Dry Spring Farm

August 03, 2000|By PAT SCHOOLEY

Dry Spring Farm

Editor's note: This is the 130th in a series of articles about the historical and architectural treasures of Washington County.

Terms to know

Batten door: a door built by nailing boards (battens) together in a variety of ways.

Corbeled: decorated with projections, each jutting out more than the one below.

Finial: a pointed, symmetrical ornament.

Kas: a large, standing wardrobe with doors and wide, elaborate molding at its top. This furniture style came from Germany and Holland, and was used during the 18th century.

Colonnette: a miniature column

Thimble: a metal or terra cotta pipe set horizontally into a chimney to accept a stovepipe.

Weatherboarding: horizontal boards used to cover the exterior of a structure.

Kieffer Funk Road doglegs between Jefferson Boulevard and White Hall Road east of Hagerstown.


It runs through the margins of the city and pushes into farmland. On the east side of the road, behind a fringe of old trees and nestled among a collection of old farm buildings, is a handsome brick home resting on low stone foundations. A modern, single-story porch extends the width of the five-bay building, sheltering two entrances. Windows have nine-over-six sashes on the first floor and six-over-six sashes on the second, all under flat brick arches. Three corbeled brick chimneys pierce the roof of what was once Kieffer Funk's home.

In 1824, the date inscribed on the stone lodged high in the south gable of the house, the road was east of the house. It was built to face this road. The east facade is laid in Flemish bond and originally had six bays, with the northern two indented under the main roof span behind a double porch. This porch has been enclosed with a one-bay, two-story addition to its north.

Michael Zuck patented 130 acres in 1802 as "Peace and Plenty," combining parts of earlier patents called "Resurvey on Dry Spring," "Resurvey on George's Mistake," "George's Venture," "Barrens Chase" and "Rich Barrens." This land was deeded to Jacob Zuck three years later.

In 1813, H. Joseph Wolfe Sr. paid $3,900 for this parcel and bought two other pieces of land totaling about 166 acres. Joseph Wolfe was married to Elenorah Zuck, who was probably Jacob's daughter.

Log beginnings

Wolfe and his family lived on the farm in a weatherboarded log house with a walk-in brick fireplace. The house had a large room on the second floor that, according to family stories, was used for church services.

Once Joseph Wolfe built the present brick home, his son, Joseph M. Wolf, moved to the log house. He then inherited the farm. The farm passed to his son, Henry C. Wolf, then to Henry's daughter Maud, who was married to Kieffer Funk. Their children, Louise Beachley, Elizabeth Joachim, and Henry Funk, still hold the property.

Henry Funk lives in the brick house and manages the farm with his wife, Mildred, the fifth generation of his family to live and work there, and the seventh to hold title to the land.

Joseph Wolfe built a sturdy and comfortable house. Clay was scooped from the earth, pressed into molds - one of which can still be seen at the farm - and burned on the property. Doors are furnished with lever action, iron box locks. Chair rail decorates most rooms, and woodwork is molded. The original kitchen was in the north part of the house behind the lower porch.

It has a cooking fireplace with a firebox six-and-a-half feet wide and five-feet high under a simple mantel. A stairs enclosed with hand-planed, beaded-board walls stands in the southwest corner of the kitchen and leads to the second floor.

South of the kitchen, the living room spans the house and has exterior doors in both the east and west walls. Its fireplace has an elegant mantel with a wide shelf board, panels and colonnettes. The window that once looked out onto the lower porch has become a bookshelf. Three doors, each with six raised panels, are spaced along the south wall of this room. The westernmost door opens to a staircase that winds to the second floor, and the other two doors open into the two rooms occupying the south section of the house. The east room has a small fireplace with a simple mantel.

Interior brick walls span the house and extend through the second story, adding strength to the structure and providing a degree of fire safety.

Upstairs, the floor plan mirrors that of the first floor. The room above the living room, divided in two some time after the house was built, has a thimble to accommodate a stovepipe rather than a fireplace. The only other heat on this level is the small fireplace in the little bedroom in the southeast corner of the house.

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