Mark R. Edwards
Cumberstone Road, , Cumberstone, , Anne Arundel County
Cedar Park was originally constructed in 1702 as a 1 1/2-story post-in-the-ground structure, with handhewn timbers and riven clapboards, with chimneys at either end. The building was elongated c. 1736 by 4 feet at each end, massive exterior chimneys were constructed at the gable ends, a low shed roof covering two cell rooms was added across the length of the west side, and the entire house was encased in brick laid in all header bond, partially English bond. The west side of the building contains four windows with louvered shutters. The main slope of this side of the roof contains two gabled dormers with 6/6 sash windows, also with louvered shutters. The east side of the roof holds four of these dormers. On the east side of the house, a two-story addition projects from the older section forming the stem of a T. The first floor of this wing was built of brick c. 1800; the second story of frame was added c. 1835. There is structural proof that the brick addition replaced a porch with its porch chamber above, mentioned in a 1735 inventory. The east end of the wing is polygonal in shape, with sawnwork trim decorating the verge. One-story frame additions have been made to the south of the main block. Also on the property is a frame tenant house or slave quarter of the mid 19th century. According to oral tradition, this was the easternmost in a line of six or more similar dwellings that stretched from the main house westward to the road.
The dwelling at Cedar Park was begun in 1702 for Richard Galloway II, a merchant. This date has been ascertained through dendrochronology. The oldest portion, the one-story hall-and-parlor plan section and porch tower, is the earliest surviving earthfast constructed dwelling in Maryland and Virginia. Cedar Park also displays some of the finest early carpentry work documented in either state. Its massive, beautifully crafted timber frame rests on 12 hole-set posts. Its exterior walls, roof, and tower were originally sheathed in oak clapboards. Constructed in 1702, the house is also significant for its association with its builder, Richard Galloway, II. During his lifetime, Galloway attained prominent social status as a successful merchant and through his marriage in 1686 to Elizabeth Talbott Lawrence, the widow of Benjamin Lawrence. His daughter-in-law, Sophia Galloway, enlarged the house c. 1736 and encased it in brick laid in a header-bond pattern. The property stayed in the Galloway family until the early 19th century, when it passed to the Mercer family, related by marriage. In 1825, an academy for young women was opened at Cedar Park by Margaret Mercer. "Miss Mercer's School" opened in the house, which had been expanded for the purpose. The school closed in 1834.