Paul Baker Touart
Isaac England House
1000, Crothers Road, Rising Sun, Cecil County
The Isaac England house is a 2 1/2-story central hall plan brick house three bays across by one room deep, facing south. The entire structure rests on an uncoursed stone foundation and is covered with a medium sloped slate roof. The south facade is laid in Flemish bond with a single string belt course beneath the second story windows. The fenestration is symmetrical with the first floor windows containing 9/6 sash and the second floor 6/6. The surrounds on doors and windows are reeded with plain corner blocks. Louvered shutters are found on both first and second story windows. The central door has six raised panels with inset moldings and a 3-light transom. A boxed cornice extends across the main facade with a bed molding below. During renovations in the 1940s a late-19th century shed-roofed porch was removed from the front of the house and a one-bay covered stoop was substituted. The west facade is laid in common bond, with one row of headers for every five rows of stretchers. Isaac England's initials appear in a glazed header pattern on the west facade. The execution of letters is very irregular and probably due to an inexperienced craftsman who was not totally familiar with the primarily 18th and early-19th century practice of decorating the gable ends with glazed headers. Sash windows are found on both floors in the northern bay. The four-pane attic windows flank the interior end chimney. Plain barge boards close the end gables. The east gable of the main block is an unadorned common bond brick wall with a 20th century exterior chimney flue. The same four-pane attic window flanks the chimney. The two-story, c. 1800-1825 brick wing is connected on a perpendicular axis to the north side of the west wall. It is two bays across by one room deep. The walls are laid in common bond. Door openings are found in the southern bay of each first floor side wall. Windows in the northern bays are 6/6 sash, as are the second floor openings. An interior end chimney rises from the north gable end. A 1976 2-story frame addition is attached to the north gable end of the wing, which has 6/6 windows with plain trim, a slate roof of medium pitch, and a single-story screened porch across the west side. A glassed porch occupies the first floor of the east side.
The Isaac England House is a virtually unaltered example of a form common during the early 19th century in northeastern Maryland and southeastern Pennsylvania. This form is typified by Georgian floor plan, fenestration, and shape, with Federal interior details. The house has a central hall plan, three-bay front with central entrance, front facade laid in Flemish bond, and initials in glazed headers on the gable end--all of these are features of the Georgian period house in this area. This particular form, without the initials, remained in frequent use here until the mid 19th century. Inside, the mantels and other trim are Federal in style. The woodwork is well executed and exhibits a variety of examples of Federal-period work. The glazed header initials are a late example of a tradition that was fast fading in the early 19th century.