Photo credit: Susan M. Deeney , 05/1977

Property Name: Little Falls Meeting House
Date Listed: 5/7/1980
Inventory No.: HA-609, HA-610
Location: Old Fallston Road, Fallston, Harford County

Description: Little Falls Friends Meeting House, constructed in 1843, is a sprawling one-story stone structure with shallow-pitched gable roof and a shed-roofed porch across the west and south façades. The walls are random-coursed fieldstone laid with large granite quoins and brick jack arches over the windows. The west (main) façade is five bays across with two double doors filling the central bay. This entrance is flanked on either side by two 12/12 sash windows with three-panel shutters. Each leaf of the doors has four panels, three horizontal ones above a vertical. There is a four-light transom above each set of doors. The porch has square, chamfered posts resting on a concrete floor. The porch roof and the main roof are sheathed with slate shingles. The south end is wide, but contains only two bays, a 12/12 window on the west and a double door with transom on the east. This façade has been stuccoed but two datestones in the gable remain visible. The larger stone reads 1843, while the smaller stone above reads 1773. The latter was saved from an earlier meeting house, which was taken down when this one was built. The shed-roofed porch continues around the south end and at the east end of it is a privy with a four-panel door opening onto the porch. This frame structure, covered with clapboards, is now used for storage. The east façade, overlooking the cemetery, has two windows centered in the end wall. The north end has a window to the west and door to the east identical to those on the south end. A datestone of 1843 is located in the gable. There is a frame privy to the east of the door, which has clapboards on the north and west sides but vertical siding on the east, a batten door, and appears later than the privy on the south end. A brick stove chimney rises from the gable peak at each end of the building. Behind the meeting house is a cemetery which dates from the earlier structure on this site. To the south of the building is a one-story frame mid-19th century school building, with additions made post-1898 and in 1975.

Significance: Little Falls Friends Meeting house is a fine example of the Quaker architecture of the area comprised of southeastern Pennsylvania, northern Maryland, and northern Virginia. It is the largest one-story meeting house to survive in Maryland, and retains all of its original details (except perhaps the ceiling, which is probably a later alteration composed of narrow unpainted boards). It has the characteristic features of the Friends' meeting houses, including two entrance doors and a sliding partition dividing the interior into the men's and women's sides. Little Falls Meeting had a school connected with it from circa 1749 until the early 20th century. At one time this Meeting ran as many as three Quaker schools simultaneously. The school building survives here as a reminder of this Meeting's continuing interest in education. The Little Falls Meeting itself dates from the mid-18th century. It was founded by William Amos, a Harford County man who determined his own religious beliefs and, when he found they coincided with those of the Quakers, began the Meeting here. Amos is buried in the graveyard here.




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