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'It's just a hill farm'

March 20, 1998|By PAT SCHOOLEY

by Richard T. Meagher / staff photographer

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This is the 101st in a series of articles on the historic and architectural treasures of Washington County, an area with more listed sites than any other in Maryland.

East of Md. 67, Park Hall Road meanders toward South Mountain past little farmsteads. On the right, set well back from the road, is a small, four-bay brick house with a log cabin just to the east and an ample pond to the west. There is a small barn behind the house, with several other accessory structures about the yard and a curve of woodlands behind. The driveway crosses a tiny spring-fed run on its way to this collection of tidy farm buildings. Outbuildings are painted traditional barn red, roofs are tight, foundations firm, doors hang square, and the vegetation is well-kept.

John Keefauver, a immigrant from Germany, took the oath of citizenship in 1798, listing his occupation as stone mason. The following year he purchased six acres-17 perches, with a spring, from Christopher Armsbarger for the price of 6 pounds. This parcel was part of an original land patent called "Chance Regained." Keefauver settled on his small acreage with his wife Barbara and their family, but he must have died shortly thereafter. In 1803 it was Barbara Keefawber (the spelling of the name was inconsistent throughout the records) who paid taxes on three cattle, furniture and six acres of land valued at 17 pounds per acre.

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In 1820, John and Barbara's oldest son John purchased the adjacent parcel of two acres and 32 perches, part of the land patent "Strife," for $143 from George Stine, another German immigrant. This triangular parcel was attached to the eastern boundary of his family homestead, and it was here he built the log cabin over one spring and beside another.




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