Peter E. Kurtze
White House Farm
Augustine Herman Highway (MD 213), Morgnec, Kent County
The property known as White House Farm derives its name from a 1 1/2-story stuccoed brick house, the original section of which was built in 1721; the construction date is worked in glazed bricks in the gable end. This section conformed to the traditional two-room, hall-parlor plan typical of the better class of rural dwellings of the period in the region. All first floor windows are 4/4 sash with the exception of a single 9/9 sash window in the south bay of the east facade in the c. 1831 portion of the house Gabled dormers with 6/6 sash pierce each side of the roof on each section. The original 1721 chimney is flush with the north gable end, while interior chimneys stand at either end of the addition to the south. The second bays in from either end of the west facade contain doors, with the northernmost three bays being in the original portion of the house. The east facade fenestration is similar, but with another door in the center bay. At a later date, the building was extended by a four-bay-wide brick wing of the same depth, wall height, and roof pitch, practically doubling its length. A coat of rusticated stucco was applied to unify the different periods of construction, and the building has received numerous subsequent coatings of paint and whitewash. The building retains its early form and plan, and features a variety of significant architectural details relating to its various periods of construction. It is located on an elevated site, within an informally landscaped yard which retains evidence of historic terracing. A late-19th/early-20th century brick dairy also stands on the property.
White House Farm is significant for the architectural character of the early brick house. Dated 1721 with glazed bricks in the gable end, it is among the earliest surviving dwellings on the Eastern Shore, and the earliest known house in the region bearing such conclusive dating evidence. In form, it is typical of the traditional hall-parlor house type, 1 1/2-stories high, three bays wide, with two rooms on each level. The house retains a high degree of integrity. Although it was extended and remodeled in one or more building campaigns into the early 19th century, its essential form and plan are intact. In addition, many interesting early details survive on the interior and exterior to represent both periods of construction. Especially noteworthy are handsome late Federal period mantels, doors, and architraves; several examples of unusual handwrought hardware; and unique vented batten doors in the upper level of the wing.