MHT File Photo
Reed's Creek Farm
Wrights Neck Road, Centreville, Queen Annes County
Reed's Creek is a late Georgian style brick house reputedly begun in 1775. It is composed of two portions, the larger of the two being a five bay structure laid in Flemish bond above a quarter round molded water table. The central entrance retains its original architrave, only the pediment being a restoration. Original raised panel jambs emphasize the semi-circular fanlight and original door. Each window of the house has 6/6 sash and louvered shutters. The window frames and sash were replaced in the 19th century, but two original frames are stored in the attic, complete with 12-light walnut sash. Between the stories is a five-brick belt course. Beneath the overhang of the wide gable roof is a modillion cornice, similar to that at Oak Lawn, Caroline County, Maryland, reputedly built in 1783. A massive chimney rises from each gable wall. The building measures approximately 50 x 34’. On the northeast side is a four bay long, two story brick wing, contemporary with the main structure. It measures approximately 38 x 24’ feet and, like the main portion, is laid in Flemish bond above a molded water table. It lacks a basement, belt course, and gauged brick arches, but the plain flat arches possess the refinement of a segmentally arched soffit, like some houses in Annapolis. Many of the windows retain original frames and sash, the latter having 12/12 panes on the first story and 12/8 on the second. New six panel doors occupy the two middle bays of the wing, one opening into the dining room, the other into the kitchen. The cornice has a series of ogee-shaped modillion or dentil blocks. On the gables, original bold barge boards continue along the roof and beneath a projecting brick course at the base of the chimneys.
Reed's Creek is significant as a pristine example of late colonial architecture. The altered window sash of the main block are the only significant changes, and the interior retains its floor plan, woodwork, and details throughout. Particularly noteworthy is an overmantel painting depicting the mythological story of Rinaldo and Armida. It is dated and signed by William Clarke, 1792, and is hailed in Winterthur Portfolio 5 as an extremely rare case of classical nudity in 18th century American painting. Reed's Creek's builder, Colonel Thomas Wright, was active in church, politics and education. He was a vestryman for Chester Church of St. Paul's Parish between 1761 and 1784. In 1781 he served as a visitor of the Queen Anne's County School and in 1782 pledged 32 pounds, 10 shillings to the founding of Washington College, Chestertown. In the political realm, Colonel Wright was a member of the Committee of Correspondence in 1774 and between 1774 and 1776 he was a delegate to the Provincial Convention. In 1775 he signed the proclamation of the Association of Freemen of Maryland and in 1776 was the commandant of the militia regiment for Queen Anne's County.