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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: EHT Traceries, 06/2004
Captain Salem Avery House and Museum
Inventory No.: AA-65
Other Name(s): National Masonic Fishing and Country Club
Date Listed: 12/21/2005
Location: 1418 East West Shady Side Road, Shady Side, Anne Arundel County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: 1860, 1923, 1927
Description: Currently operated by the Shady Side Rural Heritage Society, the Captain Salem Avery House is a two-story frame building dating to 1860 with later additions. The property is located near McKinley Point on the southern bank of the West River at 1418 East West Shady Side Road, in Shady Side. Facing the West River to the north the property is situated in the center of a 3/4-acre rectangular lot, and its northern edge fronts on the river with a view of the Chesapeake Bay. The water's edge is built up with stone and an L-shaped pier extends into the water. The lots surrounding the Captain Salem Avery House are developed with residential structures varying in age, placement, and design. The property consists of the main house with additions; three sheds formerly used as bath houses; and a modern boathouse built in 1993, featuring the locally built EDNA FLORENCE, a 1937 deadrise workboat. The two-story house comprises two major portions: the original residence, constructed c. 1860 and expanded later in the 19th century, and the large east wing added c. 1927 by the National Masonic Fishing and Country Club, a subsequent owner. Resting on a brick pier foundation covered with pressed metal that imitates rusticated concrete block, the exterior of the building is covered in weatherboard and void of ornamentation. The gable roof of the house is covered in asphalt shingles and runs on an east-west axis. One interior-end brick chimney is at the west elevation. The original c. 1860 portion of the house consisted of a single-pile house with a stair passage and loft above, with a detached kitchen located to the east. During Avery's occupation, a one-story addition was built onto the east side of the house which connected it to the detached kitchen. By c. 1880 this addition was raised to a full two-story height, giving the house a hall-parlor plan. The original Avery house was moved several times since its construction, due to erosion from the bay and its rivers. Renovations and additions made to the house likely coincided with these moves. A screened porch added c. 1923 extends the full length of the first story at the north elevation and remains flush with the adjacent c. 1927 wing. The shed roof of the porch is supported by square posts. A 2'-high knee wall covered in weatherboard runs the perimeter of the porch. A wood-screened door serves as the entrance to the porch and faces north towards the West River. Once inside the porch, an entrance to the house is gained through a modern two-light, four-panel door which is set slightly off center. The second story of the north elevation is pierced by four bays. These four openings are symmetrically placed 6/6 sash windows flanked by louvered shutters. The east elevation is now covered by the c. 1927 wing. A shed addition is present at the first floor of the south elevation. Openings within the shed addition are an off-center modern door with a screen door that is flanked by two single-paned casement windows. Based on historic photos, the c. 1860s-1880s Avery House once had an open porch with turned posts and chamfered stops on this elevation of the house, before it was incorporated into the enclosed shed addition. The second story at the south elevation is pierced by four 6/6 sash windows. The west gable end is pierced by one window at the first story and two windows at the second story. All of these windows are four-paned fixed windows. Historic photos reveal that these were added by c. 1927. A brick chimney is located within the interior gable end of this elevation. The c. 1927 east wing is four bays long and two bays wide, with 6/6 sash windows. The interior of the Avery House section of the building is based on a single pile, hall and parlor plan, with an enclosed stair. A wood-turned handrail runs the length of the stairs, adorned with a square newel post and square balusters. A closet fills the space beneath the stair on the first floor and opens into the hall. Within this roo Significance: The Captain Salem Avery House is significant for its association with the maritime history and recreational development of the Chesapeake Bay region. The property is associated with the small-scale, water-based industries which typified rural communities on the Western Shore of the bay in the latter half of the 19th century, and its subsequent transition to recreational use represents a trend which began to affect the region in the early 20th century. From its earliest use as a waterman's home, to its later use as a clubhouse, the transition of the property over time reflects the growth of Shady Side, Maryland as both a waterman's village in the late 19th century and a resort town during the 20th century. The lives of Shady Side residents have always revolved around the water. Shady Side watermen have relied on the water for their livelihood, while residents and visitors have turned to the water for recreational purposes. Alterations and modifications to the property reflect the changing tastes and needs of its residents.
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