Ronald L. Andrews
Main Street & Dorsey Hotel Road, Grantsville, Garrett County
The Casselman is a c. 1842 Greek Revival brick structure, 2 1/2 stories high, with a stone foundation and a gable roof with double flush chimneys. The principal or south facade has five bays with 2/2 sash windows with splayed jack arches, and center doorways on each level. The doorways have paneled doors with rectangular sidelights and transoms with tracery. The one-story porch across the front, and the large shed-roofed dormer with three windows are later features. A 1912 photograph of the building shows three gable-roofed dormer windows on the front facade, and a shed-roofed front porch with a one-bay central balcony. However, a 1907 photograph shows a still different porch, flat-roofed, and covering only the center three bays. This porch had chamfered posts, brackets, and turned balusters on the second floor. The brickwork on at least this south facade appears to be laid in Flemish bond. The east gable end holds three windows on the first story, one in each outer second-story bay, and a single window between the chimneys in the attic gable. The basement on this elevation is exposed, pierced by three 6/6 sash windows. The west gable end has three windows on the first and second floors, and a single window in the attic. This facade is extended to the rear by a two-bay-long gable-roofed brick wing and a one-bay shed-roofed frame addition on its north end. In the north gable peak of the brick addition is a chimney. This northwest wing appears in the 1907 and 1912 photographs. The interior has a center hall, four over four room arrangement. The front door has a c. 1840s Carpenter and Company lock. Some of the rooms have c. 1900 elements mixed with the original.
Built in 1842 for Solomon Sterner to serve travelers on the National Road, the Casselman is still run today as a hotel and restaurant. Variously known as Drover's Inn, Farmer's Hotel, and Dorsey's Hotel, the Casselman has traditionally been dated 1824 though its stylistic features, strongly influenced by the Federal style, are typical of mid-century construction in Garrett and Allegany Counties. There were once dozens of inns and taverns along the National Road and the Baltimore Pike. Today, with the greatly lessened travel along these roads, few of these remain. The eleven buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places under the "Inns on the National Road" thematic nomination, many of them still serving their original function, stand as the physical remains of the almost legendary hospitality offered on this well-traveled route to the west.