Photo credit: Paul Baker Touart , 06/1985

Property Name: Catalpa Farm
Date Listed: 11/10/1988
Inventory No.: S-408
Location: Old Princess Anne Westover Road, Princess Anne, Somerset County

Description: Catalpa Farm is a two-story, five-bay center passage structure facing west, built in two principal stages, beginning with a two-story, three-bay side-hall parlor house with service wing erected around 1825-1840. A two-story one-room plan frame addition was attached shortly thereafter to the north gable end of the front block. A two-story one-room plan kitchen was originally joined to the main block by a single-story hyphen, the present dining room, which was later raised to a two-story height. More recent shed roofed additions have been attached to the south and east sides of the service wing. Supported by a minimal brick foundation, the two-story house is largely covered by beaded weatherboards. The second floor level of the hyphen, added later, is the most conspicuous section not sheathed with the beaded siding. A layer of asphalt shingles covers the medium sloped gable roof. The west or main elevation is an asymmetrical facade with a centrally located front door and flanking 9/6 sash windows on the first floor. Five unevenly spaced 6/6 sash windows light the second floor. The outbuildings that accompany the house include an early-19th century dairy and smokehouse of the same period, a late-19th century privy, a modern garage, a mid-19th century corn crib, an early-20th century gambrel-roofed barn, and an early-19th century tobacco house.

Significance: Caltalpa Farm is significant in Somerset County for the architectural character of the domestic and agricultural buildings standing on the property. The two-story, early-19th century farmhouse reflects the strong vernacular traditions of the area established during the 18th and 19th centuries. The two-story center hall passage farmhouse with a hyphenated service wing was developed in stages, beginning around 1825-1840 with a two-story side passage/parlor dwelling. Attached to the back of the main block was a single-story hyphen or colonnade which joined the two-story kitchen. The resulting stepped profile of the house was a common feature of regional southern Maryland architecture until the early 20th century. Shortly after initial construction, a second building program included the addition of a two story one-room plan wing that resulted in the traditional center passage, single-pile house. The exterior finishes have remained well preserved with most of the beaded weatherboarding, windows, shutters, and shutter dogs intact. Likewise, the interior survives with large percentages of the late Federal mantels, doors, chair rail, stairs, and cornice intact. Catalpa Farm also contains an unusual number of agricultural or domestic outbuildings that have not commonly survived on other farms. The most significant outbuilding is the tobacco house, probably built during the second quarter of the 19th century. This tobacco house is one of five known to survive on the Eastern Shore and represents the last generation of tobacco houses erected on the lower Eastern Shore before the growth of tobacco was suspended. In contrast to the other three tobacco houses, the Catalpa Farm example is smaller and was built with a broken roofline. The working elements of the interior spaces are basically the same. The dairy is also a relatively infrequent survival, especially with it's shelving and plastered interior. The smokehouse, privy, corn crib, and gambrel-roofed barn are more typical survivals from their various periods.




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