Spy House of the Week: Historic North Bend


North Bend was built in the mid-nineteenth century by James Dixon and his wife, Mary Ann Bartlett. A historic marker erected on the property by the Lords of the Maryland Manors references the “Manor of Tilghman’s Fortune”, 1000 Acres” that was granted to Captain Samuel Tilghman of London by Lord Baltimore in 1659. The acreage was later subdivided into several estates which included the site of North Bend.

Located on a protected point of land on Grocely’s Cove off the Miles River, North Bend is a blend of Federal and Italianate styles. The massing is unusual with three distinct wings each three- stories high and two three-bay porches, one defining the main entrance and the other on the east façade, that are two-stories high with Ionic columns supporting low sloped roofs. Exterior details like the widow’s walk, low sloped metal hipped roofs and a turret at the northeast corner of the house give this house a unique architectural style. Later additions to the original house were made at the rear as the aerial view at the water side shows but the front elevation maintained its original architecture as the historic photograph illustrates.

The interiors reflected the Owners’ eclectic collection of antiques. Interior period details include crown moldings, doorway moldings and a graceful curved stair. My favorite rooms were in the turret on both floors. The main floor turret area with built-in seating below a circle of windows would be a wonderful spot to curl up with a book from the adjacent library. The library had a wonderful collection of glassware and I recognized and coveted several pieces of Murano glass. The second-floor turret area was an alcove off one of the bedrooms that created a cozy seating area

The house has nine bedrooms and six baths which could be a challenge for many buyers. As an architect, I wondered if the house could be rezoned. Since there are front entry doors on both wings of the main floor, making the house a duplex could be an intriguing option without impacting the original front elevation.

For more information about this property, contact Julie Ann Stevenson with Stevenson & Co., Long & Foster Real Estate/Christie’s at 410-745-0283 (o), 410-251-5291(c) or julie.stevenson@longandfoster.com, “Equal Housing Opportunity”.

Spy House of the Week is an ongoing series that selects a different home each week. The Spy’s Habitat editor Jennifer Martella makes these selections based exclusively on her experience as a architect.

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.

Letters to Editor

  1. Thomas Dixon Lane says:

    The house was built by my great grandparents and the house to the left (now on a separate lot) of the main house was originally a part of the main house. It was the original kitchen wing. It was moved many years ago to be sold off as a individual residence. The house to the right of the main house was built by my great aunt, Virginia Bartlett Gibney. It sits in the area where the original formal gardens were. She wrote a short book, House of Memories, which goes into detail about her many enjoyable times at North Bend as a child.

  2. William Joseph Goldsborough says:

    I was glad to see Tommy Lane’s note giving the history of North Bend and his family. Ours is more recent having lived there from the early 1960s to the 1980s. My dad, George Goldsborough, did substantial restoration work to the house as it had not been lived in for a number of years. He also worked with the Lords of Maryland Manors to erect the historical marker in the 1960s. We added the kitchen/bar/sitting area wing on the water side in the 1970s. The bar was modeled after the Raleigh Tavern in Williamsburg, VA. Unfortunately, extensive boxwoods around the circle and a champion black oak on the waterfront have not survived, but the spirit of that wonderful house persists.

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