Peter E. Kurtze
Shipping Creek Road, Stevensville, Queen Annes County
Mattapax is a c. 1760s brick house, 1 1/2 stories high, three bays wide, and one room deep, with flush brick chimneys at either end of a pitched gable roof. The west facade is laid in Flemish bond above a plain water table and a Flemish bond foundation, with random glazed headers interspersed throughout the wall. The door is located in the center bay, flanked by a single 6/6 window on each side. The door opening has been reduced approximately five inches in width. There are segmental brick arches above all first floor openings, and rowlock lintels above two cellar window openings, one below each first floor window. Two 6/3 gable-roofed dormers are symmetrically placed on the roof, which is covered with wood shingles. The eaves are finished with a box cornice, complex crown mold, and a dentil course bed mold. The south gable is laid in Flemish bond above a plain water table and an English bond foundation. A pair of four-light windows in the upper gable are the only openings in this wall. The gable eaves are finished with molded and tapered rakeboards. A shed-roofed porch spans the gable wall. This was installed in 1993, replacing a greenhouse which had been added in the mid 20th century. The east facade is essentially identical to the west, except the foundation is English bond below the plain water table. The door on this facade has been reduced in width. The north gable is almost entirely covered by a mid-20th century brick wing. A frame wing shown in historical photographs was demolished at that time. The interior retains extensive original woodwork and hardware, and features exceptional paneled fireplace walls. A campaign of renovation in 1949 resulted in the restoration of the early house and the construction of a brick wing to replace an earlier frame wing. Also on the property are a frame cottage, converted from a former garage, a large horse barn, and a frame wagon shed.
Mattapax is significant as an excellent example of mid-18th century vernacular domestic architecture in the Eastern Shore region of Maryland. A small number of 1 1/2-story brick houses survive to reflect this early period in Queen Anne's County, and Mattapax is distinguished by its overall state of preservation and the quality of its interior decorative detailing. The exterior remains in remarkable condition, and the interior paneled fireplace walls are among the finest in the county. Although the first floor plan has been opened up and some changes may have occurred, the majority of the interior detail has survived intact. In date, form, materials, and elaboration, it is comparable to Friendship and Bishopton. Architectural and documentary evidence suggest it was constructed in the third quarter of the 18th century for Henry Carter. The house was renovated and restored in 1949, by architect F. Trevor Hogg.