Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Doughoregan - bath house

The manor is known for its connection to Charles Carroll of Carrollton (1737-1832), who outlived all the other signers of the Declaration of Independence, and it is still owned by the family.  It had 'nut-shell' sized bedrooms and an out building that contained a freezing cold bath (pool) where CCofC 'plunged head foremost' every summer day at 4 AM! ...

Although extremely long (about 300 feet), Doughoregan has narrow hyphens and the main house is only 30 feet deep.  The center portion was built around 1727 by Charles Carroll the Founder, inherited by Charles Carroll of Annapolis, then to the Signer.  When CCofC owned it, the chapel was not connected and the house was a story and a half. It was raised to two stories by his grandson in the 1830s, as pictured above.

In 1823 a visitor wrote it was “an old manor house, built at sixes and sevens, patched and growing out in all shapes and manners, with no good room in it, and the main salon a passage-room and entrance hall … The bedrooms were all nut-shells, placed on either side of a long passage, which extended along the whole irregular length of the house. [It was]… expedient to stow close, many garcons being on those occasions packed in one room, and many virgins in another.  This practice, however, is one very commonly adopted in the United States, and is never object to."

Among the various outbuildings was a spring-fed bath.  The following picture of an outbuilding at Doughoregan looks like a bath house or spring house.

"At four o’clock every summer morning he walked alone and unattended, except by one or two little spaniels to a cold [ ] a good half mile from the house, of which he opened the doors and windows for himself, and always closed them again most punctually after he had finished his bath.  The bath was about four feet deep, and into this, cold as ice, the spring not being three yards from the building, this worthy veteran [at 85] used to plunge head foremost two and three times.  I frequently met him walking back at five o’clock at a swinging pace, on which occasions he used to triumph over me as indolent and lazy compared to himself."  
What did the Carroll's eat? A day of dining at Doughoregan HERE
First image from Martenet's map of Howard County, c1860.   Pool house from HABS.  Portrait from - Unpublished letters of Charles Carroll of Carrollton: and of his father of Doughoregan.  1902

Quotes from - Youthful America Selections from Henry Unwin Addington’s Residence in the United States of America, 1822, 23, 24, 25..     Berkeley: U OF CAL Press, 1960. More on Doughoregan HERE

©2016 Patricia Bixler Reber

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