Photo credit: Jo Eyer , 05/1986

Property Name: Dowden's Luck
Date Listed: 11/10/1988
Inventory No.: M: 17-20
Location: 18511, Beallsville Road (MD 109), Poolesville, Montgomery County

Description: The main house on the Dowden's Luck property is a late Federal style, second quarter 19th century, frame house 2 1/2 stories high with a side passage, double parlor plan to which major additions were made in 1855 and 1910. The house is three bays wide with an interior end wall chimney. Across the front there is an 1855 hipped roofed veranda-type porch with posts trimmed in both Gothic Revival style gingerbread and Italianate style bracketed cornice. The windows of the main block are 6/6 with large lights and thin muntins. On the front, two windows have molded and paneled movable aprons which open inward. The large 6-panel front door is surrounded by vertical wooden panels on each side, sidelights and transom lights. Extending across the east facade of the main block there is a wooden porch with a slightly slanted roof supported by 3 chamfered 4x4" wooden posts. The bay window of the back parlor projects onto this porch. Two Seneca sandstone steps lead from the porch to the garden. The walls of the house are constructed of timber framing filled with brick nogging and covered with 6 to 8" wide weatherboarding. The exterior was covered in the 1950s with asbestos shingles. The weatherboarding and their corner boards are visible in some places where the shingles have been removed. The wood shingle roof is now covered with asbestos shingles. Also on the property are a one-story gable roofed stone slave quarter, a one-story gable roofed brick smokehouse, a stone springhouse, and the foundations of two barns. These buildings all date from the 1824-1850 period. An overgrown terraced garden in its original configuration as constructed around 1855 stands to the west of the house.

Significance: Dowden's Luck is a plantation established between 1824 and 1840, which is significant in the areas of agriculture, architecture, and landscape architecture. An 1842 inventory exists which lists the uses of its buildings, reflecting the cultivation of soil, production of crops, and raising of livestock and plants. Of the buildings inventoried in 1842, the main dwelling, three domestic and agricultural buildings, and two agricultural building foundations exist to interpret the plantation functions and demonstrate its agricultural significance. The main dwelling is architecturally significant as an example of two periods, Federal style of the Early Republic Period and Italianate and Gothic Revival styles of the mid-19th century period. The slave quarter, smokehouse, and dairy are architecturally significant as examples of a local vernacular style of the 1815-1870 period. This is a simple rectangular style with gabled roofs, post and beam construction, and brick or uncoursed rubble stone walls, found also in several nearby plantations of the same period.




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