Paula Stoner Dickey
Mapleville Road (MD 66), Smithsburg, Washington County
The Maples is a two-story, six-bay stone and log dwelling trimmed in black and white. The walls of the south section, three bays in length, are constructed of coursed local limestone while the northern portion of the structure is of log covered with stucco and wooden siding. Decorative stonework over the first story windows consists of flat arches at the façade and several uniformly squared blocks over openings at the rear of the house. All major windows contain 12/8 lights, with windows in the front and rear walls of the log section and more formal symmetrical openings in all walls of the stone section. Two 6/6 windows also appear in the attic of the log section's gable end. A full size window is present at the attic level of the stone section. The main entrance is located in the third bay from the south end of the stone section, and consists of an arched opening flanked by oval reeded collonettes of the Doric order, supporting pediment with a dentil cornice. Small cast iron lions are set into blocks above the capitals of the columns. The jambs are sheathed with decorative molded panels. Above the door is a semi-circular fanlight with ray and scalloped muntins. Secondary entrances in the front and rear walls of the log section have similar but less elaborate fanlights. The log section has two double porches which are included under the main roof span. At the façade, the porch is supported by round tapered Doric columns, and has a 2nd floor balustrade. The porch on the west side of the house has been completely enclosed. Other exterior woodwork includes a rather elaborate neoclassical cornice with dentils matching the entrance frontispiece. It extends along the entire length of the house, front and rear. Broad brick chimneys rise from inside each gable end of the slate roof.
The Maples is significant for its architecture. Although no date of construction has been established, the presence of a log wall between the two sections of the house indicates that the log portion was built first with the stone end being attached at a later date. Apparently the log section received considerable alterations when the stone portion was added. A detailed examination of the interior of the house should be conducted before a close estimate of its age is made. It is possible, however, that the stone section was erected between 1790 and 1810. With two periods of building represented, the Maples illustrates the trend from the informality of vernacular architecture to the formality of Georgian-inspired building, which was prevalent in the late 18th and early 19th centuries in Washington County. The earlier log house was probably built to answer a need for shelter rather than to conform to a particular design or style. The stone section, however, reflects a conscious aesthetic striving on the part of the builder to produce a specific stylistic effect. The symmetry and concern for visual harmony displayed in the stone section would have contrasted sharply with the original appearance of the log portion. It is readily apparent that much effort was taken to transform the log house so that it would be visually compatible with the new stone structure. The house is important from the standpoint of fine architectural detail which is displayed in its construction and which has been retained with minimal alterations. Also significant are the numerous outbuildings which remain intact and reflect many aspects of early 19th century life in western Maryland.