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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: MHT Files, n.d.
Woods Mill Farm
Inventory No.: F-8-54
Date Listed: 8/15/2007
Location: 11210 Cash Smith Road, Union Bridge, Frederick County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: c. 1770, c. 1835
Description: The Woods Mill Farm, including the Colonel Joseph Wood House and associated buildings is located on the west side of Cash Smith Road on a light ridge above Israel Creek, and faces south, overlooking the creek and the approach to the property. The house is an unusual example of an 18th-century brick, Georgian style manor house in Frederick County. Built about 1770, the house is a two-story five-bay brick dwelling with a hipped roof and inside end chimneys. Bricks are laid in Flemish bond at the front and west elevations, and in 3-course common bond on the north and east. A molded brick watertable, and a brick belt course, three bricks in width, embellish the west, south, and east elevations. At the rear of the house and at the northwest corner are late-20th century additions. Windows have been altered more than once, and currently contain 6/6 sash windows and replacement brick jack arches. An earlier replacement campaign appears to have taken place in the early or mid 19th century. The main entrance is located in the central bay of the front elevation and consists of a 5-light transom over an early-19th century 6-panel door. This door has, like the windows, been altered, yet retains the overall character of the house. The back door is original, with a massive double thick leaf with six raised panels on the outer surface and tongue-and-groove boards forming a herringbone pattern on the inside surface. This back door has no transom. Another original doorway is located in the east wall opening onto Cash Smith Road. The door is a late-20th century replacement, but the 6-light transom above and the brick segmentally arched header reveal 18th century construction. Encircling the house is a full modillioned cornice with ovolo and dentil trim. The hipped roof is currently covered with wood shingles. Brick chimneys with corbeled tops extend from inside each end wall. The rear elevation is three bays wide, with evidence of a former wing or porch over part of the back wall. Currently attached to this facade is a modern one-story hip-roofed stone kitchen addition. Attached to the northwest corner is a 1 1/2-story hip-roofed brick addition, which in turn attaches to the gable-roofed two-story smoke house. The interior of the house has four rooms at the first story separated by a central stair hall and passageway. Two approximately equal-sized rooms are located to the west of the passageway, and two rooms, one larger than the other, east of the hallway. The southeast room has a fireplace against the east wall and the southwest room has a diagonal fireplace across its northwest corner. The northwest room once had a similar diagonal fireplace across its southwest corner. The chimney base for it survives in the cellar. The central passageway/stair hall has front and rear doors and a staircase rising against the east wall. Behind the staircase, under the landing, is a door leading into the northeast room. The staircase is fairly steep with a turned newel post and a flattened handrail with grip. Balusters are turned with three per step. The ends of the risers are trimmed with carved scrolls and the remainder of the staircase has fielded raised panels. Chair rails survive in the central hall and the southeast room. Trim around the windows and doors of the southwest room was replaced in the early 19th century with deeply cut symmetrical molding and decorated corner blocks. The second floor is similarly laid out, with mantels retaining their crossette trim, as well as doors and windows. The staircase continues to the attic in an unusual manner. The stair to the attic is open and constricted into the northeast corner of the hallway in the manner of a winder or ramp stair. In the attic, the original hipped roof framing system, attic flooring, and wrought nails remain intact. Original flooring throughout the house is tongue and groove oak, attached with L-headed nails on the main floors, and rose head wrought nails in the attic. The cellar is finished Significance: Woods Mill Farm is significant for its association with Col. Joseph Wood, founder of Woodsberry (now Woodsboro), in northern Frederick County. Col. Wood established his home farm and built his Georgian-styled manor house c. 1770 shortly after his marriage in 1769. After serving in the Maryland Militia during the American Revolution, Wood patented "Woods Town Land" on part of the former Monocacy Manor, and platted his town called "Woodsberry" on the east side of the Monocacy River. He remained on his home farm on his "Woods Mill Land" patent until 1792, shortly before his death. Woods Mill Farm derives additional significance as a representative example of an early farmstead in rural Frederick County, comprising an 18th century Georgian manor house and its associated smokehouse and an early-19th century brick end bank barn. While the house and the smokehouse have been affected by the additions to the rear of the house, these components are clearly distinguishable from the historic buildings. The house retains its major structural components plus most interior woodwork and trim, including floors, doors, mantels, and the staircase that characterize its early (c. 1770) construction date. Most interior alterations are themselves historic, having been made in approximately the 1820s or 1830s. True Colonial period architecture is indeed rare in west central Maryland, and this house, although altered somewhat, retains most of its Colonial period character-defining features. Likewise, the smokehouse, while not as old as the main house, remains intact, despite being now attached to a modern addition. The barn is highly intact. Together, these three contributing buildings and their open rural setting retain a high degree of integrity.


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