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Maryland's National Register Properties



Photo credit: MHT Files, n.d.
Johnsontown Tobacco Barn No. 2
Inventory No.: CH-742
Date Listed: 12/27/2011
Location: 9830 Johnsontown Road, La Plata, Charles County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: c. 1820
Description: The Johnsontown Tobacco Barn No. 2 is an early-19th-century tobacco barn that provides evidence of the first use of fires for curing tobacco. The barn was constructed c. 1820 at the edge of an agricultural field on the north side of Johnsontown Road near LaPlata, Maryland. The framing of the structure consists of hand-hewn principal members with wood peg connections and pit-sawn intermediate members secured with wrought nails. Large down braces extending from plate to sill reinforce the framing. The tier poles above the plate are blackened from the presence of smoke in the barn. The exterior is sheathed in vertical board siding except on the faces of the steeply pitched gable roof, which is sheathed with horizontal siding. The barn’s framing system and nail patterns reveal that it was once sheathed entirely with horizontal siding. Shed additions were appended to the longitudinal sides of the barn in the 1950s. Overall, the barn is in good condition. Significance: Johnsontown Tobacco Barn No. 2 is locally significant for its architecture. It is associated with the historic context, “Southern Maryland Tobacco Barns, 1790s-1959” as set forth in the Multiple Property Listing Tobacco Barns of Southern Maryland. This barn meets the registration requirements of the Property Subtype: Air-Curing Tobacco Barns of the Nineteenth Century, as defined in the Multiple Property Listing. It is a significant example of a tobacco barn built in Southern Maryland during the period 1800-1830s. The barn varies the use of materials and construction methods typical to the period in an individual way. The barn is also significant as one of only a few documented tobacco barns in Southern Maryland with evidence of the fire-curing process.
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