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Rosemont

May 14, 1998|By PAT SCHOOLEY

summer kitchen

Editor's note: This is the 103rd in a series of articles about the historic and architectural treasures of Washington County.

The modest brick home on the east side of Sharpsburg Pike just north of Tilghmanton looks like many homes scattered throughout the county.

Accessory buildings have accumulated around it in an orderly fashion: a small timber-frame barn, hog pen, wood-frame summer kitchen with an attached log smokehouse, clapboard garage, buggy shed/blacksmith shop, chicken coop and potting shed. This simple homestead reflects 19th- and early 20th-century life in Washington County and the way homesteads evolved to fit the economy of the time and the families who lived in them.

The three-bay house is built of logs and cased in brick. The log core probably was built around 1835. A three-bay brick ell extends to the east behind the house, and there is evidence that it replaced an original kitchen wing which was probably built of log. A galleried two-story porch to the south has a two-story bay window that appears to have been added later. The ell ends in a narrow, two-story frame addition.

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The main entrance faces the road and opens into a broad hall on the north side of the house. A simple staircase on the left rises to a landing. The newel post is small, square, chamfered and topped with a knob; the balusters are rectangular.

bedWoodwork around the doors comes from several different periods, depending on when they were trimmed. To the right is the parlor and beyond it, in the ell, the dining room followed by the kitchen. Enclosed stairs lead from the kitchen to the second floor, where there are four bedrooms.

The present owners, George and Anne Anikis, had been looking for a home in the country for some time when they were charmed by this unpretentious home. Here was a house with possibilities, and they bought it immediately. Restoration began, but so did research into the history of the property.

Reserve No. 1 to Conocheague Manor was first surveyed by John Morton Jordan in 1768, then sold to Thomas Ringgold. It passed through the Ringgold family to Anna Marie Ringgold Tilghman, wife of Frisby Tilghman. Anna Marie died in 1843, followed by her husband in 1847. Two years later, a 49-acre portion of Reserve No. 1 was sold to William McAttee to settle Frisby Tilghman's estate. Since Sharpsburg Pike was straightened about 1830, the road now came past Reserve No. 1, and the village of Tilghmanton was established around 1834.

McAttee subdivided his land into lots. He sold the 10-acre parcel upon which Rosemont sits to George Lowman for $864.94 in 1851. Since McAttee sold the other parcels in Reserve No. 1 for about $70 an acre, it is likely that the log house already was there when Lowman made his $86.50 per acre purchase.

George Lowman died intestate in 1856, and his widow bought the property at auction. She sold it to Henry Line in 1858. Line died five years later, leaving two small children, and the property became the object of an equity case.

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