Photo credit: E. Itnyre , 02/2002

Property Name: Kefauver Place
Date Listed: 8/26/2005
Inventory No.: WA-III-181
Location: 20515, Park Hall Road, Rohrersville, Washington County

Description: Located at the foot of South Mountain, the 21-acre Kefauver Place comprises a c. 1820 log cabin, a log barn of c. 1830 with later-19th century additions; a 19th century timber-framed corn crib; a two-story brick house constructed around 1880; an early-20th century masonry root cellar; and a frame summer kitchen, hog pen, chicken house, and garage all dating from about 1930. Also on the property are two fieldstone spring enclosures. The earliest building on the property is the c. 1820 V-notched log cabin measuring 18' x 24'. The cabin rests on a full stone basement, banked into a hillside on the southern side, with an entrance in the north side. Windows are 6/6 sash throughout. The interior finishes were added prior to 1870, when the interior room was partitioned and interior walls plastered. A stair was added to the loft. Two additions dating prior to 1870 were removed c. 1880-90, and the cabin was sheathed in wood siding. The cabin was carefully rehabilitated c. 1995. The small two-story Federal-style brick house was added to the property in about 1880-1890. It is a four-bay structure with 2/2 sash windows with arched heads. The main block stands 24' wide and 22' deep; at the rear, an 18' by 14' long section--apparently recycled, likely one of the former additions to the cabin--was incorporated into the construction and covered in brick veneer. The symmetrical four-bay facade has two entrance doors in the central bays, a vernacular type commonly encountered in the region during the period. Over each door is an arched transom. The interior comprised two rooms on the first floor of the main block, with an enclosed winder stair rising to three small bedrooms upstairs. A separate stair in the rear log section accessed an unfinished loft. A c. 1905 porch spans the front of the main block and runs back on both sides, 10' deep in front and 5' deep on the sides, replacing a small porch across the two center doors. The porch has chamfered posts and sawnwork brackets supporting a standing-seam hip roof. In 1985 the house was modernized with heat, water, improved wiring, and baths. The internal configuration was changed to provide larger rooms and an open stairway; much of the original woodwork and hardware was retained. At the same time, a frame addition was constructed at the rear of the house.

Significance: The Kefauver Place is historically significant for its association with the agricultural development of Washington County. European settlement of the area began in the 1720; by the first half of the 19th century the county's grain-based agricultural economy had begun to mature. Grain and flour production increased rapidly, as improvements in transportation allowed farmers to reach ready markets in fast-growing urban centers. Most of the county's farmsteads were established or expanded during this period. The Kefauver Place illustrates the persistence of relatively small-scale agricultural operations form the first quarter of the 19th century through the mid 20th, and derives additional significance for its architecture as a representative example of a type of subsistence farmstead that continued to typify rural Washington County during the period. It comprises a full complement of domestic and agricultural buildings whose forms and functions reflect the evolution of the small farm over more than a century. The complex retains substantial integrity, and has recently benefited from a careful and thorough rehabilitation.




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