Jeremiah Brown House and Mill Site
1416, Telegraph Road (MD 273), Rising Sun, Cecil County
The Jeremiah Brown House consists of two distinct halves: a two-story, three-bay, gable-roofed stone structure built in 1757 by Jeremiah Brown, Sr.; and a two-story, two-bay gable-roofed frame house built in 1904 by John Clayton on the site of the original 1702 log wing. Several stones on the north facade are carved with the initials of local citizens and probable assistants of Jeremiah Brown, Sr. in the construction of his house, including that of the probable stonemason, Morris Reese. The north facade of the stone portion features 12/12 sash windows in the eastern bays and a door with a transom in the west bay. Beneath the windows are cellar windows with segmental brick arches. The second floor windows are replacement 1/1 sash. The first and second stories were originally separated by a pent roof, whose supporting joist sockets are still visible. The east gable end holds two small square attic windows flanking the interior brick chimney. The south facade holds replacement 1/1 sash windows on the second floor, and a single window in the east bay. The two western bays are covered by an enclosed frame porch. Some of the interior woodwork, particularly the staircase, dates from 1757. The rest of the woodwork dates from the Federal period when the fireplaces on the east wall were rebuilt. A two-story, two-bay frame west wing was built in 1904 with materials salvaged from the original 1702 log house built on this site. To the west of the house is a small 19th century bank barn. Approximately 1000 feet southeast of the house are the stone foundations of the 1734 Brown Water Corn and Gristmill. A reconstruction of the original mill has been built on top of these foundations. Portions of the original mill race remain. Due north of the mill are the foundations of an 18th century saw mill.
The Jeremiah Brown House is architecturally significant as a firmly dated, unrestored survivor of the distinctive Pennsylvania Quaker building tradition brought to Maryland in the Colonial period. The remains of pent roofs and a second-story door are two distinctive features of this tradition. The most unusual feature, however, is the set of local initials carved into the stonework of the 1757 half of the house; very few buildings in Cecil County offer as much insight into the building process. The house also contains a wealth of original woodwork as well as woodwork from the Federal period. Historically, the house is important as having been built by one of the original settlers of the Nottingham Lots laid out in 1701 by William Penn. Jeremiah Brown was also responsible for the important 18th century mills, foundations of which are still on the property. Together with the Jeremiah Brown House, they comprise a significant commercial complex from the Colonial era.