Photo credit: Donna Ware , 04/1985

Property Name: Childs Residence
Date Listed: 3/3/1986
Inventory No.: AA-110
Location: 1003, Cecil Avenue, Millersville, Anne Arundel County

Description: The Childs Residence complex consists of a c. 1840 frame dwelling with a large, c. 1852, frame addition, a c. 1840 frame smokehouse/dairy; and a c. 1920 frame store. The dwelling consists of two sections: a c. 1840 one-room plan, 1 1/2-story structure with a slightly lower rear wing, from which extends a larger, c. 1852, two-story central passage, double-pile plan dwelling. The main block is wider than the earlier wing, creating a broken facade line with the wing set back from the main block. The wings are covered with more steeply pitched gable roofs than the main block. The house rests on a low stone foundation, is covered with weatherboard siding, and has a standing-seam metal roof. There are four interior gable-end chimneys in the main block, and two in the east wing--one at the east gable end and another at the north gable end of the rear wing. A one-story hip roofed porch supported by eight turned posts with jig-sawn brackets runs across the facade of the house, following the broken facade line. In addition to the ornate brackets, the porch is embellished further with a dentiled cornice. A louvered screen closes the west end of the porch. The principal entrance is located in the center bay of the south facade of the main block. It is composed of a six-panel door, flanked by four-pane sidelights. The rear entrance is covered by a door hood supported by diagonal bracing. There is an entrance in the east wing on the front facade which consists of a late-19th century arched-panel door. There are two entrances into the rear wing, both on the west elevation. The southernmost has a batten door. Windows on the house are predominantly 6/6 sash with louvered shutters. The first story of the main block has large 2/2 sash windows which extend to the floor. The half-story level of the east wing has 3-light windows on the facade, and 6-pane casement windows on the remaining elevations. The interior plan and finishings have been maintained with minor alterations. The c. 1840 heavy timber-frame constructed smokehouse has a rosehead nail-studded door. A dairy was added in the late 19th century. The store was constructed in 1920 after a fire destroyed an earlier one on the site.

Significance: The Childs Residence is locally significant as the dwelling of the first Postmaster in Millersville, and for having continuously served as the Post Office and community store for 130 years. Millersville, named for the first Postmaster, George Miller, was the first Post Office to be designated, in 1841, along the Annapolis & Elkridge Railroad (the A & E). Completed in 1840, the A & E was one of the earliest rail lines in this country, connecting Annapolis with the Washington Branch of the B & O Railroad. Today Millersville is still a small crossroads village, surrounded by existing and proposed modern residential and industrial park development. The Childs Residence is the focal point of the town; it is the visual link to the past significance of this rural commercial center. Architecturally, the Childs Residence is typical of the popular form of mid-19th century domestic architecture in America. It has been relatively unaltered and has retained its architectural integrity, giving a sense of time and place to the village of Millersville. Also noteworthy are the surviving smokehouse and rural store.




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