3251, Gamber Road (MD 91), Finksburg, Carroll County
Cold Saturday (also historically called Clover Hill) is a farm complex set near the top of a ridge, with the ground sloping off sharply to the east, south, and west, and rising slightly to the north. Facing south, the main house is 2 1/2 stories, 5 bays by 3 bays, constructed c. 1800 of rubble stone with quoins, and has a gable roof with wood shingles. Massive stone and brick chimneys rise flush with the east and west gable ends. The center bays of the first and second stories are embellished with traceried elliptical fanlights and sidelights, and are set within flanking pilasters. The first story entrance bay is further enhanced by a columned portico, which creates a balcony accessed by French doors on the second story. Windows on the north and south facades are 12/12 sash. The east facade contains two windows on the first story, a 12/12 window set slightly south in the center bay, and a narrow 4/4 sash window in the northern bay. The second floor contains only a 12/12 window set immediately above that on the first floor. The attic gable contains three small windows; two 4/4 in the north and south bays, and a larger 6/6 sash window in the center bay. The north facade contains two first-floor entrances, in the second and first bays in from the left, each with a transom. The transom to the left contains eight lights while that in the center bay contains tracery. The fourth bay from the east contains not one window per story, but rather a single window halfway between stories. The roof of this main block contains three 6/6 sash gabled dormers on each slope. The house has a two-story wing on the west end added between 1881 and 1886. This wing is 3 bays by 2 bays with 6/6 sash windows, and also of rubble stone with a gable roof and wood shingles. A large single brick chimney rises flush with the west gable end. The west facade of the main block is pierced only by attic windows which mirror those on the east gable end. The interior of the house is a center-passage, double-pile plan, and exhibits a great deal of Federal woodwork, including mantels and arched doorways. Contributing to the complex are a stone tenant house, stone and frame outbuilding known as the old schoolhouse, frame wagon shed and corncrib, tractor shed of corrugated metal, frame shed with wagon doors, 1940 concrete block barn, frame chicken house, frame tenant house, frame summer kitchen, stone wall with gate, small parged building near the gate, frame loafing shed, frame barn with silo, log cabin, stone bridge, log grape arbor, gazebo, and gas pump.
Cold Saturday is significant for its architecture, in that it embodies the characteristics of the Anglo-American gentry farm most commonly found in the Tidewater area of Maryland, but that spread into parts of the Piedmont, such as here in the southeastern portion of Carroll County. The center-passage plan of the main house, with the stairway tucked into the left rear room, is a variation of the Annapolis plan, where the stair is off passage but open to it at the front of the house. Architecturally, the house is one of the finest Federal houses in the county. The interior finishes are strongly Federal in character and of an unusually high quality for the time in Carroll County, although, since meant for a country house, not quite as elaborate as the best contemporary Baltimore work. The extensive complement of outbuildings spans 150 years of agricultural use and demonstrates the owners’ evolving pursuits. From its inception c. 1800, Cold Saturday was larger than most of the local family farms, with diverse crops and livestock supported by slave and indentured labor. With the sale of the farm in 1864 and changing labor forces, there came a shift in livestock and crops, and increased mechanization. By 1880 there was a substantial dairy operation, made possible by the proximity of the Western Maryland Railway. From the 1930s into the 1950s the owners operated a breeding farm for show cattle. The property remained in continuous agricultural use into the third quarter of the 20th century. By the mid 1950s, a portion had been lost to Liberty Reservoir and the farming operations were diminished.