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Maryland's National Register Properties



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Evergreen
Inventory No.: AL-V-A-031
Other Name(s): Federal Hill
Date Listed: 4/17/2015
Location: 15603 Trimble Road NW., Mount Savage, Allegany County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: c. 1780-c. 1920; c. 1780, 1822, 1870
Description: The Evergreen complex is located on 167 acres in western Allegany County, approximately one mile from the town of Mount Savage on a ridge first named Federal Hill in an 1817 plat. The property includes a total of fourteen contributing historic resources constructed beginning in the late 1700s. The two primary contributing resources are an historic house and barn, located at the northeast end of Trimble Road, a county road that provides access to the property. The original house and barn are believed to have been built circa 1780 by Revolutionary War veteran, early settler, and first property owner Edward Grimes (commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in 1776), in the center of Grimes' four Revolutionary War Military Lots (50 acres each). The stone cellar of the original house remains today, as does the entire structure of the original bank barn. Circa 1822-1823, George Winter, also an early area settler who had originally acquired Military Lots in what is today nearby Eckhart, purchased the property and expanded the house by building a two-story, Federal style, stone addition adjacent to the front porch of the original house. This section of the house remains today. The second major renovation/addition to the house occurred between 1873 and 1882 and was engineered by Winfield Scott Trimble, whose great-grandfather, John Trimble, was another early settler who had acquired and lived on Military Lots on the other side of Federal Hill. During this renovation, Trimble removed the decaying log/frame upper structure of the original Grimes' house as well as the porch connecting the log/frame and stone structures and replaced them with a two-story frame addition that included Victorian embellishments such as gingerbread decorations and a rooftop turret. In addition, Trimble named the property Evergreen for the 13 species of fledgling evergreen trees he planted there. Today the 167-acre property contains three other contributing resources believed to have been built in the early 1800s when George Winter owned the property: the original stone road that accessed the property, a roadside gatehouse, and stone fencing. In addition, nine other contributing resources were added by coal companies in the early 1900s. These resources are located on the Evergreen Coal Trail, which follows the tramway used to haul coal from the deep mines to the railroad. These structures and objects include three abandoned coal mine openings, a bank of waste slate, the ruins of the blacksmith's forge, the miners' mule stable, the water tower and shed, a hand-dug water well, and the site of a bull wheel to lower coal cars down an incline plane. Trimble family descendants opened the house as the Evergreen Museum in 1993, showcasing the architecture, furnishings, and artifacts of early area settlers who explored and settled western Allegany County. The Evergreen Barn and Evergreen Coal Trail were also opened for tours beginning in 2010. The property also includes two other non-contributing resources: a Learning/Visitors Center build in the 1970s and remodeled in 2011/2012, and the caretaker's house built in 1990. Significance: Evergreen is historically significant for its association with the early settlement and subsequent development of western Allegany County. In the late 18th century, Flintstone, in the eastern part of the county, was home to the majority of the county's early settlers, and the city of Cumberland was in its infancy with fewer than 35 families. The five families that settled in western Allegany County on Evergreen had migrated to what was then the western frontier from the northern, southern, and eastern areas of the colonies. Each represented different cultural backgrounds, working together and independently to settle and develop this land. Edward Grimes, who came west from Frederick, built the original Evergreen house and barn and in 1794 was one of the county's first commissioners, appointed to build what would become Route 36 from Cumberland to Mount Savage. Grimes' son-in-law Michael Oswalt, who had migrated south from Pennsylvania, was also a County Commissioner and owned one of the area's first saw mills. William Ridgely, whose family had migrated to Western Maryland from the Eastern Shore and took ownership of Evergreen in 1819, owned ten slaves, was also a County Commissioner, filed the first layout of the town of Frostburg, and fostered the partnership between the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal that would significantly expand transportation to the region. George Winter had also migrated west from Frederick, owned one of the area's first woolen mills and an inn on what became the National Road. Winter purchased Evergreen in 1822 and subsequently expanded the Grimes house. Lastly, the Trimble family, who had migrated north from the Shenandoah Valley and settled on Federal Hill near Edward Grimes circa 1780, built one of the area's largest farms, encompassing over 1100 acres on Federal Hill, including Evergreen, which was added to their Federal Hill holdings in 1869. The Trimbles remodeled the Evergreen House creating a Victorian mansion, continued the Hill's history of farming, and participating in the region's booming coal industry, which was a key factor in the economic development of the region. Evergreen is architecturally significant for its collection of resources representing vernacular property types characteristic of the region from the late 1700s (the barn), the early 1800s (the stone section of the house), the late 1800s (the frame Victorian section of the house), and the early 1900s (the structures along the coal tramway) that are all in their original location, with the setting, historic materials, and design intact and visible, providing a strongly conveyed feeling for and association with the respective time periods. In addition, the property offers an informational treasure in historical documents, artifacts, antiques dating back over 200 years, an opportunity to explore the property's rich agricultural history, and the legacy of Western Maryland coal mining that peaked during the "Big Vein" era of the early 1900s. The period of significance extends from the original settlement of the property and initial phase of construction, ca. 1780 through the establishment of coal mining facilities ca. 1920.

 

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