Susan G. Pearl, 04/1986
8706 SE. Crain Highway (US 301), Upper Marlboro, Prince Georges County
Period/Date of Construction:
c. 1850 and earlier
Woodstock is a 2 1/2-story frame house, three bays by two wide bays, facing south. The principal entrance, in the east bay of the south facade, is composed of an 8-panel door with louvered shutters. The first floor of this facade is covered by a shed-roofed porch on square columns with sawnwork brackets. Windows of 6/6 sash, also with louvered shutters, are placed asymmetrically on both the south and north facades, with the openings in the east bay set slightly apart from those in the center and west bays. Two exterior chimneys rise from the west gable end. A small 4/4 sash window pierces the attic gable between these, and has a single louvered shutter. The east gable end is two bays wide, with 6/6 sash shuttered windows on both floors, and two 4/4 sash windows in the attic gable, matching the single one on the west end. A 1 1/2-story wing is attached to the north bay of the west facade of the main block. This wing, five bays wide on the south facade, has a single exterior chimney at the west end. The south facade holds entrances in the second and fourth bays from the west end, and 6/6 sash shuttered windows in the remaining bays. The second-bay entrance consists of a four-panel door and a four-light transom. The fourth-bay entrance is a replacement. The whole of this facade is covered by a shed-roofed porch on square posts. Two gable-roofed dormers with 6/6 sash windows pierce this side of the roof. The north facade of the wing contains a door in the second bay and a window in the fourth bay from the west end. The westerly two bays of this wing enclose an earlier freestanding building, a remnant of the older Timberly plantation; it is now connected to the main block by a later three-bay connecting link or hyphen. The house has simple but handsome interior trim, in the Greek Revival style. The plan consists of a side stair hall and connecting double parlors. The open string two-run staircase rises along the east wall of the stairhall. It has square balusters and a simple round rail. In place of a newel post is a plain carved post. The staircase has a paneled spandrel and plain bracketed stair ends. Outbuildings on the property include a 20th century smokehouse which replaces an earlier smokehouse whose brick foundation is still visible, and a small herb garden marks the spot where an ice house once stood.
Woodstock is an outstanding example of a mid-19th century plantation house with decorative elements in the Greek Revival style. The main block was probably built in the early 1850s by Washington Custis Calvert of Mount Airy; it was subsequently attached by means of a connecting hyphen to an older kitchen building on the property. In 1860 Woodstock became the home of James Beall Belt, retired Clerk of the Prince George's County Court, and passed after his death to his son, John W. Belt, who served also as Clerk of the Court. Woodstock exemplifies a house style typical of small plantations of the period. It is one of only three surviving examples in Prince George's County of this once popular Tidewater house style. It is in excellent condition and stands in a prominent location, a visible landmark overlooking a much traveled highway. It is an important example of Prince George's County 19th century architectural history.