In the Beginning – A History of Queen’s Landing

By Diane Morales

Those of us who have lived for a while at Queen’s Landing will perhaps remember nostalgically the time when our community published a very attractive yearly Resident Directory of homeowners. This directory was arranged by both name and unit number, and included names, phone numbers and e-mail addresses of all homeowners who wished to be included. It also provided a handy center-fold map of Queen’s Landing, a listing of important phone numbers for Queens Landing Management, State and County agencies, and local utility companies, as well as other useful community information.

My favorite page of the directory, though, was the third page, which provided a brief but interesting history of Queen’s Landing. For those who have not been fortunate enough to see it, here is a copy of that page:

Before reading this little gem, I had often puzzled about who Queen Neva was. While all of the other street names do have their counterparts in English history or English legend, I could never find any reference to a Queen Neva in any of my searches. But of course: every family has its queen, and so naturally there had to be a street named after developer A. John Briscuso’s wife—especially since he had named Lake Amleto to memorialize his first name. The name “Amleto” actually does have some connection to England, since “Amleto” is the Italian version of the given name “Hamlet.” In fact, there is an opera by that name, by Franco Faccio. According to Wikipedia, it was first performed in Genoa in 1865, but subsequently revived in the United States by the Baltimore Concert Opera in 2014, and a year later by Opera Southwest in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

And what about the name Queen’s Landing? Certainly, no queen has ever landed here.

It is true that Princess Anne did visit nearby Centreville in 1977 and that and Queen Elizabeth II also visited Maryland (but not Kent Island, and not until 2017).

Undoubtedly Mr. Briscoe’s choice of name for our community had more to do with a desire to evoke the area’s historical past, and with the community’s location in Queen Anne’s County. Established in 1706, when Maryland was still a British colony, Queen Anne’s County was named for the then-reigning Queen Anne of England, Scotland, and Ireland (Great Britain was formed in 1707). I suspect that the real “queen” who set foot at Queen’s Landing was also Briscoe’s wife—all speculation, of course.

There are other questions that beg to be answered:

  • Who compiled this little history?
  • What do all those model names refer to? Except for the Adriatic units, I am not sure I could identify any of the other models listed, including that of my own unit.
  • Who were the other builders? I think I can name some of them: the Westfield Corporation, Mallard Homes, and I believe the Anderson Corporation. Please correct me if I am wrong or if I have left out any of the builders.
  • And what about our current make-up of owners and renters? Maybe we could organize some sort of census every few years.

Knowing something about our past is always fun and informative. I, for one, would like to know more. Certainly, there must be a wealth of information buried in past minutes and newsletters of our community, in local news and archives, and in the photos and memories of our residents and neighbors. It would be wonderful if we could—all of us who have lived here a while or know someone who has—collaborate in building a more extensive history of our community. I invite you to share your information, photos, and memories with the Newsletter, Website, and Communications Committee ( [email protected] ).

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