Michael O. Bourne
Boonsboro Shepardstown Pike (MD 34), Keedysville, Washington County
Facing south the Baker Farm house is a two-story, four-bay stone structure with a two-story, four-bay addition also of stone attached to its east gable end. The walls of both sections of the house are constructed of coursed local limestone with more careful masonry evident in the main or older portion of the house. The house is built into a slight slope with its front elevation being of greater height. Evident near the bottom of the side and front elevations is a stone water table. Set high in the west gable is a rectangular tablet which apparently carried a date at one time. It has deteriorated to the point where it cannot be read from ground level, but possibly once dated the building to the 1780s or 90s. A porch extends along the first story of the front elevation of the main section, while a double porch with balustrade and square posts shelters the entire front wall of the addition. Windows in the main block are 12/12 sash at the first story and 9/6 sash at the second. The addition holds 6/6 windows. The main entrance to the older section is located in the third bay from the west gable end, and holds a four-light transom. The roof is covered with sheet metal, and a large brick chimney which shows evidence of having been rebuilt is located inside the west gable end of the main section. A smaller brick flue with several courses of corbeling at the top is located inside the east end. Smaller brick chimneys project from inside the east end of the addition and from its interior. The eaves of the main section are finished with plain boxing with deep returns. A simple cornice finishes the eaves. Barge boards are set directly against the end walls. East of the house is a large frame bank barn and other outbuildings.
This house and its surrounding outbuildings are primarily significant for their architecture. Operating as a farm since the 18th century, the property is important for its contribution to Washington County's agricultural history. According to a former owner of the farm, the datestone set in the gable of the house indicated that the house was built during the 1780s or 90s. Although the building date has not been firmly established, the house does display characteristics of late 18th century construction. Among these are the massive pegged window frames, the multi-paned sash, and the use of diagonal fireplaces, as well as the general style of masonry and interior and exterior wood trim. Relatively few 18th century buildings remain in Washington County, and thus efforts should be made to recognize and preserve those that do. This example has had very few alterations.