Photo credit: Paula S. Reed , 03/2002

Property Name: Good-Reilly House
Date Listed: 12/30/2002
Inventory No.: WA-II-0715
Location: 107-109, East Main Street (MD 34), Sharpsburg, Washington County

Description: Located at the northeast corner of the town square in Sharpsburg, the Good-Reilly House is a 1 1/2-story stone house with combined Maryland colonial and Georgian stylistic influence. Likely dating from the 1780s, it is one of four prominently located houses along Sharpsburg's main street constructed of finely cut ashlar limestone at the front elevation. However, the Good-Reilly House is the only one which uses the colonial Maryland 1 1/2-story form. Flush stone chimneys rise from each gable end. Adjoining the house at its east end is a small 1 1/2-story infill section of frame construction, dating from c. 1895. The formal symmetrical front of the house is five bays wide. Stone jack arches top the central entrance, all of the main level windows, and the two outer cellar windows. The cellar windows are fitted with batten shutters attached with strap hinges. These lower windows have wide mortised and tenoned frames secured with pegs. The upper level windows and the main entrance have narrow frames from the mid or late 19th century and 6/6 sash which date from the 1994 restoration of the windows. The east gable end is concealed behind the framed infill section on the east side. The west gable actually forms the northeast corner of Sharpsburg's public square. However, despite the prominence of the gable facade, the stonework is coursed limestone, typical of late-18th century stone construction elsewhere in Washington County, and lacks the refined precision masonry exhibited at the front. The west end has two irregularly spaced windows on the main floor and attic level, and a former cellar entrance, now partially covered. One of the main floor windows is a former doorway. The rear or north elevation is essentially symmetrical with a rear entrance and two windows to either side. There are two late-19th century 2/2 sash gable-roofed dormer windows on the north roof slope. There are also low-level windows into the cellar, and a rear cellar entrance. The dominant feature is the oversized transom over the rear door. It has 12 lights arranged horizontally in two ranks of six lights each. Windows are 6/6 sash in original mortised and tenoned frames, although the sash are 1994 replacements. The eastern north elevation window was converted to a door in the late 19th century. The roofing material is a recently installed wood shingle roof. The front door of the house opens into a formal reception hall, which is separated from the rear stair hall by a partition with a door connecting the spaces, with a transom for borrowed light. The front hall is quite formal with refinement that includes crossetted architraves around the doors and plaster cornice molding. Doors have six raised panels. The south rooms have no fireplaces, relying on the southern exposure for warmth. The southeast parlor is dominated by a wide round molded plaster ceiling medallion reconstructed from evidence and profiles that remained in the ceiling. This room also has a plaster molded cornice and partial crossettes on the door architraves. The northwest and northeast room fireplaces are diagonal. The northeast fireplace has a crosseted architrave, a frieze with raised panels, and a heavily molded shelf, and has an adjacent built-in cupboard. The rear stairs consist of a double set descending from the upper half story along the east and west walls of the hallway. Since the hallway is not particularly wide, each stair run was quite narrow. At some point, probably in the mid to late 19th century when other changes were made to the house, the narrower run of steps along the west wall of the hall was removed, but seams and marks in the wall still indicate the presence of stairs. The remaining run is enclosed with beaded paneling, a closed stringer, and low molded handrail with rectangular balusters. The cellar contains two diagonally set fireplaces, one in each of the two rooms. Behind the house the yard extends north to an alley. Two newly built hip-roofed garden structures are on the sties of former outbuildings.

Significance: The Good-Reilly House is significant as an intact example of a refined regional adaptation of the Georgian style. Built probably in the 1780s by owner William Good, the house displays numerous elements of the Georgian style, but with vernacular adaptations such as the narrow rear-facing divided central stairs. Woodwork, the parlor's large plaster ceiling medallion, plaster cornice work, and the fine cut stones of the front facade, reveal an owner of significant wealth with an eye for detail. The house is one of four contemporary high-style stone houses in Sharpsburg, each identifiable by their fine cut-stone facades. Two of these, the Good-Reilly House and the house at 109 W. Main Street were associated with the family of Moses Chapline, brother of the founder of Sharpsburg. Two of the four stone houses have been listed individually on the National Register, 109 West Main Street and 200 East Main Street.




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