Monday, April 25, 2016

Washington Irving visits his friend John Pendleton Kennedy

Novelist Washington Irving (1783-1859) who bought a cottage in 1835, and transformed it into the fanciful "Sunnyside" in Tarrytown, NY (picture below) wrote about his visits to Kennedy's "Patapsco" country home outside of Ellicott City.  The house had been built c1820 by his father-in-law Edward Gray within his textile manufacturing complex by the Patapsco River, with additions built over the years.  John Pendleton Kennedy (1795-1870) was a lawyer, politician, Secretary of the Navy, novelist, reformer, historian and kept a detailed journal.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Oakland's outbuildings repurposed

A previous post HERE described Oakland. Next to the mansion is a stone wash house (left) which connects to the underground ice house holding 1200 bushels of ice. Nearby is the fancy carriage house.  In the farm section, now next to the man-made Wilde Lake on Hyla Point Road, is the old Oakland house, stone slave and blacksmith buildings, a sheep house, a spring house and a later-built barn.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Charles Sterrett Ridgely's name change and Oakland

Charles Ridgely Sterrett (1782-1847) legally changed his surname as requested by his mother's uncle Capt. Charles Ridgely, the builder of "Hampton" when he died in 1790.  Another heir of the childless Ridgely, Charles Carnan also added Ridgely to his name and inherited Hampton.  Built in 1811, Oakland underwent changes during its years of many owners. It is at 5430 Vantage Point Road, Columbia. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

B & O Railroad's Thomas Viaduct

This curved granite viaduct with eight arches was built in 1835.  Incredibly it is still being used... with modern heavy trains on the double tracks!  Designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe, Jr. (1806-78), the son of the architect of the US Capitol and Baltimore's Basilica, it was 612 feet long and cost over $142,000 or the equivalent of $3.8 million.  At the time it was called Latrobe's Folly, since it was so novel detractors thought it would fall down.