Photo credit: Paul Baker Touart , 08/1990

Property Name: Cedar Hill
Date Listed: 3/14/1991
Inventory No.: S-195
Location: Signpost Road, Westover, Somerset County

Description: Cedar Hill is a 2 1/2 story T-shaped frame dwelling, supported on a raised Flemish and common bond brick foundation. The house is sheathed with a mixture of original beaded and plain weatherboard siding and faces south. The steeply pitched gable roof is covered with a layer of asphalt shingles. Facing south, the main two-story, three-bay frame dwelling was erected in 1793, and followed a modified hall/parlor plan. The 1798 tax assessment records that the main house was served by colonnade and kitchen that stretched to the east. However, successive 19th and 20th century alterations due to fires and changes in taste have rendered its current c.1900 appearance. Attached to the front and back are projecting two-story pavilions that give the house a late Victorian appearance. Attached to the east gable end is an 1850 1 1/2-story one-room plan kitchen wing sheltered on two sides with a partially enclosed shed-roofed porch. Each section is covered by a steeply pitched asphalt shingle roof. Corbeled interior chimneys rise from the east and west gable ends of the main block. The east bay of the main facade is covered by the 2 1/2-story polygonal bay window, topped by a pedimented gable holding a 2/2 sash window. Apart from the 1/1 sash windows in the polygonal bay, all windows in the house are 2/2. Modern renovations to the house have included partial enclosure of the hip-roofed veranda encircling the 1 1/2-story east wing, and dormers on the south roof slopes of the main house and the wing. The house currently follows a center hall/single-pile plan with a combination of Federal, Greek Revival, and Victorian woodwork. Accompanying the house on the three-acre property are several outbuildings including an 1880 bi-level hay and horse barn with a long shed addition for dairy stalls, a 19th century granary, a late-19th century corn crib, a rusticated concrete block well house, and a rusticated concrete dairy.

Significance: Cedar Hill is of significance for its architectural character. Cedar Hill is a dated, 1793, vernacular 2 1/2 story frame house. Erected atop a raised Flemish bond brick foundation, this well-built timber frame house followed originally the common hall/parlor plan but with the variation of a narrow passage separated from the parlor which provided access between the hall and the east end colonnade and kitchen. Although the plan has been changed over time, significant evidence of it remains intact for it to be understood readily. Additional architectural significance is derived from the alterations made in the 19th century and about 1900. These changes reflect the architectural trends and history of the county. Although the 19th century was characterized by prosperity, the prosperity was never equal to that experienced in the agriculturally rich Piedmont areas. New building in the rural regions of Somerset County was very limited but remodeling was common. Cedar Hill is one of the more dramatic examples of how the population updated their houses. First with a doorway in the Greek Revival manner and a modification to the floor plan, then a bold Victorian staircase, and finally, the most dramatic, about 1900 with two-story bay additions creating a typical Queen Anne form house which significantly changed the appearance of Cedar Hill.




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