Stephen G. Del Sordo
Annie Oakley House
28, Bellevue Avenue, Cambridge, Dorchester County
The Annie Oakley House is a 1 1/2-story, brick and frame, Colonial Revival-influenced bungalow with a raised foundation, constructed in 1913. The house is a three-bay, center-hall dwelling with a main room on each side of the center hall. At the rear of the house is the kitchen, a small office/parlor, and a modern addition that contains a family room. Three bays wide by three bays deep, the house is brick on the first floor and wood-shingled frame above, with a brick porch sheltered by the overhanging roof facing northeast towards the Choptank River. The central entrance has an 8-light storm door covering a paneled door, with 4-light sidelights, and is flanked by 8/1 sash windows. Other windows are 1/1 sash throughout. Two interior chimneys rise from the southwest slope of the roof. A shed-roofed wing and hip-roofed addition are attached to the southwest facade. The house retains the majority of its exterior materials and interior decorative detailing intact, including built-in shelves originally designed to display Annie Oakley's trophy collection. Behind the house is a small garage and studio apartment built at the same time as the main house. The house faces Hambrooks Bay, a protected body of water off the Choptank River.
The Annie Oakley House is significant for its association with Annie Oakley, the internationally renowned sharpshooter and star of Western shows in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Her house in Cambridge is the only surviving property in the nation that was either owned or occupied by Oakley as her primary and permanent residence. It was constructed in 1913 as a retirement home for Annie Oakley and her husband, Frank Butler, and served as the couple's residence until 1917, when Annie Oakley returned to public life. The house retains a high degree of integrity to the period of significance and includes architectural features such as built-in shelves originally intended to display shooting trophies, which directly reflect its specific association with Annie Oakley.