Collector R. Lee Taylor (1924-2000) (pictured above) in front of his miniature of the Glen Burnie House, on display in the Visitors' Center of the House. The collector made the miniature house, and then commissioned most of its tiny furnishings to present an exact replica of its historic model.
At 254 acres, the museum property is the largest green space and only working farm in Winchester City limits. It is not uncommon to see cows beyond the fencing of the Museum parking lot. Keep your eyes open for the wild turkeys that live on the property, too!
The Glen Burnie House sits on land that Winchester founder James Wood surveyed, claimed, and then settled in 1735. The oldest portions of the house were built by Wood’s son Robert in 1794 and 1797. By the 1950’s the 254-acre Glen Burnie property came to be wholly owned by Wood descendant Julian Wood Glass Jr. (1910–1992). Glass preserved and renovated his ancestral home from 1958 to 1959. Then, over the rest of his life, he transformed the house into an opulent country retreat surrounded by six acres of formal gardens and furnished with one of the most remarkable private collections of decorative arts ever assembled in the Shenandoah Valley. After his death and as a condition of his will, the house and gardens were opened to the public on a seasonal basis in 1997. The house and gardens became an important part of the year-round regional history museum complex that was formed with the opening of the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in 2005.
The house is now closed for a preservation project until 2014. Some objects removed from the house are destined for conservation and others for climate-controlled storage at the MSV. Moveable Feasts: Entertaining at Glen Burnie, will be the first exhibition drawn from the Julian Wood Glass Jr. Collection of fine and decorative arts; others will follow. This special exhibition will be presented in the Founders Gallery (previously the Changing Exhibitions Gallery) and many of the Valley objects from the collection in the historic house will be placed on view in the decorative arts rooms of the Shenandoah Valley Gallery.
The site's gardens will be open throughout the house preservation project. A miniature of the Glen Burnie House is the focal point of the Garden Visitor Center. This amazing replica shows the historic house exactly as it was furnished by Julian Wood Glass Jr. The gardens will be open from April 2 through October 31 in 2013.