Photo credit: Kenneth M. Short , 07/2002

Property Name: Englar-Schweigart-Rinehart Farm
Date Listed: 12/10/2003
Inventory No.: CARR-389
Location: 49, Rockland Road, Westminster, Carroll County

Description: The Englar-Schweigart-Rinehart Farm is situated on sloping ground that drops off to the southeast, and consists of a brick house, a brick smokehouse, a stone springhouse, a frame back barn, and a frame poultry house. The house is a two-story, five bay by two bay Flemish bond brick structure on the south elevation, with four-course common bond on the remaining elevations. The brickwork is painted white, and set on a rubble stone foundation. The house is banked on the west with an exposed foundation on the east. A one bay by one bay two-story rear wing extends to the north. The south elevation has a central entrance composed of a new six-panel door and a four-light transom. Flanking the door are 2/2 sash windows with splayed brick jack arches and imitation shutters. The second story has five 2/2 sash windows which are shorter than those below. A flush brick chimney stands at either end of the standing-seam metal roof. The west facade is two bays wide, with 2/2 sash windows on either floor and two small 2/1 windows in the attic. The rear wing is flush with this wall, and holds a single 2/2 window in the second floor, and a large 24-light window on the first floor, flanked by the same imitation shutters. The north gable end of the wing, with a flush brick chimney in the east bay, holds a door in the west bay opening into a one-story frame addition, and a small attic window above. The east facade of the wing is now covered by an enclosed two-story porch. The east bay of the rear elevation of the main block holds a single 2/2 sash window on either floor. The east gable end has the same fenestration as the west. On the interior, the first story has a center-passage, single-pile plan, with a single room in the rear wing. The passage floor runs north-south, and along its east wall is a two-run stair with a closed stringer with plain newel posts, rectangular balusters, and a molded handrail. Below the stringer are five tall panels that are sunk and flat. The mantel in the east room has an ovolo back band and is crossetted. There are impost blocks with sunken flat panels and bead molds, and a frieze block with a jigsawn decoration similar to a pair of sawn stair brackets. The bed mold has a large cavetto with a small ovolo below it. The mantelshelf has a Greek cavetto and bead on the edge of the shelf. In the west room, there is a new wood mantel with fluted pilasters and impost blocks, and a plain frieze. The second story has a center-passage double-pile plan. The rear wing has an enclsoed winder stair in the southeast corner and a completely rebuilt fireplace.

Significance: The Englar-Schweigart-Rinehart Farm is significant for its illustration of the acculturation of Germanic Swiss immigrants to Carroll County who adopted the prevailing Georigan house form of the dominant English culture, yet adapted it to the patterns of their own cultural preferences. The house and outbuildings also illustrate how these preferences continued to change throughout the 19th century, and include unique buildings, in the case of the enormous barn with an interior silo, and rare survivals, in the case of the springhouse. The house was constructed in 1809 or 1810, according to the will of the property owner, Jacob Englar. The will stipulated that the materials he had on hand for construction of the house should be used to build it for the accommodation of the family and that the resources of the property be made use of in maintaining, supporting, and educating his children. Although Englar was reportedly killed in an accident in 1809, he must have suffered through a debilitating injury that led to his death, rather than a sudden death, as his will was written about one month before he died. That Jacob was planning to build a new house to replace the log dwelling extant on the property suggests that he had been a successful farmer. The house that Englar planned was a traditional Georgian center-passage plan dwelling with a kitchen wing and side porch. It was an English house for a man whose first language was undoubtedly German, but there are one or two features that property reflect cultural preference, or at least cultural memory. Unlike German and English houses, Swiss houses were often banked into a hill at one end. The site did not demand this orientation; there were plenty of fairly level areas that were potential house sites. This must have been a conscious decision, because it enabled ground-level access to the basement kitchen room on the east end. In a Swiss house, the kitchen was located in the basement. Although Englar's house has a traditional rear kitchen wing, the fireplace was small, and although it has been altered, it seems as if it would have been too small for cooking, so the kitchen may still have been in the basement. The closed stringer stair in the hall, rare in Carroll County, is often associated with late-18th century Germanic houses in the area. The fireplace in the east room is located to the south of center in the east wall, and may indicate that this room was originally subdivided. However, the desire to have one of the two bedrooms upstairs heated may also have driven its placement. The Englar family retained the house until 1824, when it was sold to John Schweigart (Swigart). After his death in 1853, the house was occupied by tenants until 1856, when it was purchased by John Rinehart, in whose family the property remained until 1912.




close