This property was patented as “Mount Mill” in the 17th century. Although the date that the mill was constructed is not known, the mill was operational through most of the 18th century and served the Bloomingdale estate across U.S. Route 50. The mill residence known as the Sally Harris Mill House was sited on high ground and built in 1793 along the west bank of the Madam Alices Branch, near the site of the mill. The house is one of a small group of brick houses with gambrel roofs that still exist in Queen Anne’s County.
The center story and a half, three-bay wing is the original two rooms wide, one room deep design. The exterior walls and chimneys at each gable end wall are brick, with the front façade facing west laid in Flemish bond with a plain brick water table over the foundation laid in English bond. The south facing chimney is distinguished by a band of white plaster “necking” under the corbeled portion of the chimney top. Later additions at both the north and south side are clad in light colored siding that accentuates the original brick house. Both the open front porch and the rear screened porch are wonderful outdoor rooms for views of the landscape.
The asymmetrical arrangement of the front entry door flanked by single windows is due to the location of stair at the NE corner and this pattern is repeated at the rear elevation. The gambrel shaped roof is clad in wood shingles with two single dormer windows at the front elevation and three dormer windows at the rear elevation projecting from the roof.
The original house has been modified with wings at each side. The south wing probably replaced an original, smaller wing dating from the 1800’s and now contains the family room, kitchen, mudroom/laundry and full bath on the main floor with a bedroom above. At the opposite side, another wing built in the late 1990’s now contains a primary suite on the main floor and space above that could be another primary suite or a family/games room. The original two room space is now the living and dining room.
The fireplace wall is enhanced by the original bolection molding (decorative molding that projects beyond the surfaces).
The living room is connected to the dining room by an opening the width of the two fireplaces directly opposite each other. The room is currently furnished as a music space, office area and dining area.
The kitchen has been updated with creamy white cabinets, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. The kitchen opens into the adjacent family room with a fireplace and a four-unit bow window with views to the landscape. The door at the rear wall of the family room leads to a pantry closet, mudroom/laundry, and a full bath with an exterior door for access to the pool area. Another door leads to the partial basement below for storage.
The main floor primary suite includes a spacious bedroom with pine flooring to blend with the original flooring and a wide bay window for views of the landscape. The dressing area includes cabinetry with a lavatory and linen closet opposite two walk-in closets next to a separate full bath with a shower.
My favorite room is the second floor bedroom with its wall and ceiling geometry defined by front and rear low knee walls below the long sloped wall/ceiling of the gambrel roof framing. This charming bedroom has slate blue molding at the wall/ceiling joint that extends down to the windows also framed in blue, against bright white walls to reflect the sunlight. The furnishings echo the slate blue color and I especially admired the large rag rug over the beautiful pine floors.
Two other bedrooms, both of which have fireplaces, are arranged along the hall between the stairs and the full bath at the end of the hall. Closets are cleverly added in the sloped gambrel roof along the hall’s exterior wall to maximize floor space in each bedroom.
The game room/second primary suite is located above the spacious main floor primary suite. Windows on its three exterior walls flood the space with light throughout the day; the windows on the gable end wall face north so this area could also become an artist’s studio or office area. The suite includes a full bath and a walk-in closet.
The same family has owned this 31 acre property for almost fifty years. The entry approach off SR 50 is shaded by tall evergreens and you immediately feel the drop in temperature as you drive under the trees. The house is set between additional structures of two barns and the pool area. The largest barn has a workshop with storage space above a two-car garage and the smaller barn contains kennels. The surrounding woods of mature trees provides privacy on two sides of the property with the heated pool and hot tub nestled in a clearing. There is plenty of lawn for children’s play and/or to exercise horses. A grape arbor and multiple planting beds add color and fragrance.
A charming blend of old and new that preserved period details including wrought iron hinges, wood batten doors and pine flooring; space flexibility with primary bedrooms on both floors, outdoor rooms of the screened porch and open porch, and myriad possibilities for the outbuildings. All this and the proximity to Easton, St. Michaels, Chestertown and points west.
For more information about this property, contact Benson and Mangold Real Estate agents Jim Bent ( Jim Bent: 410-770-9255 (o), 410-924-0901 (c), [email protected] or Anna Larkin (410-770-9255 (o), 410-829-3549 (c), [email protected], who helped sponsor this article. For more photographs or pricing, visit www.jbent-midshorehomes.com, or https://annalarkin.brightmlshomes.com, “Equal Housing Opportunity
Photography by Imagesbystara
Historic Photograph from the Maryland Historical Trust
Jennifer Martella is an architect with Bohl Architects’ Annapolis office and a referral agent for Meredith Fine Properties. Jennifer is an integral part of Bohl Architects’ design team for projects she brings to the firm. She is also the writer of Bohl’s website’s bi-monthly blog “Tango Funhouse” where she highlights the firm’s vision and other fun aspects of life by design. Her Italian heritage led her to Piazza Italian Market, where she hosts wine tastings every Friday and Saturday.