Daniel C. Church
Lower Marlboro Road (MD 262), Lower Marlboro, Calvert County
The Grahame House, or Patuxent Manor, is an 18th century original 1 1/2-story brick shell with a steeply pitched gable roof. Facing west towards the Patuxent, the house, over a high basement, is five bays long and three bays deep, constructed of brick laid in Flemish bond with glazed headers. All the 9/6 sash windows have segmental arches consisting of two rows of header brick. The window sills are molded brick as is the watertable cap. The two windows high in the basement have segmental arches and have vertical iron grille bars built into the brickwork. The central entrance door has a transom. A chimney is built into each gable-end wall. The three gable-roofed dormers on the roof appear to be 20th century, with 6/6 sash windows. The 1 1/2-story, two-bay wide addition to the south gable end of the house, with exterior walls of beaded clapboard and a single gabled dormer appears of early construction. The alterations have included the purchase and removal of the fine paneling throughout the house to the Henry Francis duPont Winterthur Museum, Delaware, and the absence of the original door and window frames. The 1971 owners installed modern sashes, filled the old openings with brick, and were attempting to reconstruct the interior paneling.
Grahame House is significant for its architecture, as a mid-18th century Flemish bond tidewater house, and for its association with the late-18th century owner of the house. Charles Grahame was associated with Frederick Calvert, sixth Lord Baltimore, through Grahame's brother, David Grahame (who married Calvert's cousin, Charlotte Hyde) and with Thomas Johnson, first elected Governor of the State of Maryland, through Grahame's son (who married Johnson's daughter). Charles Grahame's political career, which included helping to draft Maryland's first constitution (1776) and the province's protest to the Stamp Act (1765), as well as his election to the first session of the Maryland Senate (1777), brought Grahame into contact with the leaders of Maryland politics, including two Signers of the Declaration of Independence: Samuel Chase and William Paca. Sometime after 1755, Grahame purchased several tracts of land near Lower Marlboro in Calvert County. Grahame may have built the Grahame House in the 1750s, or he may have used a house already on the property. Evidence suggests that a house existed before 1732 on the same tract as the present building.