Ronald L. Andrews
Five Mile House
1025, National Highway (US 40), La Vale, Allegany County
The Five Mile House is a south-facing frame structure, five bays in width, 2 1/2 stories high, with a large cross gable. The central bay holds an entrance on either floor. The first-floor entrance has sidelights and a transom of radiating muntins. The second-floor entrance, which now opens onto a small balcony with an iron balustrade, contains French doors with sidelights. Originally, a three-bay shed-roofed porch with brackets covered the center of the first story, with a one-bay shed-roofed second floor sheltering the doorway. In the cross gable was once a large round-arched window with shutters. This has been replaced with a small semicircular louvered vent. Windows are 2/2 sash, and once had shutters. The gable ends of the building contain a variety of windows, including an unusual 2/2 sash window with a peaked top in the attic gables. A two-story rear wing once stood to the north of the building. The rear facade of the house is now covered by a modern two-story shed-roofed porch with iron posts and railing. Interior chimneys rise from either end of the gable roof. The interior of the Five Mile House has entablature and symmetrical molding.
The Five Mile House, one mile west of the Four Mile House, was built in the 1830s or 1840s. 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 Five Mile House is one of eleven Maryland Inns on the National Road which are listed on the National Register. These eleven buildings in Allegany and Garrett Counties, 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.