Photo credit: Woodbridge Williams , 06/1992

Property Name: East Oaks
Date Listed: 10/18/1996
Inventory No.: M: 17-24
Location: 21524, White's Ferry Road (MD 107), Poolesville, Montgomery County

Description: East Oaks is a 156-acre farm complex consisting of a c. 1829 Federal period brick residence situated on a knoll surrounded by agricultural buildings and dependencies whose construction dates span more than a century. The main dwelling is a 2 1/2 story, five-bay L-shaped brick building, built c. 1829 in the Federal style. The walls of the main block are laid up in common bond, with a reddish brown sandstone foundation. Some glazed headers appear in random arrangement in the walls. The entrance is in the center bay of the front, or east, facade. Above the 5-panel door is a 7-light transom. On each side of the door there are four sidelights above a wooden panel, which were installed in the 1940s. A one-story gable-roofed porch supported by four chamfered posts replaced a three-bay-wide Victorian porch in 1980. On each side of the doorway are two 9/6 windows with gauged jack arches and louvered shutters. With one or two exceptions, all the windows have jack arches and shutters. On the second level, 6/6 windows align above the first level openings. Along the top of the wall of the main block, a decorative cornice is formed by three rows of brick in a saw tooth pattern. There is a flush chimney at the north and south ends of the five-bay main block and at the west end of the rear wing. Attached to both the north and south gable ends are 1 1/2-story wings. The south wing is an original kitchen wing with two 6/6 windows in the east wall. The north wing was added in 1942. The interior of the house possesses an unusually high degree of integrity and sophistication with original moldings, floors, doors, and mantels. The complex of domestic and agricultural outbuildings includes a brick smokehouse, sandstone slave quarter, stone bank barn, stone dairy, and log and frame tenant house which are contemporaneous with the construction of the main dwelling. Other agricultural buildings include a small frame barn and machinery shed/corn crib from the end of the 19th century, an a block dairy barn from the mid 20th century.

Significance: East Oaks is significant for its association with the history of agriculture in Montgomery County. The complex of buildings represents agricultural development over a period of more than a century. During the period represented by East Oaks, agriculture in Montgomery County underwent a series of changes, including a shift from self-sufficient grain and livestock farms in the early 19th century to mechanized agricultural production in the latter part of that century, culminating in an emphasis on dairy farming in the 20th century in response to changing demographics and transportation. The agricultural buildings at East Oaks clearly reflect these changes. The property derives additional significance for the Federal style architecture of the main house, and for the outbuildings which comprise an exceptionally complete and well-preserved example of the type of agricultural complex which characterized substantial plantations in western Montgomery County during the period.




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