Meadow Brook Farm
1006, Taneytown Pike (MD 140), Westminster, Carroll County
Meadow Brook Farm is an excellent example of the Victorian period's influence on rural architecture in Carroll County, Maryland. The farmhouse is a two-story brick structure that was built in the Pennsylvania German style circa 1805 by John Roop. It has a gable roof, symmetrical façade, and L-shaped plan which are typical Pennsylvania German farmhouse features in this region. In 1868, John Roop's grandson, Samuel Roop, inherited the property and remodeled the exterior and interior to contemporary rural Victorian standards, including the addition of a Gothic-style porch, a bracket cornice with gable dormer, ornamental fireplace mantels, and interior woodwork. In the 1880s, a bathhouse that still contains its period fixtures was erected on the west gable end. The property contains several period outbuildings including an 1809 two-story brick washhouse, brick smokehouse, brick privy, and brick tenant house. Thus the house and farm complex as they exist today represent two significant periods in Carroll County history. The first is the period of extensive settlement by Pennsylvania Germans in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The second is the period of expanding commerce and prosperity for the farmers in Carroll County during the late 19th century. The complex of buildings has a high level of integrity of the historic setting of a farmstead with large expanses of fields surrounding it.
Meadow Brook Farm provides an interpretation of two significant periods in Carroll County agricultural history. The original structure was built during a period of intense immigration by Pennsylvania Germans and the house, outbuildings, and farm plan reflect the ethnic heritage of the German settlers in Carroll County. The evolution of the house during the 19th century portrays the development of a farm complex under the ownership of a prosperous Carroll County farmer. Of particular significance is the Victorian remodeling of the farm house that represents the late 19th century heritage of this agricultural community and the influence of national themes in domestic architecture. The property is still owned by descendents of the original builder and thus its history to this point continues to reflect the evolution of one farm property under the same family's ownership. Significance is also acquired from association with one particular owner, Samuel Roop, who played an important role in Carroll County history. Roop served as President of the Westminster and Meadow Branch Turnpike Company which was responsible for the construction and maintenance of a road that ran past Meadow Brook Farm. He was also involved as a Director of the Carroll County Agricultural Society, as the first President of the Farmers and Planters Livestock Mutual Aid Association of Carroll County, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Mutual Fire Insurance Company in Carroll County. In 19th century rural Carroll County, Roop's role in the county was atypical of the life of the average farmer.