Dodon History 1725-present

Dodon is a 550 acre working family farm, the largest in Anne Arundel County. Purchased from Nicholas Carroll in 1725 by Dr. George H. Steuart of Argaty, Perthshire, Scotland, Dodon produced the oronoco tobacco that was preferred on the European continent. Nine consecutive generations of Steuarts (now Pittmans) have since lived and worked at Dodon.

Members of the 7th, 8th and 9th generations of Pittman family to live at Dodon during the 2012 Merlot harvest.

Members of the 7th, 8th and 9th generations of the Pittman family to live at Dodon helping with the 2012 Merlot harvest

In the 1960’s, tobacco’s run at Dodon ended with the move to livestock and row crops. In the intervening years, Dodon was home to Charles Steuart, who rode with George Washington during the siege at Yorktown; George H. Steuart, who led the Maryland Horse Militia during the War of 1812; and Richard Spriggs Steuart, who used funds from the sale to Johns Hopkins of property at the corner of Monument and Wolfe streets in Baltimore to establish Maryland’s first public mental health specialty hospital at Spring Grove. From 1890 to 1929, Dodon was used by the Marists and other Catholic groups as a retreat and seminary.

Dodon’s history is inexorably linked to thoroughbreds. In May 1743, Dodon’s stallion Dungannon, imported to compete against the Charles Carroll stable, won the Annapolis Subscription Plate, the first recorded formal horse race in Maryland. The silver bowl,  which is the oldest surviving silver object made in Maryland and the second oldest horse racing trophy in America, is on display in the Baltimore Museum of Art. Dodon remains home to an equine training facility, the Dodon Farm Training Center, operated by Polly’s brother Steuart Pittman Jr., who specializes in transforming retired race horses into successful three-day eventers.