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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: Kerri Culhane, 08/2000
George Markell Farmstead
Inventory No.: F-3-165
Other Name(s): Arcadian Dairy Farm, Thomas Property
Date Listed: 12/27/2002
Location: 4825 Buckeystown Pike (MD 85) , Frederick, Frederick County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: c. 1865
Description: Once part of a large dairy farm, the George Markell Farmstead now consists of a c. 1865 brick house, a brick smokehouse, a bake oven, two stone domestic outbuildings, an ice house, a springhouse, a frame stable, a frame chicken house, a mid-20th century guest house, and various sheds and outbuildings. A large gambrel-roofed barn constructed of rusticated concrete block stands on the south side of Marcie's Choice Lane. The main house, showing combined Greek Revival and Italianate stylistic influence, is constructed of five course common bond brick on a limestone foundation. The main block and rear wing appear to have been constructed at the same time. The three-bay front facade, facing west, has a door in the north bay, with a transom and sidelights. This bay is sheltered by a one-story porch supported by clustered columns, and embellished with scrolled brackets. Windows are 6/6 sash with louvered shutters and molded cornices, more fancy on the front facade than the other sides. A pair of flush brick chimneys with corbeled caps rises from the south gable end of the main block. The roof is covered with slate. A long galleried porch extends along the south side of the five-bay rear wing. Supported by square posts, the porch has a balustrade on the second floor. Attached to the east end of the wing is a shorter two-story addition. The second floor of the porch, extended to the end of this addition, has splat balusters. The lower level porch posts, if they were originally present, have been removed. Windows for this section are also 6/6 sash, but have wide wooden lintels rather than molded cornices. The interior of the house follows a formal side hall double parlor plan, with dining area and service rooms behind. The front entrance opens into a large formal stair hall. To the south are double parlors each with doors opening into the stair hall. The stairs rise along the north wall of the house, and terminate with a massive turned newel post. Decorative turned balusters, two per step, support a heavy oval handrail. Fancy carved decoration trims the spandrel. Large double parlor doors were taken from another Federal period building. The front parlor has a Greek Revival painted slate mantel, while that in the rear parlor, also of painted slate, is more Italianate in style. Second floor front rooms have wooden Greek Revival mantels. Federal mantels in two rear second-floor rooms come from another building. Narrow oak flooring throughout dates to the 1920s or 1930s. Significance: The George Markell Farmstead is significant as an intact example of the transition between Greek Revival and Italianate styles, expressed in a farmstead of one of Frederick County's gentry families. While retaining the traditional side hall and double parlor plan with a shed-roofed rear wing, the farmhouse employs Greek Revival elements, such as the trabeated entrance with transom and sidelights, 6/6 windows with strongly defined lintels above, and double chimneys linked with a brick parapet. Inside, several mantelpieces reflect the Greek Revival style. Grecian ogee molding trims the first floor front section while simple symmetrical molding is consistently used elsewhere. Competing with these Greek Revival elements are Italianate features including decorative brackets on the front door surround, the bracketed entrance porch with clustered columns, interior marbleized slate mantels with round-arched firebox openings and curving shelves, and four-panel doors. In addition, there are components from the Federal style in the form of materials recycled from another building, making this c. 1865 farmhouse reflective of several periods and styles. The George Markell Farmstead is also significant as a component of the July 9, 1864 Battle of the Monocacy during the Civil War. Although the house was not yet constructed, the farm, with its lane to the Ballenger Creek ford of the Monocacy River, served as the primary approach route to the battlefield by Confederate troops. It was perhaps damage from this battle which precipitated the construction of the new Markell farmhouse. The associated outbuildings date from the mid 19th to early 20th centuries and are typical of farmsteads in the region.
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