Many of you who have been following this blog already know the circumstances in which we came to live in this home. But lately, I’ve had so many questions on the subject of the house that I’ve decided to post about it, then put it on the sidebar with a link to this post.
Here’s the driveway as it looked back in October of last year when I came to see the property.
I want to respect their privacy, and although they have told me it’s alright to post photos of the house, I still don’t want to say too much about something that doesn’t belong to me.
The original section was built in 1769 and there was a large addition added in 1810 with a Widow’s Walk on the rooftop.
And yes, there is a way to get up there.
It has been documented that General George Washington, the General Marquis de Lafayette and several others were here on this property in the summer of 1777. They came to observe British troops, under the direction of General Howe, who were making landfall down on the river's edge about 8 miles away. This hill would have afforded an excellent view, using a telescope. But it didn’t show the whole story. Washington needed more intelligence and a small party was sent to investigate.
The story gets interesting here, because one of the soldiers was caught and hung as a spy. His name was Choffee, and he was an aide to Lafayette. He was a French watchmaker who was sympathetic toward the American cause.
Twelve years ago, when we first came to Maryland, we moved to a horse farm along the Elk River. It was there that the story was told to us of a ghost that haunted the property, a spy who was caught and hung in an old apple tree that had been long gone. I never saw him, however.
Local historian Ed Okonowicz wrote about Choffee in one of his books, “Pulling Back the Curtain”, in his Spirits Between the Bays series. To read the entire story, go to the link above where it will take you to an Amazon page and do a ‘search within this book’. Search for keywords Friendly Ghost. It will give you 3 pages (11-13). To read the rest of the story, search for the word re-enactors and you will be able to read the 3 remaining pages (14-16). I lived in the house right next door to where this took place and met “Penny” in the story. (Their real names were changed to protect their privacy).
Back to this house, though. Below are a few photos of the inside.
The dining room and former main staircase. This one leads to the master bedroom.
Walking towards the library which we’re using as a living room.
One of my favorite photos, on the shelf in the living room.
It isn’t in the best of condition and needs some loving care. But it’s really quite nice in a faded old grand dame sort of way. I don’t know how long we’ll be here. But I do know that we’re fortunate to have somewhere private and homey.
Until tomorrow, my friends . . .