MHT File Photo
Valley Road, Knoxville, Washington County
Magnolia Plantation is an east-facing brick dwelling, 2 stories in height and 5 bays wide with a 1 1/2-story 3-bay rear addition. Set on finely coursed local fieldstone foundations, the walls are concealed by gray artificial brick siding. The type of bonding used in the wall construction could not be observed. The windows contain 6/6 light sashes. At the rear of the house, windows are present only at the first story level. It is possible that evidence of other windows are concealed beneath the siding. The main entrance is located in the center bay of the east façade, containing double doors of four panels each with decorative oval medallion. Doric style colonnettes flank the doors. Below the sidelights are panels carrying the oval trim. Matching panels also ornament the jambs. The door is surmounted by a broad 8-light transom. Other, simpler, entrances are located at the rear of the main section in the first and second story levels and in the north and south walls of the addition. At the time of nomination, a three-bay, one-story Victorian period porch spanned the front elevation, supported by square posts with carved brackets. Apparently a two-story porch was present at one time at the rear elevation. All that remains of this structure is a section of overhanging roof held by diagonal supports. The roof is covered with plain sheet metal. It terminates at the gables with a plain barge board set against the end walls of the house. The cornice work consists of rather elaborate bands of molding over the eaves boxing. Wide brick chimneys are present inside each gable end. A small brick flue rises from inside the end of the rear wing. Most of the original woodwork appears to have been retained inside the house. The main entrance opens into a wide stair hall. The stair is open and spirals to the attic. A decorated plaster medallion is set into the ceiling of the entrance hall. Fireplace mantels with colonnettes are present in the main rooms. Several modern outbuildings and a barn are also located on the property. A short distance north of the house is a private cemetery enclosed by a stone wall. Grave markers date to the early 19th through early 20th centuries, a number of which bear the name Boteler.
Magnolia Plantation is significant for its architecture, and for its association with the Boteler family, prominent early residents of Washington County. Architecturally, the house is worthy of note as a fine example of Washington County's brick architecture of the first half of the 19th century. With somewhat more elaborate decorative detail in wood than is usually found in Washington County, Magnolia Plantation stands out as one of the finer houses of its period in the area. The house shows a mixing of stylistic influences from the Federal and early Greek Revival periods. The usual time periods associated with these styles, however, cannot be applied in Western Maryland where a time lag in building styles can be observed. The appearance of this house would suggest that it may have been built during the second quarter of the 19th century, probably c. 1835.