Kirk E. Ranzetta
Bard's Field on Trinity Manor
Pratt Road, Ridge, Saint Marys County
Built in the early 19th century, Bard's Field is a 1 1/2-story frame house on a brick foundation with double exterior end chimneys, a typical though late example of its type in Southern Maryland. The south (front) facade consists of three bays with a door flanked by two windows. The window sash are presently 6/9, though they are known to have been 9/6 previously. There are three cellar window openings with square holes for bars in the foundation, one under the north window and one on either side of the south window. The door has a 12-light sash above a two-panel section cut from a six-panel door. The steps up to the door have disappeared. Wide, beaded clapboards still cover this facade above the brick foundation which is laid in common bond. The porch on this side is original to the house. The four posts supporting its roof have been recently replaced; the porch joists are tongued into the wall of the house and are unevenly spaced. The joist ends of the house extend beyond the wall under the porch roof. The north (or rear) facade is also three bays with a central door. The sash in these windows are 9/9, too large for the openings, resulting in an overlap of several inches. Also missing its steps, the door on this side is a vertical board one with a partially covered 9-light opening in the top. The basement window openings on this side retain their square bars and window frames. Wide, beaded clapboards cover this side also and the frames of the door and windows have the same simple molded trim of the openings on the south facade. A porch added to this elevation during the 19th century has been removed. Beneath its roof were preserved some of the original, round-ended, wooden shingles, which were removed and saved when the roof was replaced. The joist ends on this facade have been boxed in to form a simple cornice. The gable ends of the house are in poor repair. Once clapboard-sheathed also, they are now partially covered with a combination of unpainted boards and imitation brick siding. The wall construction is exposed in places, revealing corner posts, studs, corner braces, and brick nogging. The east end has two chimney stacks with a doorway between at the first floor level. The west end has a double end chimney with a one-story pent. The brickwork of the chimneys at both ends is finely executed. Laid up in Flemish bond with random glazed headers, there are queen closers at all corners of the chimneys. The sides of the stacks are stepped on the outside between the first and second floor levels. All four stacks have been rebuilt in all-stretcher bond above the step, with corbeled caps. On the interior, the floor plan consists of two large rooms in the south and two smaller rooms to the north on either side of a central stair hall. The second floor is of a similar plan, somewhat altered. Woodwork is simple, with simple mantels consisting of molded trim framing the openings, undecorated friezes, and plain cornices. Chair rails remain in each of the first-floor rooms, and molded trim surrounds the door and window openings. The doors are flat, with six panels. Two built-in cupboards remain, one with a dentiled cornice and two double-paneled doors with small strap hinges. The open-string stair in the hall has simple brackets and Victorian handrail, balusters, and newel post. A small cemetery on the property includes the graves of Rebecca Loker (d. 1824, aged 61), Pamela Loker (d. 1823, aged 27), William Howe Loker (1801-1853), Eliza Ann Loker (wife of Wm. Loker, d. 1847, aged 43), Luclynda Loker (d. 1833, aged 25), and those of several infants.
Bard's Field exemplifies by both its floor plan and its exterior appearance one of the common, 18th century, Southern Maryland house types. Built c. 1800, it is atypical only in the lateness of its construction date. The house is also noteworthy for the solidarity and skillful work of its construction and the fact that the porch across its facade is an original feature.