D. J. Standish
4730, Sheppard Lane, Ellicott City, Howard County
Richland Farm consists of a log and frame house, the earliest section of which is presumed to date from c. 1781, and a complement of domestic and agricultural outbuildings reflecting the farm’s continuous use through the mid 20th century. The main block of the main house, facing southeast towards Sheppard Lane, was built in three sections, with a large addition on the rear. The three main sections, all clad in weatherboards, each have a gable roof running northeast-southwest, covered with new wooden shakes. The northeast section of the main block, of frame construction, is two stories high, three bays wide and two deep with an interior brick chimney on the northeast gable end. The center section, constructed of log, is also two stories high, three bays wide and two deep, and has an exterior brick chimney on the southwest gable end. The southwest section is one story, and one bay by one bay. It is also of log, with weatherboards on the southeast elevation and German siding on the southwest. The entire southeast elevation is sheltered by a one-story shed-roofed porch supported by Doric columns, which wraps around the northeast gable end of the building. The portion of the porch in front of the southwest section is partially enclosed and is supported by square posts. The northeast section of the building has a six-panel door in the southwest bay of the first story, with sidelights and a fanlight. The center and northeast bays contain French doors with five lights in each half of each pair. The center section has three French doors on the first story, which match those in the northeast section. The second stories of both of these sections contain three 6/6 sash windows. The southwest elevation of the center section has two small 4-light windows flanking the exterior chimney in the attic gable. The southwest section of the main block is set back about 6” and has no openings. The southwest facade of this section bears a tripartite window on the first floor, consisting of a 6/6 sash window flanked by narrow 2/2 windows. The second floor has paired 8-light casements. There is a new one-story shed-roofed addition on the northwest side of the southwest section, covering five bays and connecting to the two-story rear addition. This addition, itself, contains two sections. That perpendicular with the main block is three wide bays long, containing a combination of 6/6 and tripartite windows on both stories. An interior chimney pierces the northeast roof slope. Attached to this addition on the northwest gable end is a 2-story section, running northeast-southwest, parallel with the main block. This section is one wide bay on its northwest and southeast facades, and one narrow bay on its northeast and southwest gable ends. This section is pierced by several tripartite windows and French doors. A one-story portico shelters the French doors on the southwest gable end, supported by square posts and carrying a balustraded deck accessed by second-floor French doors with sidelights and transom. Above this door, in the attic gable, is a pair of 3-light casement windows. An interior brick chimney stands at the northeast gable end, flanked by 2/2 windows on the first floor, 6/6 windows on the second floor, and small attic windows in the gable. This elevation of this section is extended to the southeast by another bay on both floors, covered by a shed roof. The northeast elevation of the main block holds a single 6/6 window in the southeast bay of the second floor, and two small 4-light windows in the attic gable. Also on the property are the Superintendent’s House, a two-story, four bay by two bay structure also facing southeast with an interior brick chimney on each gable end. The southwest half of this building is a log structure, and the northeast half is a frame addition. There is a two-story, two-bay by two-bay frame wing on the northwest clad in German siding. The Gardener’s Cottage is a one-story, three-bay by one-bay frame structure with a one-bay shed addition on the southeast. Also on the property are a frame wagon shed, a tractor shed and smokehouse with board-and-batten siding, and a barn with vertical siding and board-and-batten siding on its additions. A stone springhouse and “Barrack” complete the outbuildings.
Richland Farm is architecturally significant as a representative example of a type of farmstead which characterized rural Howard County from the late 18th century until the mid 20th century. The property retains an extensive complement of farm outbuildings, documenting the evolution of the farm through the period. It has remained in the ownership of the original family since its establishment, and remains under cultivation. The property derives additional historical significance for its association with the development of agriculture in Howard County. The county has experienced rapid suburban development since the mid 20th century, and Richland Farm represents a rare survival.