Michael F. Dwyer
7001, Croom Station Road, Upper Marlboro, Prince Georges County
Pleasant Hills is a large two-part brick house constructed c. 1810.Laid in five-course common bond, the eastern section is three bays wide, with the principal entrance in the east bay of the north facade. This entrance is a single 8-panel door with a fanlight transom and sidelights, which are in turn flanked by Doric pilasters which support an architrave. Windows are 9/6 on the first floor and 6/6 above, with splayed jack arches and louvered shutters. Two gable-roofed dormers pierce either side of the roof. Each contains a 6/6 sash window with an elliptically arched upper sash. The windows are flanked by fluted pilasters supporting plain molded entablature. The first floor of the north facade is now covered by a c. 1900 hip-roofed porch on Doric columns, missing from a c. 1890 photo. This porch is now screened. The south facade is much like the north, but the door, a replacement, is much simpler in presentation, with a simple splayed jack arch surmounting the door opening. The west gable end of the main block, mostly covered by the two-story wing, contains two flush chimneys near the gable peak. The wing, probably replacing an earlier structure to which the c. 1810 portion had been added, is four bays wide. On the north facade, the westernmost two bays appear as a gable-front wing, connected to the main house by a two-bay hyphen, slightly recessed. The east bay of the hyphen contains a door with a four-light transom. On the south facade, the whole of the wing lies flush with the main block, but is covered by a one-story hip-roofed porch with turned posts and brackets, which is now screened. Windows in the wing match those of the main block in size and ornament, despite their probable later date. The south facade contains two entrances with four-light transoms in the second and fourth bays from the west end. An interior chimney pierces the ridgeline between the second and third bays of the wing, and a flush chimney rises from the far west end. The principal entrance opens into a wide entrance hall, with two parlors located to the east. The paneled wood stair encasement supports the steps, each of which rides a Greek wave. A continuous mahogany banister leads from the first to the third floor landing. Neoclassical mantels serve the two parlors and the dining room in the wing, and neoclassical molding with bulls-eye corner blocks outlines the doors and windows. The remains of a terraced garden lie east of the house, a chicken coop and smokehouse are to the south, two tenant houses, a granary, and a corn crib are west of the house, and a terraced front yard lies to the north.
Pleasant Hills is architecturally and historically significant as it is a fine example of an affluent planter's house of the early 19th century as well as the residence of the Sasscer and Hill families which played an active role in the economic and professional development of Prince George's County for five generations. Built of brick with Greek Revival detailing, the house was erected about 1810 for William I. Sasscer whose descendants still own the property.