Paula S. Reed, 08/1990
Charles Mill Road , Hagerstown, Washington County
Period/Date of Construction:
This group of farm buildings includes a c. 1784 Germanic stone house, an 18th century stone blacksmith shop, a frame bank barn, a mid-19th century brick secondary dwelling, and other agricultural outbuildings. The main house is a 2 1/2-story, four-bay structure with a 2 1/2-story, two-bay extension to the south, probably built shortly after the main block. The house is built into a slope at the head of a spring and faces south. The rear or north elevation had a galleried porch at each level. Evidence remains of a 1 1/2-story addition which was removed in the early 20th century, and originally there was a porch across the entire length of the main block which continued along the east end wall, possibly as a pent roof. The stone corbel or drip course remains as evidence of this construction. Beneath this porch the stones were stuccoed, an application probably made in the 1820s or 30s. This stucco has since been removed, revealing special charcoal darkened pointing with white striping, a decorative finish occasionally done on 18th century stone houses in this county. On the painted striping is a date "May the 1, 1826," written in pencil and elsewhere a partially legible name and another date of 1829. These dates indicate that the stuccoing occurred thereafter, which is consistent with local practices. The principal entrance is located in the third bay from the west end of the front elevation, and there is a side entrance into the kitchen wing on the front elevation. Each entrance is topped with a four-light transom. There are also doors at each floor level of the main elevation of the main block, which originally opened onto galleried porches. All main story windows have 9/6 light sashes while others have 6/6 lights. Brick chimneys stand inside the west gable end wall and inside the east end wall of the kitchen wing. There is also a central chimney extending from the main block. The house, built over a spring, retains original Georgian influenced woodwork, original central chimney, floor plan, original paint colors in many areas, and its original puncheon insulation system. The barn faces north and the mid 19th century house set to the west of the other buildings faces south. The buildings are surrounded by farm and pasture land and were once part of a grist milling complex.
Huckleberry Hall is significant for its architectural character. Built about 1784, the house embodies the distinctive characteristics of 18th century rural Germanic domestic architecture in the middle to western sections of Maryland. Important among these characteristics as found in this house are construction over a spring, the use of puncheon logs and rocks as insulation between the basement and first floor, arrangement of rooms around a central chimney, and limestone construction which utilized a plentiful local material for building. Features unique to this house include the four-room variation of the more typical three-room floor plan, and the fully paneled end wall of the second floor chamber in the kitchen wing. Also of note is the high number of original interior finishes which remain. These finishes include stenciling and marbleizing. Another locally significant feature is the placement of the stair rising across a front window.