Michael O. Bourne
Woodlands Farm Lane North, Perryville, Cecil County
Woodlands appears to have been constructed in two principal periods. The original section was built c. 1810-1820. It consisted of a 2 1/2-story, three bays side-passage house of stuccoed stone, fronting south. The passage occupied the east bay with two rooms in the two west bays, and a 1 1/2-story rear kitchen wing, two bays in length. The second period dates to 1840-1850. The east end of the house was extended by the addition of two bays of stuccoed brick, with double parlors on the first story, and a one-story, glazed conservatory. Greek Revival details were added to the earlier house, including the portico and door surround, the triple window in the center bay, the dormers (or at least their detailing), and the trim in the main hall, except the stair. The service wing was enlarged by adding two bays, a second story and a porch along the east side with small, frame chambers above. A stone smokehouse, two stories in height, is apparently coincidental with a small tenant house that adjoins it. The smokehouse is probably at least as old as the original house and the tenant house portion appears to have been remodeled for that purpose in the mid 19th century. A small frame barn and corn house west of the stone smokehouse and tenant house is covered with wide, beaded horizontal siding. The hewn frame uses mortise-and-tenon joints and the siding is attached with hand-wrought nails. The square frame privy with pyramidal roof contains its original seat with four holes. An early carriage house of frame construction stands north of the privy. A frame garage, possibly predating the automobile, stands south of the privy, and a large frame bank barn dates from c. 1905.
Woodlands is the estate and ancestral home of the Coudon family. The main dwelling house and adjoining outbuildings are situated on a hill overlooking the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay. The house has lovely grounds, with landscaped gardens, boxwoods, and several old trees of merit. The mansion is one of the most important 19th century buildings in Cecil County. The house has endured moderate alterations, but still portrays pre-Civil War times more like the antebellum South than a border state. The Greek Revival period of the house is without equal in Cecil County. Another important feature of the property is the large number of original outbuildings still intact and continuing to perform as part of a working farm. The Coudon family has been an important family in Cecil County, particularly in the field of religion. The Reverend Joseph Coudon, father of the first Coudon to own Woodlands, served as rector to St. Mary Anne's Church in nearby North East, Maryland, from 1787 to 1792. The family has continued to worship at and support this church through the years. Joseph Coudon, Jr.'s son married the daughter of George P. Whitaker, owner of Principio Furnace, which created early ties between the two historic properties. Due to the long occupancy of Woodlands, a large amount of furniture and artwork have accumulated within the house.