The two townhouses comprising Flag House Inn were built in 1879 and served a number of roles through the years. Descendants of the original builder say it passed through several generations of their family well into the 20th century. Each house in the duplex was individually owned, and we have traced the ownership in State Archives/ property records back to the 1920’s.
About Our Historic Accommodations in Downtown Annapolis, MD
The interesting history of the Flag House Inn
The two townhouses eventually became boarding houses, we have been told by several visitors that occupants were typically young ladies known as “drags” in Navy slang, and the male Midshipmen would call on the ladies in the sitting room. No visitors allowed upstairs! This type of arrangement faded over time, as women were admitted to USNA starting in the mid 1970’s and now make up ~30% of each class. At other times, the houses were owned by families.
In 1992, the family owning #26 Randall St purchased #24, made significant renovations to open up the interior, modernize the plumbing & electrical systems and converted it into a bed and breakfast. Previously, the two homes looked very different. In 1997, Charlotte & Bill Schmickle purchased the properties and ran the inn for 21 years, developing it into the well-appointed B&B that guests will experience today. It has been decorated with love and attention to historical detail. Every item in Flag House Inn has a story behind it!
Since early 2018, Flag House Inn is now owned by Marty & Carmel Etzel, who have entered the business after careers in the corporate (Marty) and education (Carmel) worlds. They bring their many experiences from personal & business travel, property management, marketing and knowledge of Baltimore, Washington DC and the Eastern Shore, and can make many recommendations on what to do in and around Annapolis. Both spent significant time around the Chesapeake Bay growing up.
While keeping the traditional decor that’s appropriate to downtown historic Annapolis, they are working on modernizing many aspects of your experience such as room amenities, breakfast, and starting new traditions.
We’ve been contacted by many people with a connection to the house
– A retired CNO (Chief Naval Officer, head of Navy) who called on his future wife at one of the houses.
– Another former mid who called on his future wife in the 70’s (the proprietor said to the boys “See this line, none of you boys are coming across it!” )
– A man who grew up in #24 (Inn side) in the 70’s (the current Chesapeake room was his bedroom) who told many fascinating stories of the improvements made to the house – his electric supply was an extension cord fed thru a hole in the floor from 2nd floor, the previous layout of the kitchen, how the floors were jacked up and so on. It was clear the original house had fallen into disrepair years back. “Chuck” shared some pics, including one of him at the fireplace mantel 43 years ago. When he visited us, he brought along that same painting, and we have restored the painting to its rightful place… See some pictures below!
– Also, the grand daughter of Helen Stinchcomb has visited with us. Helen owned the #26 (owners side) from 1967 to 1983, and was famously the boarding house owner who warned the mids no one goes past her line. Helen’s grandaughter visited in September 2020 and brought old photos , shown below, as well as many stories. It was fascinating to have her describe the previous layout, it was quite cramped!