MHT File Photo
212, North Morris Street, Oxford, Talbot County
The Barnaby House is a 1 1/2-story, side hall/double-pile frame house erected in 1770. Facing south, the weatherboard frame house is supported on a stone foundation with an excavated cellar. The house is covered by a steeply pitched wood shingle roof marked by two shed-roofed dormers on the south side. Attached to the east gable end of the main house is a late-18th century single-story brick-ended kitchen wing, which is extended further east by two additional single-story rooms, a utility room and a storage room. The four-part house follows the distinctive stepped appearance common to Eastern Shore domestic architecture. While the exterior of the main block was reworked around the turn of the 20th century with a new layer of weatherboards, fishscale shingles on the gable end, and 2/2 window sash, the interior has not been significantly altered since the late 18th century. Exposed in the four corners of the house are the principal posts, and a turned baluster stair rises in the northeast corner of the hall. The most elaborate Georgian woodwork is found in the south room or parlor. Served by a corner fireplace, the hearth wall is finished with intact raised paneling. Fixed in the southwest corner of the room is a built-in architectural barrel-back corner cupboard. The north room features a corner fireplace covered with raised panel woodwork as well. Perhaps the rarest interior feature is the series of incised schooners which decorate the large timber lintel over the kitchen fireplace.
The Barnaby House is important in the architecture of Oxford, a small town on Maryland's Eastern Shore. The Barnaby House is one of only three 18th century buildings remaining in Oxford. All of these buildings have been altered and enlarged in various ways over time. Of this group, the Barnaby House is the one which most retains its 18th century character. Although resheathed and added to by the 20th century, the Barnaby House still possesses its original form, configuration, plan, and interior decorative detailing. The other two buildings have been engulfed by extensive later alterations and no longer appear from the outside to be 18th century houses. A fourth 18th century Oxford house exists, but it was moved out of the town many years ago.