Photo credit: Michael O. Bourne , 11/1977

Property Name: Yarmouth
Date Listed: 3/29/1978
Inventory No.: D-83
Location: Bestpitch Ferry Road, Cambridge, Dorchester County

Description: Yarmouth is a five-bay long and two-bay deep, two-story brick structure built above a high basement. All walls are laid in Flemish bond above the chamfered water table with English bond below. A large flush chimney rises from each gable end of the house. There are segmental arches above the basement windows while the arches of the north and south facades are segmental on the underside and flat on the top. There is a two-brick-deep string course at second floor level. The windows are replacements and have 6/9 sash on the first story and 6/6 on the second. The large wood cove cornice appears original and is comparable to the cornice on Pemberton Hall, Wicomico County, and on the Ringgold and Customs Houses in Chestertown, all of which were built in the 1740s. A portico in front of the central entrance on the south facade dates from the restoration, as does the eight-panel door and frame which had to be replaced after a fire which damaged the door and part of the interior hall. On the east gable end is a cellar bulkhead in the north bay, and a single 9/6 sash window above the bulkhead. The only other openings on this facade are two 6/6 sash windows in the attic gable, flanking the chimney. The north facade, facing the Transquaking River, has only one bay west of the center door with two on the east side. The first story window was originally wider and probably was fitted with 12/8 sash. It now has the same size window as the others. The west gable end of the house also has a pair of 6/6 sash windows in the attic gable. A door in the north bay formerly led to the kitchen which is no longer standing. Above this door is a 6/6 sash window, likely replacing a door which formerly led to the second floor of the same wing. On the interior, the southern half of the house consists of a stair hall in the center with a room on the east (now a kitchen), and a smaller room on the west which is accessible only from the dining room. On the north side is the living room, the larger of the two, and the dining room which is accessible from beneath the stair. Each of the four rooms have diagonal fireplaces, the two north rooms also having raised panel chimney breasts. The living room chimney breast has two large horizontal panels flanked by pilasters, double crossette trim around the three-centered arched fireplace. Three windows in this room have paneled window jambs. The dining room has paneling and trim like the living room, lacking the pilasters, and the kitchen has paneling with bolection molding around the fireplace. The stair has an open string balustrade with turned newels and balusters, and paneled soffits. Two of the three bedrooms on the second story have small fireplaces, and most have a very wide beaded board and chair rail. Also on the property is an 18th century granary with catslide roof. It stands several feet above the ground on brick piers.

Significance: Also known as White House Farm, Brick House Farm, and Eccleston's Hill, Yarmouth is the single most important dwelling existing in Dorchester County from the second quarter of the 18th century. It is noted for the extent of its original detail, specifically the interior woodwork and the original exterior cove cornice. In addition, Yarmouth has a floor plan not found elsewhere in the county, with one possible, but greatly altered exception in the Meredith House (La Grange) of Cambridge.




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