Spy House of the Week: “Tulley’s Fancy”


Over the past year, I have been drawn many times to the historical properties along Langford Creek and the Chester River. What attracted me to this farmhouse was its simplicity with a hint of Shaker design, its modest scale and the fact that it is one of the few surviving Federal houses in Kent County. The two-story part of the house stepped down to a secondary wing with a front porch. A two-story rear addition added screened porches on both levels of the house, a kitchen on the first floor and a small study and bath on the second floor.

The serene picturesque landscape over thirteen acres includes various outbuildings from its farming heyday including a large barn, granary, a milk house now used as a studio and a garage at the water’s edge waiting for a creative new use.

When you opened the front door to the entrance hall, the vista led you through the house to the sunroom and views of the landscape and the Creek beyond. Both the dining room and the sitting room had floor to ceiling built-in cabinetry in soft hues. Both rooms had the original working fireplaces as did the two upstairs bedrooms. The compact kitchen at the rear of the house had tall windows for views to the water and access to the sunroom for al-fresco dining.

I loved the first floor bedroom suite that was the one-story wing of the house. . The bedroom had beautiful wide pine flooring and exposed ceiling rafters stained very dark brown under the white washed decking above. The antique wood bed frame with its low headboard and footboard, white bed linen, other antique furnishings and art accents created a restful retreat. The wing was set back from the two-story part of the house that created space for a deck with views to the landscape and water beyond.

Both second floor bedrooms had built-in cabinetry and other unique features. The master bedroom had an alcove for a small study with a window overlooking the landscape and water and a door to the sunporch. The other bedroom had a Dutch door to the sunporch. As lovely as these bedrooms were, if I were a guest I would claim the porch as my sleeping space. I especially appreciated how the original railing had been preserved and the wall of glass panels made the spaces four-season rooms.

It was very easy to take a fancy to Tulley’s Fancy. The soft muted tones of the painted wood work that differed from room to room, the wide plank pine flooring, the Shaker simplicity of the details, the compact floor plan and the serene setting made this unique property the perfect weekend retreat for the harried city dweller.
If you are looking for a picture perfect Christmas card, this house in the snow would be hard to resist!


For more information about this property, contact Nancy McGuire with Maryland Heritage Properties at 410-778-9319 (o) 443-480-7342 (c) or nmcguire@MDHeritage.properties, “Equal Housing Opportunity”

Spy House of the Week is an ongoing series that selects a different home each week. The Spy’s Habitat editor Jennifer Martella makes these selections based exclusively on her experience as a architect.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee.



Letters to Editor

  1. Joanne Ghio says

    On one hand, I find these articles very interesting. They show one more aspect of how beautiful our county is. On the other hand, I find the photography very frustrating. The pictures almost always show small slices of the home and property. True, details are important, but I believe some wider angle shots that give a feel for the entire structure, individual rooms, and the setting would make the visuals extremely more interesting and helpful.

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