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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: Paula S. Reed, 03/2005
Curtis-Shipley Farmstead
Inventory No.: HO-439
Date Listed: 12/12/2006
Location: 5771 Waterloo Road (MD 108) , Ellicott City, Howard County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: 1891
Description: The Curtis-Shipley Farmstead fronts along the historic Old Annapolis Road (Now Waterloo Road or MD 108), south of Ellicott City. Facing west, the two-story five-bay frame house is one room deep with a two-story rear wing. The front elevation has a central projecting two-story gabled bay with decorative diamond-shaped wood shingles in the gable. A three-part door with sidelights and a four-light transom stands in the first floor of this center bay. It is covered with a one-bay front gabled porch with decorative diamond-shaped wood shingles in the gable. This porch, supported on square columns, is not original to the house. It replaced an original wraparound porch after c. 1930. Windows throughout the main block of the house are 2/2 with louvered shutters. The two windows in the north elevation of the wing are similar in size but have 6/6 sash, also with louvered shutters. On the south elevation, what was originally a recessed porch was enclosed in the 1940s to create a new kitchen space and add bathrooms. A one-story addition on the east end of the wing was added after c. 1955 and has large single-pane windows with multi-pane sash windows flanking the center pane. The house is covered with German siding and an asphalt shingle roof. The foundation is stone, parged and struck. Two corbeled brick chimney rise symmetrically near the center of the main section roof peak. A single brick chimney rises on the exterior gable end of the rear wing. The main entrance on the west elevation opens into the center stair hall. Machine-carved architraves and corner blocks are present throughout the house. A door in the back wall of the hall was originally an exterior door to the service porch of the wing, but now leads to a bathroom. A parlor is located on each side of the central hall. Each has two front (west) windows and one side (south or north) window and a projecting section of the interior wall that contains the flue. The house was never equipped with fireplaces, relying instead on stoves. The north parlor has a recessed cupboard beside the flue projection in the southeast corner of the room; the corner cupboard doors have been removed. On the south side of the house is a flat rock-paved service yard leading to the stone dairy/smokehouse, a gable-front one-story building constructed of local stone with granite sills and lintels. The gables are shingled with a diamond-shaped decorative pattern. Southeast of the main house is a gable-front frame garage with German siding. Southeast of the garage is a one-story shed-roofed chicken house, a hog barn, a frame board-and-batten granary, and a board-and-batten bank barn with an unusually deep forebay. Significance: The Curtis-Shipley Farmstead is locally significant for its architecture as a well-preserved example of a type of farmstead characteristic of rural Howard County from the late 19th through mid-20th century. The c. 1891 frame farmhouse is typical of the period in the region, with a five-bay symmetrical facade and projecting pavilion at the entrance bay with gable roof, suggesting a Gothic influence. The current entrance portico of c. 1930 replaces a porch which spanned the facade. In addition to the farmhouse with intact interior and exterior details, the farmstead includes a fine collection of well-preserved domestic and agricultural buildings. The Curtis-Shipley Farmstead reflects the cultural heritage of a region that is currently undergoing intensive development pressure.


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