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Maryland's National Register Properties



Photo credit: Frank Collins, 2007
Oakland Mills Blacksmith House and Shop
Inventory No.: HO-430
Other Name(s): Felicity
Date Listed: 11/18/2011
Location: 5471 Old Columbia Road, Oakland Mills, Howard County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: c. 1820
Description: The Oakland Mills Blacksmith House and Shop complex, also known as Felicity, consists of a 1 1/2-story frame house, a one-story frame blacksmith shop, a one-story frame smokehouse, and the ruins of a rubble-stone springhouse. The buildings are set close to the road on the east side of Old Columbia Pike, on a low flat site with a stream that runs east and south of the buildings. The house is a four-bay by one-bay structure with German siding, a rubble stone foundation, and gable roof with a north-south ridge. The ground slopes down to the south, and there is a wing on the south that is one bay by three bays. The wing has no foundation visible, has German siding, and has a shed roof with asphalt shingles and a slope down to the south. There is a one-story, one-bay by one-bay ell on the east at the south end of the main block. It has German siding and a shed roof with asphalt shingles that slopes down to the east. The front entrance, on the west façade, is in the third bay from the north, and consists of a six-panel door that has sunken fields and quirked Greek ogee panel molds. The other bays contain 6/6 sash windows. In front of the doorway is a rebuilt wooden porch set on two granite posts, each post being one piece of stone and containing drill holes. The house has a wooden box cornice with an ogee-and-cavetto bed mold. An interior brick chimney rises from the west side of the ridge at the north end and from the center of the south end. The west roof slope features a gabled dormer with a 6/6 sash window between the two center bays. On the north elevation there is a 6/6 sash window on each floor. On the east elevation the south bay is covered by the rear ell. The south-center bay has a door with nine lights over two panels that have sunken fields and no panel molds. The north-center bay has a 6/6 sash window, and the north bay has a door that matches the one in the south-center bay. There is a three-bay porch across the main block on this elevation, set on five stone piers. It has five 4x4 wood posts, dimensional lumber in the roof, and a shed roof. On the ell, the north elevation has a beaded-edge vertical-board door with a Norfolk latch. The east elevation has a stone wall that runs south beyond the wall about 10 feet and steps down as it extends to the east. The east elevation has a shed-roofed open porch. The east façade of the south wing of the house has an exterior rubble stone fireplace stack in the foundation that has shoulders on the north and south sides and a brick chimney. On the first story, south of the chimney, is a 6/6 sash window. On the south elevation, a door with four lights over two panels stands in the center bay, with 6/6 sash windows to either side. This door is sheltered by a one-bay shed-roofed porch on two 4x4 posts. The first story has two 6/6 sash windows. The attic gable has two six-light casement windows. The blacksmith shop is located about 100 feet southwest of the house. It was built in two stages, each with a single room, and has board-and-batten siding, a corrugated metal gable roof and a low rubble stone foundation. The smokehouse, located about 10 feet south of the house, has German siding and a gable roof with asphalt shingles. The springhouse ruin is located about 125 feet southeast of the house, with the springhead located in a recess at the base of the northwest gable end. Significance: The Oakland Mills Blacksmith House and Shop complex is architecturally significant as a rare surviving group of buildings that have served as the dwelling and workplace of a series of blacksmiths from c. 1820 to 1950. The shop building, whose features include one intact forge and part of a second, has an extremely high level of integrity and is an unusually good example from its time and period. The house retains a high level of integrity from the earliest period and contains architectural evidence reflecting several periods of expansion in the 19th century. The surviving associated outbuildings, the smokehouse and springhouse ruin, contribute to the significance of the complex. The building was constructed c. 1820 by the Ridgely family who owned Oakland Mills. In 1821 the property was described as having a mill and several lots, one containing a stone dwelling for a cooper, one with a cooper's shop, and another "on which are erected a smiths shop and a dwelling house for the accommodation of a blacksmith." The last property owner to operate a blacksmith shop in the building was William F. Whipps, Jr., who ceased the operation in 1950.

 

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