Photo credit: Donna Ware , 03/1986

Property Name: Rosehill
Date Listed: 5/29/1987
Inventory No.: AA-191
Location: 2403, Bell Branch Road, Davidsonville, Anne Arundel County

Description: Rosehill consists of 17 acres of partially wooded and cleared land on which are located a dwelling and six outbuildings. The dwelling, which faces northeast, displays a complex construction evolution originating from a mid-18th century frame, 1 1/2-story double pile plan house with an unusual short side passage. This is believed to be the first documented example of this form in the Chesapeake Bay region. During the 18th century this plan was slightly altered with the lengthening of the passage. In the early 19th century the 1 1/2-story kitchen wing (on the southeast) was connected to the main block. A 2-story frame side-passage, single-pile plan wing was added to the northwest gable end of the main block about 1850. In 1879 an addition was made to the southwest elevation of this wing, resulting in the present telescoping configuration of the house. The main block and wings rest on stone foundations. A cellar is located under the c. 1850 wing. The exterior walls are covered with weatherboard siding, reflecting when each wing was added to the main block. Early weatherboard siding survives on the exterior southwest elevation of the main block. The windows are predominantly 6/6 sash. Each section is heated by an interior chimney, that in the main block placed slightly off-center at the northwest gable end and heating only the southwest rooms on both floors. The kitchen is heated by a massive stone chimney which is centered on the southeast wall, and is brick above the roof ridgeline. The northwest portion of the house is heated by a brick stove chimney which is located in the center of a partition wall between the c. 1850 wing and the 1879 addition. The interior plan and Federal and mid-19th century finishing have been maintained with minor alterations. The six ancillary structures include an early-19th century frame corn house, a documented 1821 frame tobacco barn, a log outbuilding, a late-19th century stable, and a late-19th or early-20th century pumphouse.

Significance: Rosehill is significant architecturally for the dwelling which displays a complex construction evolution originating from a mid-18th century frame, 1 1/2-story double pile plan house with an unusual short side passage. This is believed to be the first documented example of this form in the Chesapeake Bay region. It is also significant for the survival of the log and frame outbuildings which range in type and period of construction. Of special note is the tobacco barn, constructed in 1821 for Samuel Hopkins by Francis Van Ness of Westmoreland County, Virginia. Rosehill is also important for its association with the Hopkins family which owned the property for 173 years, from 1799 until 1972.




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