Jennifer K. Cosham
4623, Ladiesburg Road, Union Bridge, Carroll County
Hard Lodging is built on a small cliff overlooking the site where its first owner, Solomon Shepherd, had a mill. Although the mill is no longer present, the site is still surrounded by farmland, woods, and farm buildings, retaining a continuity of the early setting. The construction of the house occurred in three stages. The middle section, a 2 1/2-story, four bay wide, common bond structure, was probably the first stage. Its plan is two rooms with a narrow stairway on the board partition between the rooms. Entrance to the house is into the kitchen from both sides, thus forming a cross passage. Presumably this room was converted to a parlor when the larger section was built. The exterior of the middle section of Hard Lodging attains a nice proportion through the visual effect of its details. The first floor windows in this section are taller than those on the second floor. The south façade has the doorway in the second bay from the east, with windows in the other three bays of the main floor and three on the second floor, leaving the bay above the doorway unfenestrated. The distinction between the floors is further emphasized by a pent roof and the flat-arch lintels on the main floor as compared with the second floor's header lintels. The north façade has an asymmetrical fenestration and a small entrance porch. The roof is shingled and has two chimney stacks, one centrally located and one in the east gable end. The main section of the house is attached to the west side of the middle structure and is a Federal style, three bay by two bay, 2 1/2-story house with an interior gable end chimney and a side entrance plan. One of the indications of a separate building period for this section is the existence of a double wall constructed where the two buildings connect.
The architecture of Hard Lodging is significant in Carroll County because of the departure it takes from the predominant farmhouse style found in central Maryland during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The middle section, related to Pennsylvania German architecture, particularly through the pent roof forebau, is similar to other domestic structures in the area. The Federal section, however, with its exterior architectural details (molded watertable, belt course, attention to proportion) and interior woodwork, is much more sophisticated than other farmhouses in the region and more similar to houses found in the Tidewater region. The site of Hard Lodging presumes the attention given to the architecture, creating a classical atmosphere to the countryside setting. The combination of these elements produces an unusual farmhouse, yet keeps Hard Lodging simple in design and refined in appearance.