Kenneth M. Short
Orendorff, John Farm
412, Old Bachman's Valley Road, Westminster, Carroll County
The John Orendorff Farm is located at 412 Old Bachman's Valley Road, north of Westminster in central Carroll County, Maryland. The farm complex consists of a brick house, a brick privy, a brick smokehouse, a frame barn, a frame hog pen, a frame wagon shed, two poultry houses, and a feed house. The house faces south and is a five-bay by two-bay brick structure with a six-bay by two-bay brick ell on the north foundation. The ell is 2 1/2 stories tall. The house has a rubble stone foundation, brick walls, and a gable roof of slate with a ridge that runs east-west on the main block. The house is banked on the west with an exposed foundation on the east. The south elevation has running bond. The first story has a center entrance with paired doors, sidelights, a 6-light transom, and 6/6 double-hung sash. The second story center bay has a typical 6/6 sash with a jib window. The west elevation of the main block has 5-to-1 common bond brick. The east elevation gable end has a stone plaque with "JOHN ORENDORFF A.D. 1861". On the west elevation of the ell the four south bays are recessed, and this recess is filled with a two-story porch. The east elevation of the ell is six bays, the south five of which are recessed, and the recess is filled with a two-story porch. The first story has a center-passage, double-pile plan, and the ell has a center stair passage, single-pile plan turned 90 degrees to the main block. There is a plaster cove cornice and a cast plaster foliate Italianate cartouche. There is a dog-leg stair on the east wall. The west room is one large room with a plaster band on the ceiling. In the center of the room is a beam. Each end of the beam has a plaster bracket. The west wall has two identical fireplaces that have wood mantels. The southern half of the west room has a cast plaster ceiling medallion. The second story is laid out with a center passage with four rooms around it.
The John Orendorff Farm is significant for its architecture. In form and plan, the house reflects a building type characteristic of rural Carroll County in the 19th century, but it is larger and more elaborately detailed than is typical. A particularly noteworthy feature is the cast and run plaster detailing on the interior, which is especially unusual in a rural dwelling of the period. The property also retains a full array of domestic and agricultural outbuildings typical of a substantial farm operation in this rural region during the period. The refinement of the house and the diversity of the farm buildings reflect the prosperity of its original owner, John Orendorff. The resource retains a high degree of integrity. The period of significance extends from 1861, when the house was built, to 1914, when the property was sold out of the Orendorff family; the full range of domestic and agricultural resources which currently characterize the property were constructed during this period.