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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: Paula Stoner Dickey, 01/1974
Rohrer House
Inventory No.: WA-I-060
Other Name(s): Silsby House
Date Listed: 11/1/1979
Location: Hopscotch Lane , Hagerstown, Washington County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: late 18th century
Description: The Rohrer House is a three-bay, two-story brick building painted white with black trim. A two-bay frame wing stands to the rear of the building. The house is set on fieldstone foundations. Brickwork at the façade is Flemish bond while other walls display common bond. Flat brick arches are located over the window and door openings. Windows, containing 2/2 pane Victorian period sash, are present on all sides of the house. At the façade they are flanked by louvered shutters. The window framing is finished with simple molding. The front entrance, with a narrow transom, is located in the center bay of the south wall. Evidence remains of a one-story porch along the façade which has been removed. Porches shelter the entrances to the rear frame extension, and are supported by square wooden posts. The roof is covered with slate, and small brick chimneys rise from inside each gable end. The cornice consists of a simple band of molding. Although the general exterior appearance of this house suggests a late 19th century building date, closer examination reveals an 18th century building which was enlarged and extensively renovated during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Flemish bonding at the front elevation ends just above the first story windows to be replaced by common bonding showing six courses of stretchers between header rows. At the gable ends, careful scrutiny reveals the outline of gables of a former one-story building which had been raised in height to the present two stories. The older brickwork of the first story level was in common bond with three rows of stretchers between header courses. The common bonding above it, being the addition already noted, was laid in a six-to-one ratio. Significance: The Rohrer House is significant for its architecture. In its present form it represents a frequently seen type of brick building which dates in Washington County generally from the second half of the 19th century. The structure apparently began life, however, as a one-story, late 18th century brick building, and was enlarged in the late 19th century to two full stories. The exterior reveals the contrast between 18th and late 19th century construction, and the interior displays the same contrast with a remarkable amount of 18th century work remaining in the main story and in the cellar. The property is worthy of note for its association with the early road which led west to "Rohrer's Mill" and to Hagerstown. Although the road is no longer in use, much of its path can be traced. The Rohrer family, who operated a nearby mill, originally owned the property on which this house stands, selling it in 1792. It was probably the Rohrers who built the 18th century portion of the house.


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