J. Richard Rivoire
5600, Morton's Mill Place, Hughesville, Charles County
Oakland is a two-story, three-bay brick dwelling constructed in 1822-1823. The building embodies the distinctive characteristics of Federal architecture in the Lower Southern Maryland region. The principal (east) facade has a large, double-leafed entrance door framed by transom and sidelights and headed by a flat wooden lintel in the northernmost bay. The remaining first-floor bays hold 9/6 sash windows. Three second-floor windows of 6/6 sash are aligned with the openings below. A one-story frame porch with a bracketed frieze supported by tapered square posts with chamfered corners spans this elevation. The same fenestration and door placement of the front is repeated on the rear elevation. The rear door, lacking transom or sidelights, occupies the northern bay, and was once sheltered by a small pedimented porch. The house is two bays deep at the north and south gable ends. At the south end two flush chimneys extend above the roofline as an unbroken extension of the wall. The interior is organized in a side-hall plan, two rooms deep, with two interior chimneys at the south end. The building retains all its original interior finishes and detailing, including plaster ceiling cornices, doors, chairrails and baseboards, door and window trim, window sash, mantels, and paneling. A three-story spiral stair rises in two curving flights from the entrance hall to the attic. About 1880, the present Greek Revival entrance and the Italianate front porch were constructed; a one-story frame wing was built perpendicular to the house at the south end in the early 1940s.
Built in 1823, Oakland is significant as one of the best representative examples of rural Federal architecture in the lower southern Maryland region. Its importance to ongoing studies of regional architectural traditions on both the state and local levels is further enhanced by its excellent state of preservation and relatively early construction date. In Charles County, where no unaltered examples of this house type dating before 1830 have been recorded, Oakland is a valuable architectural landmark, particularly noted for the quality of its interior ornamentation that includes a finely proportioned and detailed three story spiral stair. Its excellent woodwork, proportions and detailing, and its overall physical integrity, in combination with the fact that so few early Federal houses of comparable quality survive in the region, clearly establish Oakland as a locally significant example of this particular architectural form.