Jennifer K. Cosham
Isaac Hoffman House
Paper Mill Drive, Hampstead, Carroll County
The Isaac Hoffman House is a two-story gable-roofed stuccoed stone farm house with a four bay façade (south elevation) with a one-story full length porch and a fully exposed foundation wall which also has four bays. The east gable end has 6/6 windows in the two bays in both stories and two four-pane windows in the gable. The west gable end has windows only in the southernmost bays (the northwest corner is the location of the winder stair on the interior). On the north façade, the first story is at ground level. There is a one-story, one bay frame addition with a shed roof located at the doorway to the west room which appears to have been built in the early 20th century. Also on this façade are two 6/6 windows on each story. The interior of the house has a three-room plan of Pennsylvania German derivation. The west room on the first story is the major room of the house. It has entrances on the front and rear directly opposite each other. The west wall of this room contains a fireplace mantel, paneled cupboards, door to the basement stair, and a winder stair with door in the northwest corner. The only surviving outbuilding is a stone springhouse (called a meat and milk house by the Shamer family). It is also sited to take advantage of the slope with ground level entrances on each of its two stories. It is a rectangular-shaped building with a gable roof covered with sheet metal.
The Isaac Hoffman House is significant because of its architectural characteristics. Built about 1850, the house is unusual because of its retention of traditional Pennsylvania German features at this late date, especially the three-room plan, bank house design, and the interior woodwork. Although Isaac Hoffman was a second generation American, he still used architectural traditions of Germanic derivation in the construction of this house. This is especially surprising in comparison to other architecture in Carroll County during this period which is beginning to show influence of national architectural trends on the vernacular farmhouse with L-shaped plan popular in this region.