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Maryland's National Register Properties



Photo credit: Michael O. Bourne, 07/1976
Jena
Inventory No.: T-163
Date Listed: 8/6/1980
Location: Peach Blossom Road (MD 333) , Oxford, Talbot County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: c. 1800
Description: Jena is a 1 1/2 story brick structure with 19th and 20th century additions to its north gable end and to its west facade overlooking the water. The principal entrance (east) facade of Jena, executed in Flemish bond, is three bays wide with a doorway in the north bay and two symmetrically placed 9/6 sash windows to the south. Two gable-roofed dormers with 6/9 sash protrude from the steep slope of the shingled gable roof. A boxed cornice with complex crown moldings extends across the length of the facade, as does a brick watertable. This watertable continues around the south gable end of the building which is executed in common bond (three rows of stretchers between each all-header course). Splayed jack arch lintels surmount the two 9/6 double-hung windows on the first story as well as the two 6/6 double hung windows above, which are symmetrically placed in the gable, but not aligned with the first story fenestration. A large flush chimney with corbeled cap projects above the shingled, gable roof at the south end. The north and south gable ends are characterized by a wide plain rakeboard which meets the flush boxed cornice of the longitudinal facade to conclude with a decorative reverse curve. The north end is also laid in common bond, but the watertable does not exist on this facade. The 19th century addition, recently raised to a full two stories, attaches to the main block on the northwest side with a connecting door on the north side of the hallway. In turn, to this late 19th century addition is appended a one-bay wide, two-story, gable-roofed addition slightly less wide and shorter than the middle section. It encloses the exterior brick chimney of the middle section so that the corbeled capped chimney protrudes from the gable roof of this modern, northernmost addition. The west facade of the original section of Jena is totally obscured by the gable roofed, one story kitchen addition which connects with the house via the rear parlor door and also via a door in its north wall leading to the one-story, enclosed porch running the length of the middle and newest sections. The most important remaining features of this rear facade are the two dormers, identical to their east facade counterparts, which rise from the gable roof to either side of the ridge of the kitchen roof. Significance: Jena is a notable architectural survival in rural Talbot County of a 1 1/2 story brick structure faced in Flemish bond and distinguished by its first-story 9/6 windows with unusual canted and paneled reveals. The popular side hall-double parlor plan characterizes the interior with the parlors' diagonal corner fireplaces sharing a common chimney. Much of the interior woodwork remains in good condition including the fine window sash and surrounds, 6-panel doors and pristine stairway with its graceful, curving newels. Though the modern kitchen addition to the rear obscures the waterfront facade, the precipitous slope of the roof and the presence of the original dormers front and back ensure the building's early 19th century integrity. The one room addition to the north gable end, constructed in the mid 19th century, represents the typical evolutionary process of the modest-scaled farmhouse. The brick dwelling called "Jena" was built on the site of an 18th century frame structure cited in the 1798 Federal Direct Tax. The tract of land on which these houses were built was known originally as "Long Point". Henry Chandlee Forman speculates that Perry Spencer, who acquired the property in 1821, renamed it "Jena" at the suggestion of his friend Jacob Gibson. Gibson was a great admirer of Napoleon, who owned properties named "Marlengo" and " Austerlitz", like Jena, the names of battles in which Napoleon was victorious.

 

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