784, , East Central Avenue (MD 214), , Mayo, , Anne Arundel County
Gresham is a large frame dwelling located near the town of Edgewater. Originally a late-18th century 5 bay 1 1/2-story dwelling, it was raised to 2 1/2 stories in the second quarter of the 19th century, and a 2-bay, 2 1/2-story wing was constructed at each end shortly thereafter, resulting in a 9-bay facade. The gable roof is asymmetrical; the rear catslide covers a transverse stair passage and extends to shelter an open porch. The building is sheathed in weatherboards, and rests on a partial foundation of granite. A deteriorated Colonial Revival portico until recently spanned the five central bays of the principal (south) facade, sheltering a Greek Revival, 2-vertical-panel door set within a beaded surround with a paneled frieze. Windows are predominantly wood 6/6 double-hung sash, although a few have been replaced with 2/2 sash, particularly on the first floor. A simple boxed cornice occurs on the south facade only. Two broad brick chimneys with corbeled caps rise from the roof ridge between the central block and the end wings. The interior block has been altered somewhat, most recently around the turn of the 20th century, but retains significant detailing.
Gresham derives significance primarily from its association with Commodore Isaac Mayo, who occupied the property beginning in the early 19th century until his death in 1861. A highly regarded and decorated officer in the U.S. Navy, his 53-year career ended in disgrace in 1861 when he attempted to resign in protest of Abraham Lincoln's blockade of seceded states; Lincoln refused to accept his resignation and dismissed him "with prejudice."