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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: Paul Baker Touart, 10/1983
White Hall
Inventory No.: S-27
Other Name(s): Bailey's Goodluck, Tauton, Austins Adventure
Date Listed: 6/7/1984
Location: Cooley Road , Polk Landing, Somerset County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: c. 1785-1798
Description: White Hall is a 2 1/2 story, ell shaped frame house constructed c. 1785-1798. The building rests on a partially excavated brick basement. The north or water facade, facing Wicomico Creek, is divided into four unevenly spaced bays with the entrance occupying the second bay from the left. Early 12/12 window sash survive on the first floor and 9/6 sash on the second; however, the exterior surrounds have been stripped of any molding. Each window has a pair of paneled shutters. A modillioned cornice with dentiled bed molding stretches across the base of the roof. A gable roofed front stoop was also added around the turn of the 20th century. The gabled roof is clad in asphalt, and has three c. 1900 dormers on each slope. The west gable end is brick, laid in Flemish bond. The rest of the house is uniformly sheathed with beaded weatherboards. A two-story enclosed porch spans the rear elevation. The interior is organized in a three-room plan, relatively uncommon on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, with a central stair hall opening onto a parlor on the right and a study and a dining room on the left. The overwhelming majority of original interior trim remains intact, including stair detail, paneled doors and wainscoting, mantels, and architraves. In addition, a rare mid-19th century mural painting depicting landscapes and period costumes survives in a second-floor room. Significance: White Hall is significant for its architecture. A large plantation house constructed c. 1785-1798 in rural Somerset County, Maryland, it reflects the late 18th century trend toward more spacious dwellings than the smaller, less elaborate houses which characterized agricultural holdings on Maryland's lower Eastern Shore earlier in the century. The house exhibits an unusually high level of integrity, retaining over 80% of its historic exterior and interior fabric. Notable original features include the Flemish-bond brick gable end wall and the three-room plan divided by a center hall; these features are unusual among houses of the period in Somerset County, and on Maryland's Eastern Shore in general. In addition, an upstairs bedroom retains rare mid-19th century mural paintings depicting pre-Civil War costumes.


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