MHT File Photo
Sandgates on Cat Creek
Sandgates Road (MD 472), Mechanicsville, Saint Marys County
Sandgates on Cat Creek is a 1 1/2-story, three-bay frame structure with brick ends built in the mid 18th century (c. 1740-1780). A kitchen-hyphen combination of similar proportions was added in 1964. The original front of the house faces northwest toward the Patuxent, although the view is blocked by trees. The driveway entrance is at the southwest elevation. Both sides have an eight-panel door in the center bay flanked by windows with 9/6 light double-hung sash. Wooden steps lead up both entrances. The sides are covered with weatherboard painted white, and have boxed cornices at the corners. The structure sits on a foundation of Flemish bond brick. The brick end walls are also laid in Flemish bond. Each has a double exterior chimney with a one-story, brick-roofed pent. The chimney stacks are detached above the first story level. The northwest elevation has one 9/6 light window with a flat arch to the north of the chimney, and a 4/4 sash window immediately to the outside of each chimney stack. The gable roof is covered with shingles. It has three gable-roofed dormers with 4/4 light sash on the northeast elevation, and no dormers on the southwest elevation. The north half of the chimney on the southeast elevation is covered on the first floor by the hyphen of the 1964 addition. The kitchen of the addition is perpendicular to the house, and has a single exterior chimney on the southwest end, two dormers on the southeast and one dormer on the northeast. In construction of the wing, the brick foundations of an outbuilding, probably a kitchen, were uncovered to the south of the house.
Sandgates displays all of the regional characteristics of Southern Maryland according to Dr. Cary Carson, formerly of the St. Mary's City Commission. Sandgates has been said to be perhaps one of the best and most authentic restorations in Southern Maryland. Major rooms are fully paneled on fireplace walls and have dado paneling or chair rails and cornices on remaining walls. The stair hall is a major architectural feature, the stairs rising in a broken flight and ending over the door to the great room. All rooms on the second floor are partitioned with 17th Century vertical paneling, salvaged from an earlier house and incorporated here at the time of construction. All interior woodwork in original except for the overmantel which was reproduced to match it and several doors. Much of the hardware is also original. The remainder is of the period or reproduced to order. The furnishings are primarily Queen Anne and Chippendale, heirlooms supplemented by pieces made to order in the style of the period.