Charity V. Davidson
Mill Swamp Road, Mill Swamp, Anne Arundel County
Larkin's Hundred is a two-story brick house, the south side being laid in Flemish bond and the north, east, and west walls in English bond. Pairs of massive interior chimneys are inset at the east and west ends of the house. All are paneled with molded caps. The principal entrance is in the center bay of the five-bay-wide south facade, but is located very slightly west of center. The entrance consists of a four-panel door surmounted by a four-light transom. Windows on the south facade are 9/6 on the first floor, with single-brick jack arches. Those on the second floor are 6/6 with segmental brick arches. All have louvered shutters. A single-brick string course is found between the two stories. The east gable end contains two small 4/4 windows on the first floor and two on the second floor, close to the edges of the building. Each of these has a single louvered shutter. Another small 4/4 window appears in the attic gable between the massive chimneys. A white clapboard kitchen wing at the west end was added in 1870, and holds a single 6/6 window on its south facade and an external chimney on its west gable end. A noteworthy interior feature is a graceful stairway of American walnut that divides at the landing so that all bedrooms have a direct access to the landing. A handsome painted cupboard is built into the paneling of the drawing room.
Tradition maintains that Larkin's Hundred was built in 1704 by Thomas Larkin, a son of John Larkin of nearby Larkin's Hill. However, structural evidence suggest it was actually constructed in the second quarter of the 18th century for Captain Joseph Cowman, a mariner and wealthy Quaker. Measuring approximately 50' x 32', Larkin's Hundred was one of the largest dwellings in Anne Arundel County when it was built. It is an authentic example of a Maryland house designed in a transitional style, retaining some medieval characteristics but exhibiting a definite trend toward later, more formal and symmetrical Georgian detail. The house has size and substance on the outside, and serenity of proportion and fine paneling on the inside.