Paula Stoner Dickey
Landis Road, Hagerstown, Washington County
The Ditto Farm house is a five-bay, two-story brick structure with a two-bay, one-story brick rear wing. The walls are set on low limestone foundations at the front elevation, which become considerably higher at the rear of the house and the wing. Bricks of the front elevation are laid in Flemish bond, while other walls display a type of common bonding unusual for Washington County, consisting of three courses of stretchers between header rows. A water table capped with quarter round molded brick extends along the façade. Flat brick arches present over the openings diminish in height from 1 1/2 bricks at the first story to 1/2 brick at the attic level. Windows are symmetrical in the front façade, and are 6/6 sash within narrow frames, which appear to be replacements of wider, more massive frames. Few windows spaced at random are present in the rear elevation. The main entrance is located in the center bay of the façade. The unusual nine-pane door is topped by a four-light transom and flanked by paneled jambs. The doorway is, however, quite simple in its appearance. In the rear elevation of the main section is a door which retains its original wide wooden frame with pegged joining. A three-bay, one-story entrance porch with a hipped roof shelters the central bays of the façade. It is supported by round Doric columns. The roof is tapered with corrugated sheet metal and is finished at the gables with a tapered barge board which narrows to the roof peak. The eaves boxing is finished with a band of simple molding. Corbeled brick chimneys are located inside each gable end and inside the end of the wing. The chimney in the wing was heightened at a later date. East of the house is a large stone bank barn set parallel to Landis Road. This undated structure appears typical of stone barns built during the first half of the 19th century. A 19th century springhouse also remains on the property.
Ditto Knolls is one of two historic farm complexes in the Ditto Farm Regional Park. Ditto Knolls is important for its architecture and its contribution to Washington County history. Architecturally, Ditto Knolls is a significant example of the construction patterns of Washington County and Western Maryland where stone and brick were important building materials. This property is an unusually early example of the county's brick architecture. Several features of this house, including the water table, Flemish bond brickwork on the façade used in combination with a common bond of three courses of stretchers between header rows, tapered barge board, and wide pegged door frame, are associated with 18th and very early 19th century structures in Washington County. Built with five bays and a central main entrance, it is representative of a major type of building in Western Maryland and the Cumberland Valley derived from the Georgian style. Brick houses built, as this one was, prior to 1820, are rare in the county. The large stone end bank barn is a well preserved example of regional agricultural construction.