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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: MHT Files, n.d.
Glebe House
Inventory No.: S-35
Other Name(s): Davis's Choice; Turner's Purchase
Date Listed: 11/18/2009
Location: 10950 Market Lane, Princess Anne, Somerset County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: 1784-85
Architect/Builder: Builder: William Bowland
Description: The Glebe House, erected in 1784-85, is a 1 ½-story brick-ended frame house that stands southwest of the town of Princess Anne. The nearly square 28' by 30' dwelling consists of three frame walls and a Flemish bond south gable end. The house faces east with the roof oriented on a north-south axis. Around 1930, the story-and-a-half building was raised to a two-story height, and during the mid 1970s, the original roofline was restored by removing the second story. The main façade is three bays wide, with an entrance in the north bay and two restored 9/9 sash windows to the south. The exterior is covered with narrow weatherboard siding that has a rounded bottom edge. The base of the roof is finished with a boxed cornice dating from the 1970s restoration. Marking the steeply pitched wood-shingle roof are two gable-roofed dormers fitted with 6/6 sash windows. The Flemish bond brick gable end is the most original exterior surface, although the very top section of the wall including the interior end chimney stack was rebuilt during the 1970s. Two 9/9 sash windows define the first story, while a pair of 6/6 sash windows lights the second story. All four windows have rowlock arches. The southwest first-floor window was formerly a door that provided access to a stepped service wing, but it was converted back to a window during the 20th century, evidenced by the reworked brickwork below. A small four-pane window lights the attic level above the collar beams. The west façade is identical to the front elevation with a six-panel door in the north bay, and two 9/9 sash windows to the south. Identical boxing finishes the base of the roof and two gable-roofed dormers light the second story chambers. The four-room plan first-floor interior is characterized by finely executed late 18th-century Georgian-style woodwork that is highlighted by a turned baluster staircase, raised-panel hearth walls in two rooms, raised six-panel doors and portions of original chair rail. Significance: The Glebe House, dated to 1784 by parish vestry records, is architecturally and historically significant in the local context of Somerset County and the lower Eastern Shore of Maryland. The house is an example of a regionally distinctive vernacular tradition with a single Flemish bond brick gable end and three frame walls. The story-and-a-half, four-room plan dwelling is one of four surviving early dwellings in Somerset County constructed in this manner. (See also the Beauchamp House, S-62; Burton Cannon House, S-78; and Whitehall, S-27. The former two are listed on the National Register.) Also significant is the survival of well-crafted 18th-century woodwork that remains intact in the three principal first-floor rooms. The staircase, in particular, exhibits fine bulbous turnings in the newel posts and balusters as well as raised-panel finishes on the staircase soffit and below the stringer. The raised-panel woodwork in the two principal rooms is also of high quality craftsmanship for the late 18th century. The Glebe House derives additional historical significance for its association with the Anglican tradition of maintaining income-producing property for the support of the parish priest. It is the only surviving example of an Anglican-parish-financed plantation house in the three counties of Maryland's lower Eastern Shore. The Glebe plantation was owned by the Somerset Parish between 1747 and 1799. Alterations dating from the 1970s do not materially compromise the property’s ability to convey its significance as a representative example of the type, style, and finish of a Glebe House erected during the decade following the American Revolution.


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