Bayfields History

Bayfields is a combination of private home, family retreat, and B&B on the West River, in Maryland, with a great view of the Chesapeake Bay.

About Bayfields:

This property was a 200 acre parcel, called “Bare Neck” by local boaters, with views of Galesville, Tenthouse Creek, Inspection Creek, the West River, and the Chesapeake Bay. Originally this property was owned by the Henry Murray family of Cumberstone.  There was an little old cabin down by the water, and a seasonal use road leading to it.

In 1920, Mr. Henry Murray sold off a 200 acre lot to Charles Carroll Glover.  Mr. Glover’s plans were to have a summer cottage built and he named it “Bayfields”.  Mr. Glover was president of Riggs Bank in the late 1800s and he was involved in the establishment of the National Zoo and Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C. His land holdings included most of what is now called Chevy Chase, MD.

“The District of Columbia is indebted to the vision and generosity of banker and philanthropist Charles Carroll Glover (1846-1936) for more than three thousand acres of parkland, including Rock Creek Park and the National Zoo. Glover was also instrumental in the building of the National Cathedral, and in the completion of the Washington Monument, and it was Glover who envisioned the twenty-year project of dredging of the Potomac Flats, where the Lincoln and the Jefferson memorials are today.

The development of Massachusetts Avenue –– Glover lived at 4300 –– was a favorite project, and in 1928, when Glover provided a site for a new British Legation at 3100, Embassy Row was born.

In 1924 Glover gave the newly instituted National Capital Parks Commission seventy-seven acres in the valley of Foundry Branch, which, with the addition of twenty-eight acres from Anne Archbold, became Glover-Archbold Park, just west of the neighborhood that bears his name.”

When the house was originally built in 1921, the easiest way to reach the house was by water, so the materials to build Bayfields was brought in by boat.  This was to be a summer retreat for his wife and children, yet, Glover’s wife wasn’t impressed with the rural property and she was bothered by the sheep and cattle that wandered the grounds. Glover put up a fence around the house, but that failed to comfort her, as it was too remote and too far away from D.C. society.  Briefly, it served as a retreat house for an order of nuns. Over the years, heat and electricity were added to the home. In the 1940s, after Glover’s death in 1936, Bayfields Estate was broken into five to seven-acre lots and sold off.

In the early part of the 20th century, as a young boy, William W. “Billy” Heintz, would travel to Galesville aboard the steamboat Emma Giles while visiting family in Shadyside, MD.  His grandfather would row over from Shadyside to Galesville to pick him up. After his parents built a home on the West River,  Billy occasionally hunted squirrels on the property and in 1921 he witnessed the beginning construction of the Bayfields house. In 1930, Billy Heintz, along with a group of other young sailors, started a sailing club called the Double-O.  D.Y.C, or “Our Own Damn Yacht Club”. As their club grew, they were encouraged by their elders to give it a more respectable name. Billy Heintz was the first (and five times) commodore of what is now called the West River Sailing Club in Galesville, Maryland. He won numerous awards in sailboat races on the nearby waters. When Bayfields was put up for sale in 1945, Mr. Heintz learned of this and brought his wife May Rose Heintz to see the place.  May loved the grounds, instantly, clasping her hands together she said, “Oh, Billy, I could live here!” Billy asked, “Where do I sign?” He immediately purchased the 13-acre parcel containing the main house, leaving the remaining parcels to the Smith Brothers to build on the rest of “Bayfields Estates” to sell.

The Heintz Family put their own touches on the residence; the kitchen was reconfigured, a hall doorway was closed off, closets installed, pocket doors removed, hall doorways widened, as metal cupboards were added, the kitchen hutch was moved out and was then custom built into a dining room corner cupboard. Two smaller bedrooms were combined to make a master bedroom.  The Jack-n-Jill bathroom shared by two other bedrooms was then separated to become a hall bathroom. Mrs. Heintz, an avid gardener, later grower of prize blooms, and president of the Four Rivers Garden Club, quickly created gardens and flowerbeds, and by 1946 she soon proved that the addition of a full sized greenhouse was necessary. The basement servants toilet was capped off, the 3rd floor servant’s sink was removed, and after that, the 3rd floor servants’ quarters were used as storage until 2012, when Billy and May’s grand daughter Robin turned them back into bedrooms again.

When the next generation of Heintz children built a house next door in 1961, Billy and May were inspired to install bay windows at Bayfields. A ground floor bathroom was added in the mid 1960’s to accommodate Billy’s mother, known by all as, “Aunt Lilly” and the porch and balcony was then extended.

No more big changes were made to the house again until a housefire in February, 2011. The fire was a two-alarm blaze that brought fire equipment from Annapolis, Eastport, Waugh Chapel, West Annapolis, Galesville, Woodland Beach, Harwood, Jones Road, North Beach, Dunkirk, and Upper Marlboro to the scene. The equipment formed nearly a mile-long string down the roadway. Since no hydrants were in the area, the Avalon Shores fire boat motored to the site.

It was 14 months before the house passed inspection and its residents could return. During that period, more subtle changes were made to the house. The floors were refinished throughout the house. All the walls received a new coat of paint. A second door to the upstairs balcony was added.  New siding and a few replacement windows were also installed.

The kitchen was not affected by fire, smoke, or water damage, but it was the only room Robin had hoped to make major improvements on.  In 2012, the kitchen’s three layers of linoleum were peeled away to reveal the heart of pine flooring. The side room off the kitchen, which had been used as a mud-room/laundry-room, was restored to a butler’s pantry, fitting with the Colonial style of the home.  The kitchen walls were gutted and insulation was added.  A drop ceiling was installed to accommodate a few recessed lights.  New cupboards and countertops were put into place.

In 2013, the roof was replaced as well as a few storm doors, followed by basement waterproofing in 2014, then after that a few new windows and new gutters in 2015.  The waterfront side of the greenhouse has a new wall to protect the a sauna and hot tub for a little bit of paradise.

You can learn more, and make your reservations here.

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