Michael O. Bourne, 11/1996
Johnson Creek Road , Lawsonia, Somerset County
Period/Date of Construction:
early 18th century
Makepeace is a 1 1/2 story brick house of the early 18th century. The four-bay front (south) and rear (north) facades are laid in Flemish bond with glazed headers. The south facade, similar to Genesar in Worcester County (1733, National Register) has a door in each of the two center bays. The two end bays each contain a 9/6 sash window. The north facade has a single door in the second bay from the east end. The western half of the north side has two sash windows. The doors on the south side have segmental arches; the rubbed brick segmental arch over the north door has been rebuilt. The two-bay wide gable ends of the house are laid in decorative patterns, known as diapering, created by the use of glazed headers. The west end has an overall diamond pattern. The east end has a chevron pattern above the level of the cornice and a diamond design below. The latter is partly obscured by a later addition. A characteristic feature of lower Eastern Shore architecture is the "dogtooth" belt course which extends across each gable at the cornice level. A two-inch, stepped watertable extends around the building. It is constructed of standard rather than molded brick. The brick below the watertable is laid in English bond. Enclosed chimneys stand at each end of Makepeace. The east one is T-shaped to accommodate the flue for the second floor fireplace. Both of the chimneys are constructed so that they slope back from the face of the wall rather than rising straight up from the peak of the gable. The chimney tops are decorated with four stepped courses of brick. The diagonal false plate and joist ends were originally exposed beneath the roof as they were in most Tidewater houses of the 18th century. They have since been boxed in to form a simple cornice. The roof is presently covered with black asphalt. Two samples of wood round-butt shingles applied with cut nails remain from an earlier roof. Three gable-roofed dormers with 6/6 sash windows on each slope stylistically appear to be 18th century, but the framing indicates that they were added after the initial construction of the house. The entire interior of Makepeace was altered in the early 19th century, and the woodwork in the house is all very plain work dating from that period.
From the exterior, Makepeace is a fine example of the type of house built by the planters of Maryland's Eastern Shore during the 17th and 18th centuries. The brickwork, highly visible because of its good condition, is typical of the elaborate glazed brick patterns built into as many as half of Maryland's early Tidewater buildings. The diamond pattern of the west gable end and east end wall was the most common design in use during the 17th century. The paired entrance doors on the south facade are an unusual feature. Genesar, a National Register property in Worcester County, has a first floor plan similar to that of Makepeace but with a single entrance door on the principal facade.