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African-American
Houses
in Maryland
Dawson Street House
Bellevue
Talbot County

Wilson House
Galesville
Anne Arundel County

St. John's Caretaker's House

 

 

The three houses documented for this project are very different and provide insight into various styles and techniques used in constructing residences. Two of the houses, St. John’s Caretaker’s House and the Dawson Street House, were built in association with other buildings close by. St. John’s Caretaker’s House in Ruxton, Baltimore County, historically and currently provides a residence for the caretaker of St. John’s Church and Cemetery. The Dawson Street House located in Bellevue, Talbot County, is sited only a few feet away from the Dawson Street Store. The Wilson House in Galesville, Anne Arundel County, while not associated with any nearby buildings, has an interesting history of its own. The Wilson House is believed to have been owned and built by a freed slave.

Two of the houses, the Dawson Street House and the Wilson House, are of the same form, built as two-story, three-bay, frame dwellings. The Wilson House differs with the presence of a two-story braced-frame rear wing. The framing of the main sections on both houses is a form of transitional framing that includes the use of narrowly spaced vertical timbers combined with diagonal braces that add an extra measure of support to the frame. St. John’s Caretaker’s House exhibits a different form, built as a one-and-one-half story building with stone walls and a modern frame addition. The house is small, with the stone portion measuring only 20 feet wide by 18 feet deep.

As residences, each dwelling was built to provide a home for its occupants. While the construction dates are not definite, a general time period has been determined for each. These buildings provide examples of the variety of building styles and techniques used by African-Americans in these periods and locations.

Historical research suggests that both the Wilson House and the St. John’s Caretaker’s House were built by African-Americans. While there is little information available regarding the Dawson Street House, it is located in the historically African-American community of Bellevue and is believed to have been constructed by African-Americans.

Following more research, additional African-American homes in Maryland will be added to this website at a later date. This research will use the “Threatened Resources Documented in Maryland, 1995-1996” methodology as its basis. Slave quarters as well as freedmen’s homes will be featured.

 

 
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