Jennifer K. Cosham
Christopher Erb House
3333, Flickinger Road, Westminster, Carroll County
The Christopher Erb House is a Pennsylvania German style stone structure constructed in 1799. It is built into a bank with its south elevation containing a ground-level basement with a double-tiered porch. It has a number of exterior and interior features representative of the Pennsylvania German style found in northern Carroll County. On the exterior, these include a datestone on the west gable end, a dentil cornice, a wide batten door, narrow slit windows at the west gable end of the basement, and stonework typical of the Pennsylvania German style. On the interior, these features include a corner fireplace with ornamental mantelpiece, strap hinges and other hardware, and a board partition wall on the second story. Also on the property is a two-story stone springhouse of Pennsylvania German character and the foundation of a stone bank barn.
The Christopher Erb House is an excellent example of Pennsylvania German construction in Carroll County. Architecturally it represents a number of Pennsylvania German building characteristics such as the stone construction, floor plan, and ornamental details. Historically, it shows the influence of Pennsylvania Germans in this area and their tradition of family farms. The range of Pennsylvania German architectural features in the Christopher Erb House includes use of interior woodwork, exterior cornice ornamentation, bank construction, insulation between the basement and upstairs, kitchen use of the basement level, roof framing techniques in the attic and springhouse, and the datestone. The Erb family was an early and influential family in the settlement of the Silver Run and Taneytown areas of Carroll County. Peter Erb appears in the patent records in the mid-18th century. Christopher Erb applied for a resurvey in 1798 to consolidate his land holdings at the time that he was building his house. The property remained in the Erb family until 1879 (through two more generations) and the history of this family presents a representative view of the 19th century family farm in Carroll County.