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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: Anthony O. James, 06/1973
Caleb's Discovery
Inventory No.: WO-6
Other Name(s): Hilliard's Discovery
Date Listed: 5/27/1975
Location: Ocean Gateway (US 50) , Berlin, Worcester County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: early 18th century; early 19th century
Description: Caleb's Discovery is located on the north side of U.S. 50, approximately two miles west of Berlin, Maryland. The house consists of two sections, the kitchen wing, dating from the early 18th century, and the living room wing, dating from the early 19th century. The kitchen wing, with its major axis running north-south, is 1 1/2 stories three bays wide by one room deep. The south end has a large, flush chimney flanked by two small, 2/2 light windows in the gable. The north end has a newer exterior chimney flanked by two small windows. The wing is constructed of brick covered with stucco scored to simulate ashlar masonry. On the north end a small section of brick is exposed revealing Flemish bond brickwork. The west side has a door in the center bay and one 6/6 light window. To either side, two 6/6 sash gable-roofed dormers pierce the roof. Connecting the kitchen and living room wings is a one-story hyphen, one bay wide. Centered on the south facade is a double door flanked by two narrow 6/6 light windows. A pedimented portico projects from the house. To the east is a c. 1820 Federal addition of 2 1/2 stories. Three bays wide by two deep, this wing is also covered with stucco scored to simulate ashlar masonry. Each bay on the south facade has a window. The first floor windows have 12/12 sash while the second floor have 8/12. There is a recessed flat arch over each window. The house has a modillion cornice. Between the first and second stories are five, evenly spaced, S-shaped ends to tie rods. The east end also has a window in each bay on both floors. They are identical to those on the front. In the east gable, flanking the flush chimney, are two small, 6/6 light windows. Centered in the west attic gable is a single 6/6 light window. On the north side a screened porch covers the center and west bays of the first story and extends across the hyphen. The window in the east bay and the one on the second floor are identical to the ones on the north facade. There is a single dormer above the west bay and a double dormer in the hyphen. Significance: Caleb's Discovery is a good illustration of the incorporation of an early house into a later structure without the loss of the earlier building's identity. The present kitchen wing was originally a small house typical of those built by the early planters on the Eastern Shore. Many such have been lost through incorporation in a later structure or through neglect as later generations outgrew them. However, when the large main block of Caleb's Discovery was constructed in the early 19th century, it was connected with an entrance hall to the rear of the early-18th century dwelling. The resulting juxtaposition of the two buildings still allows each to be viewed as an individual structure. It is this preservation of the earlier building's architectural integrity that makes Caleb's Discovery an unusual example of the later growth common in small dwelling houses.


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