Paul Baker Touart
12025, Fassitt Lane, Berlin, Worcester County
The Fassitt House is a 1 1/2-story Flemish bond brick dwelling erected around 1730 on property bordering Sinepuxent Bay. The three-bay, single-pile brick house displays unusual examples of early-18th century glazed brick decoration with repeating chevrons that highlight the south facade. Other glazed brick decoration is found on the west gable end and the north wall. On the south facade, a batten door with strap hinges stands in the center of the three bays, surmounted by a 5-light transom. To either side is a 12/12 sash window. All openings have rowlock flat arches. Two 9/9 sash gable-roofed dormer windows pierce the south roof slope. Exterior chimneys stand at either gable end. The west gable end once held two windows, which are now bricked up. The house follows a center passage floor plan with an L-shaped hall separating a parlor or living room on the west side and a dining room on the east. Fine examples of Georgian raised-panel woodwork finish the first-floor rooms. A Federal-style stair is fixed in the northeast corner of the hall, the result of a modification to the house that probably occurred between 1790 and 1810. Between 1950 and 1952 a restoration saved the house from deterioration and demolition. At that time a single-story brick and concrete block service wing was attached to the east side, replacing a smaller kitchen wing. Also on the property are two historic outbuildings, a shingled frame smokehouse and a log corncrib, and a modern one-story guest house.
The Fassitt House is significant as an outstanding example of a type of early-18th century dwelling which characterized the lower Eastern Shore region in the first half of the 18th century. It exemplifies a regional decorative tradition in its patterned brickwork. Repeating chevrons highlight the south facade, the north side features a carefully laid checkerboard pattern, and the west gable end also features glazed brick decoration. Erected c. 1730, the Fassitt House is one of the oldest buildings to remain standing in Worcester County, and the best preserved example of the decorative brick in the county.