Ronald L. Andrews
Oakland Westernport Road (MD 135) & Branch Avenue, Bloomington, Garrett County
Borderside was a c. 1870s Italianate style brick structure that consisted of a 2 1/2-story rectangular block with a three-story tower centered on the principal (east) facade, a multi-level wing on the south side, and a one-story porch across the length of the north side. The gently sloping hip roofs were covered with tin sheeting and supported by sets of double brackets. The tower had a pronounced bell-curve Mansard roof. The brick was laid in six-course common bond, and the foundation was made of cut stone. A one-story porch appears to have been removed from the back or west side. The principal facade of the main block was symmetrical with a semi-octagonal projection with three windows on either side of the tower and two windows above. Each side of the tower had a recessed area in which the windows were placed. Most of the windows had flat brick arches except for the first floor windows of the back or west side which had bracketed lintels. The windows had double-hung wooden sashes with 4/4 lights, except for the principal windows of the projection which had 4/6 lights. The bulk of the exterior decoration was found on the tower. The entranceway had a semicircular fanlight with one pane and a keystone in the framing with a heavy entablature supported by "leafy" brackets above. Marks on the wall indicated that a railing ran around the entablature at one time. The entranceway was topped by a pair of hooded windows and a round-headed recessed window in the third story. The sides of the tower had rectangular windows on the first two stories and round windows on the third. The interior was finished with trim characteristic of the Italianate style. The house burned in the mid to late 1970s.
Borderside was one of the finest 19th century residences in Garrett County. Erected following the Civil War, the house was representative of the Italian Villa style, notably the square tower, the asymmetrically arranged rectilinear blocks, the smooth and uniform exterior walls, and the bracketed hip roof with a slight pitch. It also had the characteristic bay windows and verandas. Borderside was an unusual building for 19th century Garrett County in that it was constructed of brick, a material not used that often in house construction. The usual building material was wood and several examples of Italianate style frame dwellings can be found throughout the county. Brick, however, seems to have been primarily limited to public buildings such as the courthouse and school buildings. Borderside was also known as Brydon Mansion, and was built for William A. Brydon c. 1870 when western Maryland was coming into prominence due to its vast supply of natural resources. Brydon was an entrepreneur dealing in coal and lumber. He was a member of the Maryland House of Delegates in 1867 as a representative of Allegany County, in the years before Garrett County was formed. Brydon, a member of the first Board of School Commissioners of Garrett County, made a second, but unsuccessful, bid for the House of Delegates in 1891.