Paul Baker Touart
Old Rehobeth Road (MD 667), Hudson Corner, Somerset County
The Lankford House is a two-story, four-bay, single-pile frame house constructed c. 1834-1840. Facing north, the main house extends to the east with a single story frame hyphen which connects a late-18th century frame kitchen. Each portion of the house rests on a minimal stuccoed brick foundation and is uniformly sheathed with beaded weatherboards. Interior brick chimneys rise from each gable end of the roof. The front elevation of the house is divided into four evenly spaced bays with the front door occupying the second bay from the west. The six-panel door is framed by a molded surround and topped by a four-light transom. The remaining first and second floor openings are filled with 9/6 sash windows with louvered shutters. Stretching above the second floor windows is a modillioned cornice with punch decorated fascia. The west gable end has two 9/6 sash windows on each floor in addition to two smaller attic windows. The south side of the house is partially covered by a shed-roofed porch, which shelters two exterior 6-panel doors and two 9/6 sash windows. Four 9/6 sash pierce the second floor, and the same modillioned cornice stretches across the base of the roof. The east gable end is partially covered by the single story hyphen which appears to date from the same period as the main house. The kitchen is the oldest structure on the site and listed on the 1798 Federal Assessment. The main house is divided into two equally sized rooms and fitted with Greek Revival period mantels, chair rail, doors, and architraves. A 19th century Lankford family burial plot is located behind the house. Also on the property is a mid-19th century frame smokehouse.
The Lankford house derives its significance from its architecture. First, the farmhouse is a well-preserved example of the two-story single pile house type with conservative, but well executed, Greek Revival trim and woodwork. The modillioned cornice with arched and drilled fascia is especially noteworthy, and is exactly like the cornice found on a nearby farmhouse dated 1829. The three- board remnant of a horizontal board partition in the old kitchen's loft is an important survival of a rarely found room divider. The partition evidently separated the stair from the body of the room. In addition to the well-executed woodwork, the main house with its two-room plan and center two doors is a common form in rural areas of northern Maryland in the 19th century, but rare in Somerset County on the lower Eastern Shore. Finally, the Lankford House is a significant example of the rebuilding process which many farms experienced during the late 18th and 19th centuries. This farmhouse and adjacent hyphen apparently stand on or near the site of an 18th century dwelling. The 1783 and 1798 tax assessments refer to a single story hall/parlor frame house with brick ends that measured 36' by 16'. The kitchen, listed in 1798, measured 20' by 16'; this structure was incorporated in the present dwelling during a rebuilding campaign in the 1830s. The Lankford House presents significant evidence of the reuse of buildings and materials in 19th century rebuilding practices.