Stier, a Flemish aristocrat, and completed by his daughter Rosalie and her husband George Calvert, grandson of the fifth Lord Baltimore. The house is restored to reflect the lifestyle of the Calverts in the early 19th century. Archaeology, archival records, and oral histories are used to provide modern-day visitors with a better understanding of life at that time. For example, Rosalie Calvert's letters are used to piece together the life of a gentry-class woman living in rural Maryland. Adam Francis Plummer, an enslaved man owned by the Calverts, wrote a rare first-person account of slavery. Their stories have been preserved and are retold at Riversdale.
Changing exhibitions that interpret the foods eaten and the dining styles of Riversdale's 19th century residents, both free and enslaved, are based on documented period customs and primary sources.
Recipe Source: The c.1824 Manuscript Receipt Book of Ann Maria Morris, Baltimore, located at the H.Furlong Baldwin Library, Maryland Center for History and Culture
MESSES OF SIX MEN EACH: THE FOOD OF AMERICAN SOLDIERS DURING THE WAR OF 1812: A video for the virtual Battle of Bladensburg event at Riversdale House Museum, Riverdale Park, MD (August 24, 2020)