Gibson Island (Maryland)
Gibson Island is an island situated off the western shore of the
Chesapeake Bay. It is part of Anne Arundel County and is the eastern terminus of Maryland Route 177. It is connected, via Causeway, to Pasadena, Maryland, which it is sometimes considered part of. The two locations do not share a ZIP code.
Gibson Island’s rich and colorful history includes its use as a summer residence by Native Americans in the 1600’s. History also tells us that Captain John Smith sailed past Gibson Island in his voyage up the Chesapeake Bay in 1608. By 1663, the first land grants were established. There were many owners between these original land grants and the purchase and consolidation of the Island in the 1920’s. W.
Stuart Symington, the founder of Gibson Island as it is known, purchased the three existing Island farms with his brother Thomas. They envisioned and developed it as a residential community where families from the Baltimore/Washington area could spend summers. One of the early owners was a man named Gibson – it is his name that identifies the Island.
The Symington brothers set certain areas aside for community facilities and divided the remaining land into building lots offered for sale through the Gibson Island Company, now known as Gibson Island Corporation. From that time to the present, Gibson Island has had its own real estate department specifically handling the listing and selling of Island properties. Revenue generated from these sales is returned to the community for its upkeep and beautification.
The Symingtons, upon the advice of Edward H. Bouton, the developer of Roland Park and Guilford areas in Baltimore, hired
Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr.to create a master plan for the Island. One of the premier landscape architects of his time, he designed many important landmarks across the country, including the National Mall, Rock Creek Parkand the Jefferson Memorial. In 1925, the first Deed and Agreement was adopted and recorded which provides Gibson Island Corporation with architectural oversight powers, helping to maintain the beauty and tranquility of the Island over the years.
The Great Depression halted rapid development of the Island. In 1936, a group of gentlemen deeply interested in the future of the Island undertook the reorganization of its ownership, passing control to the Island’s homeowners, thus putting those with the greatest interest in a position to preserve the Island’s ambiance. Succeeding generations have carefully maintained the natural environment of the Island, with about two-thirds of its land set aside for recreation, forestry and open space.
Today, home prices on the Island start at over $1,000,000 USD. The island is a gated community, limiting access to the island and its facilities to island residents or those with a formal reason for visiting.
* [http://www.gibsonisland.com Gibson Island homepage]
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