Michael O. Bourne
Perry Road, Kings Creek, Somerset County
Beverly combines the traditional Georgian elements of symmetry, repetition, and regularity, with a prominently placed Federal period three-planed projection off the eastern facade of the house. The house measures 40' x 60' and is of brick laid in Flemish bond. There are 2 1/2 stories, the first and second stories being divided by a belt course of rubbed brick. The house stands on an "English basement" with a watertable. Two regularly spaced chimneys rise through the interior of the house. Under the eaves of the hip roof is a cornice with rectangular dentils and modillions. The eastern facade of the house contains a three-sided central-bay projection which rises 2 1/2 stories. Within this projection is the main doorway of the house. The door panels are simple and beneath the broken pediment there is a fanlight. The two narrower flanking planes of the projection at the first floor level contain identical arch-capped windows. The entrance bay is flanked on each side by two rectangular windows of 28 panes, 16/12 (four across, seven down). These windows with their flat lintels are repeated on the second floor. The western facade is flat but has an uncovered porch with Chippendale balustrade similar to that of the eastern facade. The central doorway with fanlight and flanking arched windows of the eastern facade are repeated on the western facade. There are four evenly spaced 16/12 sash windows on the western facade. The northern and southern end elevations have three evenly spaced windows on each floor. There are two gable-roofed dormers with round-arched windows on each of the eastern and western facades and one each on the northern and southern roof hips. There are shutters on all of the first floor windows although there are none on the second floor windows or the dormers. The interior of the house was partially destroyed by fire in 1937 but was restored from plans drawn from the original house.
Beverly represents the social status and wealth achieved by a successful 18th century planter and his ancestors. The house was built by Nehemiah King II between 1785 and 1796. Nehemiah King became a friend of Jerome Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon, through Jerome's marriage in 1803 to Betsy Patterson of Baltimore. Historians have included Beverly in a plot to rescue Napoleon from exile on St. Helena Island. Plans were made for the Emperor to be transported up the Chesapeake Bay and into the Manokin River where he was to arrive at Beverly through a tunnel leading under the house from the nearby creek. Napoleon died before the rescue was attempted.