Anne Dennis Lewis
16112, Barnesville Road (MD 117), Boyds, Montgomery County
The Drury-Austin House, facing east on a wooded hillside south of Barnesville Road, is a 1 1/2-story dwelling comprising two sections: a late-18th century one-room plan log house (the southern half), which was doubled in size by the addition of a one-room timber frame section in the early 19th century. A one-story shed spans the rear elevation. The log section has a large exterior chimney on the south gable with a stone base and brick stack; the shed-roofed kitchen attached to the log house has a similar, but smaller, chimney. The original building is constructed of logs hewn on two faces, joined with V-notched corner timbering, and chinked with flat stones set in mortar. The shed-roofed kitchen addition and the gable above the roof plate are sheathed with weatherboards. The frame section and its shed are clad in German siding. The east facade is five bays wide; the three southern bays are in the log section, with a central entrance consisting of a five-panel door, flanked by window openings. The frame section has a window in its northernmost bay and a batten door painted to simulate four panels in the bay adjoining the log section. The south gable is dominated by the chimney. A small square window to the right of the chimney stack lights the half-story. The north gable has a window centered on both stories. An interior brick stove stack exits from the roof slightly to the west of the ridge. The rear elevation is spanned by a one-story shed. On the log section it is sheathed in weatherboards and has a centrally placed window; on the frame section the shed is clad in German siding and has a batten door. Corrugated metal covers the roof, replacing side-lapped wood shingles. The log house interior is whitewashed, with a boxed winder stair in the northwest corner and a broad fireplace in the south wall. Late-19th century tongue-and-groove boards are applied over the ceiling joists, which were originally whitewashed and left exposed. Flooring is of wide boards. The half story is whitewashed up to the plate; the interior of the roof remains unfinished, revealing common rafters lapped at the ridge with half-lapped collar beams secured with wrought nails. The interior of the frame section is finished in plaster over sawn lath, and floors are tongue-and-groove. Where visible, major structural members are found to be of squared timbers joined with mortise and tenon, but the intermediate posts are unsquared poles. The ground slopes downward from south to north, so that the south end of the log section rests directly on log sills, while the north end has a stone foundation which joins that of the frame section. A shallow cellar under the frame section is accessible through a bulkhead entrance in the north end.
The Drury-Austin House is significant as an essentially unaltered example of the type of dwelling that characterized western Montgomery County in the earliest phase of its settlement. Characteristic features include hewn log construction with V-notched corner-timbering, one-room plan with rear shed kitchen, 1 1/2-story height, and exterior chimneys with fieldstone bases and brick stacks. These features remain intact and clearly expressed. The frame additions are also of interest as they reflect the changing spatial needs of the Austin family and the development of new construction techniques.