Photo credit: Michael O. Bourne , 11/1969

Property Name: Genesar
Date Listed: 9/17/1971
Inventory No.: WO-3
Location: Stephen Decatur Road (MD 611), Lewis Corner, Worcester County

Description: Genesar is a 2 1/2-story brick dwelling. Originally, the south facade, forty-five feet in length, had four bays at the first floor level and three bays at the second floor level, symmetrically placed. The two center bays of the first story were formerly doors, one leading into the stair passage, the other into the "Great Room". The first story of the north side was similar, but had only two windows on the second story. It had one small window at the stair landing level. Each gable end, 19'-3 1/2" wide, had small windows at the first and second floor levels flanking the fireplaces at each floor level. On the gable at the attic floor level there is a projecting belt course, above which is glazed diapering. The gable roof, pitched 51 degrees, has a "kick" to the eave. Originally there were three dormers on the south front, matching the one existing dormer on the north side of the roof. The interior originally had two large rooms, approximately 15' x 16' and 18' x 16', opening from either side of a central passage from which a staircase rises. The ceiling joists were exposed with molded edges. There was probably a partition parallel with the front of the fireplace, creating closets beside the fireplace, which would have been lighted by the small windows in the gable wall, according to local practice. The second story rooms had similar treatment but had plaster ceilings, as the beams are unmolded. Photographs and drawings are extant for the "Great Room Chamber" (second story west room), which had three walls with raised paneling. The fireplace wall was plastered, with closet doors and a Federal style mantel. Its 1971 appearance was little more than a ruin. The south facade was braced with poles extending from a trench in front of the house to the second floor level. A portion of brickwork in the east corner had fallen away from the ground level to the roof. Only a few frames remained at the windows and doors. Temporary supports had been installed to deter further decay. Large portions of the main cornice remained in place and the chimneys were structurally sound above the roof.

Significance: Genesar is the only currently known structure of its type on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The house was in very poor condition but was being stabilized for future restoration when listed in 1971. It has extensive diamond and chevron glazed brickwork patterns, which are covered with a 19th century thin coat of stucco. As transitional architecture, it represents the hold-over forms of medieval work and the earliest development towards the more formal Georgian ideals in plan and design. Drawings exist of the unique interior woodwork, which has since been removed. Because of these unusual architectural features it is considered an important early Maryland building.




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