MHT File Photo
Darlington Historic District
Darlington, Harford County
The 100 or so small-scale structures in the village of Darlington display a wide variety of construction techniques and uses, and include four churches, a dozen shops and stores, barns/garages, meathouses, chicken houses and other outbuildings, a lodge hall, a grammar school, a cemetery, and three working farms, in addition to the National Register-listed Deer Creek Friends Meeting House. These combine with the clapboard, stone, and shingle outbuildings, more often than not embellished by porches and bay windows, to capture the flavor of c. 1900 small town Maryland. The buildings within the district are primarily vernacular in style and residential in use, although there are a half dozen high-style structures, including a superb Gothic Revival church. A wide variety of construction techniques were used, including at least one log house, post-and-beam and various lighter framing types, and several stone structures. Generally speaking, the oldest structures in Darlington, whatever their use, are built squarely on their lots, flush with the sidewalks, while those from after about 1850 are placed in a more irregular manner and enjoy front and side gardens. Streets throughout the village are generally tree-lined--even in the commercial area--and are often set off by slate sidewalks and iron or picket fences.
The Darlington Historic District is significant historically for its role as a regional market center in northeastern Harford County, particularly from the late 19th century through the early 20th century. Architecturally, the district acquires significance from the wealthy commercial, residential, and religious buildings in a variety of period styles and forms. Of particular note are buildings designed by the nationally prominent architects Theophilus P. Chandler, Walter Cope, and John and Emlyn Stewardson which present a sophisticated element to the architectural heritage of the village not commonly found in rural Maryland. Apart from several new houses scattered throughout the district, the Darlington Historic District exhibits a strong sense of historic integrity and continuity.