Ronald L. Andrews
144, East Main Street (US 40), Frostburg, Allegany County
The Hocking House is a c. 1855 2 1/2-story, three-bay, hip-roofed dwelling which exhibits features characteristic of the transitional Greek Revival-Italianate style. The house is constructed of brick laid in four-course American bond, separated from its coursed ashlar foundation by a plain watertable. The principal (south) facade is symmetrical, with extremely tall paired 4/6 windows flanking the recessed central entrance. The entrance retains its original bracketed entablature supported on flat pilasters. Similar brackets decorate the boxed roof cornice. A shallow cross gable defines the central bay. Large chimneys, located within each gable end and at the peaks of the hip roof, have been removed. Second-floor windows, slightly smaller than those below, are also paired, utilizing 4/4 sash, simple wooden sills, and slightly splayed brick lintels. In the peak of the cross gable is a pair of small round-arched windows of 6 panes each. Windows in the east and west ends of the building, two per floor, are 6/6 sash with splayed brick lintels. A gable-roofed wing, attached to the northwestern corner of the building, appears to be contemporary with the main block. This 1 1/2-story common bond brick structure stands on a stone foundation. A small interior end chimney is found within the northern gable end. A modern shed-roofed addition of white glazed bricks abuts the east facade of the gable-roofed addition, and at its intersection with the rear facade of the main block. On the interior, the building exhibits a center hall plan, and retains considerable original trim, including interior shutters, double doors, and mantel pieces. The trim employs decorative motifs characteristic of the period, including elliptical arches and engaged pilasters. A cartouche embellishes a carved slate fireplace surround.
The Hocking House was built in 1855 on a tract of land known as "The Hotel." The land was part of the estate of Robert Clarke, Sr., one of the original settlers of the area that is now Frostburg. The house, located on the northern side of the National Road, was a fashionable residence until it was converted into a clubhouse in 1942. Local tradition suggests that it was one of three stations of the Underground Railroad in Frostburg. The house is a good example of transitional Greek Revival-Italianate architecture, a style that is somewhat rare in Allegany County. Italianate elements of the building, the shape, roof, eaves, and window design, are more pronounced than the subtler Greek Revival influence in the design of the entrance and the central gable.