MHT File Photo
Fairlee Manor Camp House
22242, Bay Shore Road, Georgetown, Kent County
Fairlee Manor is composed of a two-story, three-bay-long brick structure with a 1 1/2-story brick wing and a 1 1/2-story, 3-bay-long plank wing on each side in decreasing height and width, creating, in effect, a telescopic house from each end. Those sections on the southwest end of the building date to the second quarter of the 19th century, c. 1825-1840, while the matching sections to the northeast were added in the 1930s. The three center parts are of brick laid in common bond, the central part has a molded cove watertable, fanlight above the central double door, and flat arches above each of the other apertures. All windows have 6/6 sash and louvered shutters. A brick chimney is located within each outer gable of each of the five parts. One flat-headed dormer extends from the ridge of the gable roof on both sides of each wing. An unusual method was employed in the construction of the plank wings. Instead of fitting end into, or over, end of log in the corners, the builders used a large corner post into which the individual planks were mortised and tenoned. Along the long walls are interior posts pegged into the planks approximately four feet apart. The end-into-end method of construction is to be seen in a building on Carter's Paper Mill property, begun about 1820 along the little Elk Creek, Cecil County. The interior post feature can be seen on the log cabin at Sotterley in St. Mary's County, though the posts are placed on the outside of the walls.
The old house on Fairlee Manor Camp is an early-19th century dwelling composed of five symmetrical parts. It is unusual for its use of equally placed flanking dependencies, which are of late-19th century period. The major part of the house appears to have been constructed during the period 1825-40. The owners of the land at that time were William Blakistone Wilmer and his wife Mary Anne (nee Taylor). Mrs. Wilmer received the land from her father, Philip Taylor. It then passed along the female line to Sarah and George D. S. Handy. Since 1880, the farm has seen ten owners, until 1953 when it was deeded to the Easter Seal Society for Crippled Children and Adults of Delaware, Inc. The house is preserved through an adaptive use that makes an important contribution to helping the handicapped.