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Maryland's National Register Properties



Photo credit: Paula S. Reed, 10/2004
Routzahn-Miller Farmstead
Inventory No.: F-4-141
Date Listed: 9/27/2006
Location: 9117 Frostown Road , Middletown, Frederick County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: c. 1825
Description: The Routzahn-Miller Farmstead consists of a c. 1825 Federal style-influenced brick house and smokehouse, a later frame out-kitchen/washhouse, a standard Pennsylvania barn (probably late 19th century and recently rehabilitated for use as a preschool), a 20th-century dairy barn and milk house, and a 20th century equipment shed. The complex sits on a 16.7-acre parcel on the north side of Frostown Road on the east flank of South Mountain. A pond, a prominent feature of the farmstead landscape along the road frontage, is fed by several springs originating on the nearby mountain. While the barn fronts southward, the main house fronts in a southwesterly directly exposing the long southeast side of the rear wing with its extensive two-story porches, which creates the impression of a large mansion house. The two-story brick house is three bays wide on its southwest (south) side. A brick chimney rises from the interior of each gable end. The south elevation sits perpendicular to the hillside, so that the east gable end is exposed with walk-in access to the cellar. The south elevation is laid in five-course common bond with flared standing brick jack arches above the window and door openings. The windows are relatively small, with 6/6 double-hung sash. There is a three-light transom above the central entrance. However, there is a four-light transom immediately behind the three-light transom. The door has six panels. A stepped brick corbel lines the cornice below the eave. A full-length porch was removed leaving a ghost of the roofline in the bricks. This was probably a later addition to the original facade. The overall impression is a symmetrical and refined vernacular farmhouse with Federal style architectural influence, built c. 1825. The rear wing, also of brick, is laid in six-course common bond. Four bays deep, the windows are larger, but still 6/6 sash. Although no seam in the brickwork is apparent, it appears this addition was constructed c. 1860. The two-story recessed porch on the east side of the wing is supported by chamfered posts. The north gable end of the wing encloses that end of the recessed porches, extending to include a small room on each story, each with a narrow four-light window. There are two interior brick chimneys in the wing. The interior of the house reveals a more transitional Federal/Greek Revival influence. It is laid out in a central passage and parlor plan. The mantels are Greek, and window, door, chairrail, and baseboard moldings throughout the front section of the house are trimmed with Grecian ogee molding. Significance: The Routzahn-Miller Farmstead is significant at the local level for its architecture as a representative example of a type of domestic and agricultural grouping which characterized the rural mid-Maryland region from the early 19th century through World War II era. The main house reflects the influence of Federal and Greek Revival architectural styles adapted to a traditional vernacular building type. The brick farmhouse combines Federal symmetry and Greek Revival decorative detailing with regionally typical vernacular features such as the recessed two-story service porch. The smokehouse and out-kitchen lend integrity to the domestic complex. The agricultural buildings complete the farmstead group, contributing to the agricultural setting and association. The farmstead derives additional historical significance for its association with the regional development of agricultural practice through the 19th and 20th centuries. The "Pennsylvania Standard" bank barn, although altered, retains its original structure, massing, setting, and location, preserving an important visual link to the historic agricultural scene. Combined with the 20th century dairy barn/milk house complex, equipment shed, and the domestic buildings, the farmstead demonstrates the changes in the mid-Atlantic region's agricultural landscape. The period of significance covers the time from the purchase of the land by the Routzahn (Routsong) family in 1813 and the construction of the brick farmhouse, through 1945, by which time the farm had been converted from grain to dairy production, following changes in the agricultural economy of the region.

 

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