William G. MacRostie
302, Meadows Lane, Owings Mills, Baltimore County
The Meadows is an 18th-century stone house built and occupied for approximately 80 years by various members of the Owings family, for whom Owings Mills, Maryland was named. The main dwelling is an L-shaped 2 1/2-story stone house built in a rural Federal style. The east-facing original block of the house is four bays wide, with a center passage plan. A one-story kitchen wing is attached to the north end of the main block, and a 2-story rear wing extends westward from the south end of the main block. The principal entrance is in the second bay in from the south end, and consists of a door with four horizontal panels, flanked by 8-pane sidelights and topped by a 5-light transom. The entire entrance is surmounted by a pediment. There are no porches on the house at this time. All windows hold 6/6 sash apart from the small 4-light attic windows which flank the flush chimneys at either gable end. The east slope of the roof is pierced by three 6/6 sash gable-roofed dormer windows. The one-story north wing, three bays long, holds two 6/6 sash windows in the central and southern bays of its east facade, and no opening in the north bay. The north gable end has a single 6/6 sash window to the west of the flush gable-end chimney, lighting the half story. The west facade of the wing is two bays wide, with doors in both bays. The west facade of the main block has three exposed bays north of the rear wing. Of these, the outer two bays hold doors, and the remaining bays on both floors hold 6/6 sash windows. An exterior stone chimney rises between the center and southern bays of this exposed facade. The north facade of the rear wing is also three bays wide, with rather irregular fenestration. The off-center central bay holds a door, flanked by 6/6 sash windows, with two windows piercing the floor above. A small frame one-bay of infill, with a slightly raised shed roof, stands at the apex of the L, along the face of the rear wing, with irregular windows and a tiny shed-roofed addition. The west gable end of the rear wing is two bays wide, with an entrance in the north bay, and a pair of small 6/3 windows in the attic gable. The long south facade is seven bays in length, incorporating two main-block bays. The westernmost first-floor bay, and the bay third from the east both hold entrances. The westernmost is sheltered by a small gable-roofed hood supported on brackets. The entrance in the third bay from the east is sheltered by a one-bay gable-roofed porch on square posts. An interior chimney rises from the peak of the roof of the wing between the second and third bays from the west. On the interior, an impressive number of original features and decorative details survive. The kitchen wing has plain plaster walls and a heavy beamed ceiling. The formal rooms on the first floor and most of the bedrooms on the second floor have wood fireplace surrounds and mantels. All windows and doors have beaded trim, and the entire house has beaded baseboard molding. Both the center stairway in the main block and the side hall stairway in the rear wing are fairly plain in character. The main stairway has square balusters and a nicely proportioned handrail which curves at the landing between the first and second floor. The rear wing stairway also has square balusters, but is generally more crudely executed. The remainder of the compound is comprised of a 2 1/2-story stone slave house, an 18th-century stone and timber stable, and a 2-story log and clapboard tenant house. Together, these buildings form the surviving residential nucleus of the Owings family's vast farmland holdings and milling operations from the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
The Meadows is a farm compound of four buildings on a five-acre site in Owings Mills, Maryland and was the residential nucleus of no less than six fulling, woolen, and grist mills established and run by the Owings family in the immediately surrounding area. The first of these mills likely was built by Samuel Owings II in the 1770s. The established mills in the area, documented by the 1798 Federal Direct Tax Assessment list, were owned and operated by Samuel Owings and his descendants, including Thomas for whom this house was built, from c. 1770 to 1850. As none of the mill structures remains standing today, The Meadows is important for being the only surviving property made up of standing structures which is associated with Samuel Owings' establishment and the Owings family's subsequent milling operations at Owings Mills. It is therefore significant for its association with Samuel Owings and the Owings family, important locally within the context of agricultural and industrial development in late-18th and early-19th century Baltimore County. The Owings family owned the property and mills until about 1850. No archeological sites associated with the mills are known to exist because of the extensive new development in the surrounding area.