Corbett Historic District
1615-1827, Corbett Road, Monkton, Baltimore County
The Corbett Historic District is a group of 20 dwellings, a doctor’s office, a former store/post office, and a school (the latter two buildings have been converted to residences) comprising the village of Corbett in rural northern Baltimore County, Maryland. Most of the buildings date from c. 1880 through c. 1920, reflecting the period of Corbett’s development as a stop on the Northern Central railroad, and a local commercial, industrial, and transportation center for the surrounding farms. Two earlier buildings--a c. 1830 Greek Revival influenced stone farmhouse and its associated tenant house--are located within the community, remnants of the original farm upon which the community was developed following the advent of the railroad. With these two exceptions, the houses in the village are all of frame construction and conform to vernacular or popular types of the period. Most numerous are two-story gable-roofed vernacular "I-houses" three bays wide by one room deep, usually with an ell or shed kitchen at the rear; several of these present a regional variant incorporating a four-bay first-floor façade with entrances in each of two central bays. These houses are generally clad in German siding, and their decorative detailing is confined to turned or scroll-sawn porch trim and occasionally imbricated shingles in the gable peaks. The influence of late 19th century pattern books is apparent in other houses, including two 2 ½-story gable fronted dwellings (16207 and 16209 Corbett Village Lane). Pivotal structures within the district include the former general store/post office at 1702 Corbett Road, a large six-bay by two-bay building located opposite the site of the 1888 railroad depot (demolished). Also noteworthy are the large homes of the two brothers, a builder and a sawmill operator, whose activities were responsible for much of Corbett’s development: 15213 Corbett Village Lane, home of builder Marion Merryman, is a massive Mansard-roofed dwelling with a wraparound porch; Lumberman Robery Merryman constructed an outstanding 3-story Queen Anne house at 1732 Corbett Road, with a wealth of sawn and turned wooden ornament. A large and ornate Colonial Revival house is located at 16205 Corbett Road. Early 20th century structures include a small office constructed by the town’s first physician, and a Foursquare house whose prefabricated components were brought in by the convenient railroad. The buildings are clustered along Corbett Road, centering on its intersection with the railroad tracks, and along the town’s single side street, Corbett Village Lane (formerly Railroad Avenue), which runs north from Corbett Road paralleling the tracks. Of the 23 major structures within the district, 21 contribute to its significance.
The Corbett Historic District is locally significant for its association with the growth of small centralized communities in rural Baltimore County as a result of the development of rail transportation in the area into the late 19th century. The district comprises a cohesive group of buildings reflecting the village’s importance as a local commercial, industrial, and transportation center around the turn of the 20th century. The frame houses which predominantly characterize the district display Victorian ornament in the form of turned spindles and balusters, scroll-sawn brackets, and imbricated shingles, recalling the importance of the sawmill to the town’s early economy. The district retains its turn-of-the-20th-century character, with few insensitive alterations and little recent construction.