The Bartletts were one of the founding families of Talbot County and many of their houses are included in the book “Where Land and Water Intertwine”, including this house, named after one of their descendants. On the day I visited, I first drove between farm fields then a row of evergreens framed one side of a point of land surrounded by water on three sides; Reeds Creek, Dickinson Bay and the Choptank River. The point of land is outlined by green space and trees, infilled with farmland surrounding this 3.446 acre +/-site waterfront that fronts Reeds Creek. Walking around the site, I admired the long and broad vistas to the opposite shore of the Choptank River. The only sound were the geese who were nestled in the grass for relaxation before they would take flight for feeding. The peace and quiet lulled me into forgetting I had traveled only a short distance from the highway.
The one and a half story, four bay house is sited parallel to the Choptank so the rear walls of all rooms face south. Before the realtor arrived, I walked around this meticulously maintained house and admired the classic exterior palette of a reddish brick exposed foundation, white wood lap siding, black shutters and brick chimneys painted white. The wood shake roofing, low slope copper roofing over the screened porch, copper gutters and downspouts had weathered to a dark patina. Like houses of the 19th century, the kitchen wing of the house telescopes down to break the elongated form of the house and extends past the front of the house to further break the massing. Views from the front porch and stone terrace to the pier at Reeds Creek are framed by a mature Sycamore tree and an allee of other mature trees.
The parking area is located next to the kitchen wing so I began my tour in the spacious eat-in kitchen. The large working wood fireplace has the original iron swing and hook holding an iron pot that was used for cooking. The kitchen could easily be updated with replacing the knotty-pine cabinet doors with new doors, hardware and countertop and the neutral sheet vinyl flooring is easy care. Off the kitchen is a utility/laundry room and a half bath.
A cased wall opening leads to the dining room that spans the depth of the house with windows aligned opposite each other for ventilation and long views to the water. The Queen Anne style wood table, eight chairs, wood china hutch and rattan drinks cart sets the scene for family meals or entertaining friends. The beautiful pine flooring flows through the rest of the rooms.
Another cased opening leads to the spacious living room with the front door aligned with the rear door leading to the screened porch. Windows on both the front and rear walls of the living room offer views of the landscape and I liked how the bottom mount translucent shades cover just the lower portion of the double-hung windows to provide both seated privacy and sunlight during the day. The seating is grouped around both the wood-burning fireplace and the cabinet containing the TV. The stairs to
It was easy to linger in the long screened porch that accesses both the living room and the main floor bedroom suite. One of my architectural pet peeves are narrow porches that masquerade as sitting areas with chairs aligned along one wall instead of arranged for conversation. This porch’s width accommodate seating and space for walking around chairs. On this sunny day, the beautiful mahogany flooring absorbed the warmth of the sun.
The main floor bedroom suite spans the depth of the house with two windows at the front and the door to the screened porch. The bedroom has another fireplace at the exterior wall flanked by windows. I love quilts and this bedroom’s arched black iron bedframe, white bed skirt and the multi-colored pattern of squares infilled with whirligigs was charming. The rattan chaise with cushions beneath the front windows doubles as a reading area or a spot to relax in front of the TV before retiring.
The main floor bath has white finishes and tile flooring set on the diagonal to stretch the space. The monochromatic color scheme is the backdrop for the bright yellow/orange hutch that has a new life as a lavatory with open shelves next to the mirror for daily toiletries-a very clever design touch!
The second floor hall is located at the front of the house, giving the two bedrooms, bath and sitting room south facing windows. Both the bedroom over the main floor bedroom and the cozy sitting room have fireplaces. All of the rooms have delightful interior architecture from being tucked under the roof rafters and single dormer windows.
The sitting room sofa’s bright apricot upholstery, rattan ottomans for resting one’s feet in front of the fire, multicolored striped rug and the black secretary creates a cozy space for relaxation. The model of the house that graces the mantel of the fireplace is a lovely decorative touch and I wondered if it had been a school project for a young person who had once lived here.
I love quilts and I treasure the ones I have that were made by my grandmother and great-great grandmother. The beds in both of this house’s bedrooms are covered by quilts that become the focal points in each room. Two twin beds have quilts in a diamond pattern of white, accented by green on one bed and red on the other, with arched black iron headboards. The other bedroom’s double bed has quilted multicolored stripes. I admired the lack of trim around the dormer windows which accentuated the shape of the dormer window. The twin bedroom is connected to an unfinished space over the kitchen below for general storage.
Peace and tranquility in a rural setting with a pier to Reeds Creek, deed restriction to prohibit hunting on the property, charming historic architecture including the original Pump House, one-level living with guest rooms above, sunny rooms, five fireplaces, original pine floors, front porch facing Reeds Creek and screened porch facing the Choptank River; the perfect menu for an irresistible cottage home!
For more information about this property, contact Jane McCarthy, who kindly donated to the Spy, at Benson and Mangold Real Estate, 410-822-1415 (o), 410-310-6692 (c) or [email protected] .For more photographs or pricing, visit www.marylandseasternshorehomes.com , “Equal Housing Opportunity.”
Photography by Janelle Stroop, [email protected], 410-310-6838
Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee.