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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: Jennifer K. Cosham, 04/26/2006
Inventory No.: F-7-18
Date Listed: 9/13/2000
Location: 2602 Thurston Road , Frederick, Frederick County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: c. 1780; c. 1800
Description: The Roger Johnson property, known as Bloomsbury, is a farmstead consisting of a two-part sandstone house dating from the 1780s with an early 19th century addition; a log barn and frame wagon shed; and remnants of log slave quarters located immediately behind the main house. Situated a short distance to the northeast of the main house is another small log house believed to have been part of the slave quarters grouping. Also on the property, located farther north along Thurston Road from the main group, is a 19th century frame barn. The main dwelling is constructed of local sandstone, and consists of a four-bay, two-story section, dating from the 1780s with a one-story kitchen wing extending to the east. The east wing accommodates a modern kitchen for the dwelling. Attached to the west end of the four-bay section is a two-story, two-bay addition dating from about 1800. Onto the west end of this addition was constructed a one-story stone and screen sun porch, dating from the 1930s. A stone deck extends out from the four central bays of the house and may have been the base for a former porch. The stonework appears to date from the early 20th century. Taken together, the house represents a balanced facade with a six-bay-wide two-story central block with one-story wings on each end. The oldest part of the house has a window, door, window, window pattern across the front with chimneys inside each end wall. The stones forming the walls are roughly coursed and fairly small in size, as typical of the 18th century. Windows hold 12/12 light sash at both the first and second story levels. Of the four bays, the two westernmost are grouped more closely together than the eastern bays. The front door has six raised panels beneath a four-light transom. Entrance lights on either side of the door are former carriage lamps. Inscribed in the window glass of the window immediately west of the entrance are the names of James Johnson, Roger's son, and his wife Emily with the date 1832. Significance: The Roger Johnson property is significant for its association with the history of Frederick County's 18th century iron industry and thus the county's economic and social development. The property derives additional significance for its association with Roger Johnson, the youngest brother of Maryland's first Governor, Thomas Johnson. The Johnson brothers, Thomas, James, Baker, and Roger, dominated the industrial development of Frederick County during the late 18th century, beginning with the establishment of the Catoctin Iron Furnace in 1774, which supplied shot and ammunition for the Revolutionary War effort. The brothers later established in the county several forges, including Bloomsbury Forge located 1/2 mile from the Roger Johnson House, a second iron furnace, and a glassworks. The Roger Johnson house and associated outbuildings are also significant for their architecture. The house is significant for its late-18th century architectural stylistic elements, in the late Georgian style, both in its exterior limestone construction and its interior design and trim. The slave houses are important relics of this type of dwelling in central Maryland, and the log barn is a rare survival of a once-typical barn type, which was later replaced by the more common Swisser-style barns.


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