Michael O. Bourne
Galena Sassafras Road (MD 299), Sassafras, Kent County
Rich Hill, "The Adventure" is a 5-bay, 2 1/2-story brick building with a 2-story brick kitchen wing on the northeast gable end. The original, eight-paneled entrance door on the southeast facade is surmounted by a five-light transom. The door frame, similar to all the frames and sashes throughout the house, is not original, dating after the mid 19th century. The central door in the northwest facade has been lowered and does not have a transom due to the interior stair arrangement. Each doorway originally had flanking seats, each partly set into the brick exterior of the building. Windows throughout are 6/6 sash. Three gable-roofed dormers pierce either side of the roof on the main block. The northwest facade, having been restored to its original appearance, has irregular fenestration above the basement: three windows on the first story, two windows on the second story and a smaller opening at the level of the staircase landing. Above the stone foundation, with galleting below the basement windows, is English bond brickwork between the sills and the molded watertable. The remainder of the brickwork is Flemish bond, interspersed on the northwest and southwest sides by glazed headers at random. All the openings support segmental brick arches with the exception of the flat-arch on the attic windows. The lintels on the northwest facade of the main block and the southeast facade of the kitchen wing have alternate glazed headers in a vertical pattern in the brick lintels. Flush chimneys rise from each gable end. The kitchen wing is laid in Flemish bond with the glazed headers on the southeast facade in reverse to the main block. A flush chimney rises from the northeast gable end. The thin coat of stucco covering the northeast gable hides the brickwork. On the northwest facade is a modern screened porch.
Alexander Baird, for whom "The Adventure" was patented in 1753, was of local importance as a successful tobacco planter and an active member of the vestry of Shrewsbury Parish (1755-1792) in Kent County. During his lifetime he acquired approximately 2500 acres of land near Head of Sassafras, now the Sassafras River, where he lived, owned a grist mill and a saw mill as well as the wharf, later called "the public landing," from which the crops were shipped to market. In 1782 we find his name among the subscribers to Washington College, Chestertown, Maryland.