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Maryland's National Register Properties



Photo credit: P. Touart, 12/2009
Cullen Homestead Historic District
Inventory No.: S-515
Date Listed: 11/18/2009
Location: 4533, 27049, 27067 Lawson Barnes Road, Crisfield, Somerset County
Category: District
Period/Date of Construction: c. 1820-c. 1910
Description: The Cullen Homestead Historic District is located in the center of the rural community known as Hopewell, a small crossroads village located northeast of Crisfield, Somerset County, Maryland. The village is oriented to several state and county roads. The original principal north-south road, Old State Road (MD 667), passes along the east side of the district, while Lawson Barnes Road borders the district on the north and south. Crisfield Road (MD 413) parallels the old right-of-way of the Eastern Shore Railroad, which passes due west of the district. The historic district consists of three principal structures. The original Cullen family house, known as the Cullen Homestead, is a two-story, four-part stepped profile frame dwelling built c. 1820, supported on a low brick foundation and sheathed with aluminum siding over the original weatherboards. The two-story one-room plan main block retains Federal modillion block cornices with decorative end boards, an interior end brick chimney with an exposed brick firewall, and much of its second quarter of the 19th-century interior woodwork. The adjacent 1 ½-story section is contemporaneous with a single-story hyphen originally serving as the dining room, and also retains period woodwork. The fourth section, a 1 ½-story kitchen southwest of the house, dates to the mid 19th century. The third principal structure in the district is a second Cullen family residence, the Jacob Hoke Cullen House, a large 2 ½-story asymmetrical H-shaped house that was erected in two distinct stages, beginning around 1880 with a T-shaped Victorian dwelling that was enlarged around 1910 by a reverse of the original T-shaped form resulting in the H-shaped plan. Other than an exterior layer of aluminum siding, the house survives largely intact with a mixture of Victorian and Colonial Revival stylistic exterior and interior finishes reflecting its two periods of construction. Standing behind the house is a single-story, single-bay frame garage dating from the early 20th century. Located between the two houses is the Cullen family cemetery, which contains a small collection of marble grave markers primarily dating to the 19th century. Significance: The Cullen Homestead Historic District is architecturally significant for its cohesive collection of buildings that represent vernacular building types characteristic of the Eastern Shore region in the 19th and early 20th century. It incorporates three principal resources, all connected with the locally prominent Cullen family, that define the nucleus of the 19th-century crossroads village of Hopewell. Located northeast of the city of Crisfield, the village developed primarily on the land owned by John Cullen (originally Cullin) (1793-1876) and his wife Martha Ward Cullen (1796-1861) during the early to mid 19th century. As a composition of three principal resources with a shared family association, the Cullen Homestead Historic District represents the evolution of vernacular building traditions in lower Eastern Shore house forms, construction practices and finishes during the period spanning the second quarter of the 19th century and the early 20th century. The varying building forms and construction techniques are reflective as well of the industrialization of American building practices that occurred during the second half of the 19th century.
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