Charles Calvert moved out, St. John's served as a public inn or ordinary for the next 20 years. The first innkeeper was a Frenchman named Mark Cordea. A second Frenchman, Charles de La Roche, also ran an inn here. The last known ordinary operator was Englishman Henry Exon. In 1678, Exon negotiated a lease with Lord Baltimore and carried out extensive repairs to St. John's including the installation of a Dutch pantile roof, remodeling the kitchen, and rebuilding the house and kitchen chimneys.
Abandoned to Agriculture
St. John's served as a records office for a few years and then as a farm house during its last decades. Archaeology indicates the house was abandoned around 1715. Planters demolished the ruins and plowed up the site for crops. Over the next two centuries, farmers grew fields of wheat, corn, and tobacco on the St. John's site. Around the time of World War I, farming stopped and trees began growing over the old house site. All traces of this ancient building were hidden underground until its rediscovery in 1962.