John W. Crisfield House (Somerset House)

30556 Washington Street, Princess Anne, MD, 21853
(historic area of Princess Anne)
Built c 1755 and 1852 

7 bedrooms 4.5 bathrooms
4,200 square feet
0.64 acres

Two Historic Federal period homes

One of the three pre-Revolutionary homes in Princess Anne is a story-and-a-half frame house built by Andrew Francis Cheney on Lot 30, on what is now Somerset Avenue. Cheney moved it to the adjacent lot 25 in 1758, now on East Washington Street. The fully paneled partition wall in the parlor and exposed ceiling joists date from its original period.

In 1851 John W. Crisfield, a prominent attorney and promoter of the rail line to Somers Cove (now Crisfield), bought lot 30 and built a 2 ½ story frame house facing Main Street (Somerset Avenue). This house was one of the gable front dwellings built in the early 19th century inspired by the design of the Teackle Mansion. Instead of the usual transverse hall, however, Crisfield chose a side-hall entry, and added a Federal door with fluted pilasters and a fan light with modillioned pediment. The hall stairway to the 3rd floor is made with turned tiger maple balusters.

Mr. Crisfield lived in the house until his bankruptcy in 1876. Both structures were moved closer to each other by S. Frank Dashiell in 1929, and the parlor of the Cheney House has since been used as a dining room. Brick walkways wind through planned Boxwood gardens. A giant Ginkgo tree plus Dogwoods and Magnolia shade the walkways. Redwood pickets and privacy fencing define the grounds and gardens.

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