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Tulip Hill, Colonial gem in Anne Arundel, is on the auction block

Skip Booth, president of the Ann Arrundel County Historical Society (the group uses a variant spelling), said that in addition to being one of the region's most important historical resources, Tulip Hill is "easily one of most attractive Colonial homes in the county, if not the most attractive."

"Between the architectural beauty and the spectacular property it sits on, it is just such a cool-looking home," Booth said.

The first story of the 42-by-52-foot main house bears the most ornate decorations, from an M-shaped arch in the entryway to the carved-walnut stairs, which are embellished with raised-panel wainscoting and a scrolled handrail.

The bedrooms upstairs are also show-worthy, with sweeping views of the West River and details such as purple Delft tiles surrounding the fireplaces.

The wings, which housed the plantation office and servants' quarters, feature smaller, less elaborate rooms, rounding out the seven bedrooms and several bathrooms in the 6,488-square-foot house.

The house has retained almost all of its original features, from the paneling and pine floors downstairs to the marble-faced fireplaces throughout.

"This house is as original as it comes," Gestson said.

The house also boasts a stone basement and an attic that leads to a widow's walk overlooking the West River and what Ware described as "perhaps the most impressive terraced gardens in the United States."

Ware said the sweeping views, intricate design features and lovely grounds speak directly to Galloway's intended effect: awe.

"Samuel Galloway was certainly one of the wealthiest men in Colonial Maryland, and it's so palpable when you see this house that this is a powerful building built by a powerful individual to display his wealth," Ware said. "The entrance, with the ancient tulip poplar trees, and the grand, commanding view of the house itself, is just breathtaking. In the 1700s, that's the exact response Samuel Galloway would have wanted from his visitors."

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