As a history buff, I enjoy researching the history of older properties for they always have an interesting provenance. In the early 1920’s, this site was originally the location for a sawmill that provided lumber for many of the houses along Main St. and ironically this house was the last one to use lumber from the mill after its closing. The original owners unfortunately lost the house during the Great Depression and the next owner was James Stafford, who was the Stationmaster for the town’s train station. On the day I visited, I noticed a plaque with the name ”Devondale” on one of the piers flanking the driveway. I later learned that his wife was Scottish and the layout of the beautiful lawn and garden that wraps around the house was a replica of a Scottish Garden design. The couple hosted tea parties in the garden and neighborhood children enjoyed picking dandelions for pay.
The front elevation of the house is rich in details including the medallions above the front porch columns, the wide bay projection onto the front porch with horizontal window headers of decorative trim work and decorative trim under the windows, the smaller second story bay window projections with vertical headers of decorative trim work and the half-moon trim work at the hipped roof dormers. The wrap-around porch once continued to the garden side of the house but is now partially enclosed it as part of a home office suite that included a vestibule added in front of the original entry door. One could easily remove the vestibule and open up the entire front porch and still have plenty of room for a sunroom overlooking the side garden.
The front door opens to the spacious foyer that is dominated by the magnificent “U” shaped free-standing stairway with stained wood paneled newel posts, treads, risers and cap rail with white balusters and layers of white molding covering the stair stringer. Behind the open stair is a hall to the dining room opposite the office suite. The stair is beautifully framed by the wide wall opening into the living room with its wide bay wall projection on axis with another wide wall opening to the dining room for great flow. Behind the dining room is a powder room and pantry next to the kitchen.
Off the kitchen is a charming breakfast area with built-in cabinetry. Expanding the kitchen into the breakfast area would give the cook windows overlooking the beautiful garden and the adjacent former office could then become the breakfast room to maintain its garden views. The rear door of the kitchen leads to the service areas of mud room, laundry and utility room. The mud room has room for a coat closet and/or cubbies and steps lead down to the large one-car garage/workshop with a grid of windows to the landscape.
The second floor bay windows on the front elevation are located in two guest rooms and one bedroom has a side window with a seat below between two closets. The primary bedroom suite and fourth bedroom are located at the rear of the floor plan with a hall bath for the guest rooms and an ensuite bath including the original claw-foot tub for the primary bedroom. The stairs continue to the third floor open plan area with sunlight from the dormer windows illuminating the original wide plank pine floors. I am always drawn to spaces like this tucked under the roof eaves and this space is a blank canvas for myriad uses.
At the rear corner of the property is a carriage house complete with a kitchen for long term guests or possible rental income. As I walked through the garden surrounded by mature trees, I imagined how enjoyable it would have been to be a guest at one of the garden parties, sipping my tea, nibbling on a Scottish scone and listening to the music from the piano player in the foyer.
Wonderful home with details and craftsmanship not often found today, high ceilings, moldings, abundant light from large windows, outdoor spaces of the established garden waiting for the next gardener’s finishing touches and the front porch, all in a great location off 301 for commuters and close to Chestertown’s amenities.
For more information about this property, contact Mary Fielding with Coldwell Banker Chesapeake Real Estate Company at 410-778-0330 (o), 410-708-4852 (c) , or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more photographs and pricing, visit https://www.coldwellbanker.com/coldwell-banker-chesapeake-real-estate-company-2228c/chestertown-office-76035d, “Equal Housing Opportunity”.
Photography by Janelle Stroop, Thru the Lens Photography, 410-310-6838, Janelle@thruthelensphotos.com
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.