Historic Homes Marketing Group
Manor of Truman's Place c.1770 is considered one of the most significant historic estates in Charles County. Its masterful brick architecture and sophisticated 19th century detailing combine w/modern amenities, like a spacious gourmet kitchen & a great room w/vaulted ceiling, to offer an elegant living experience close to DC, yet a world away. Beautifully sited amid lawns and meadows and surrounded by woodland on 40+ private acres, this extraordinary estate includes a newly renovated guest house with lots of light and charm, a carriage house converted to a cozy 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath home with an attached stable, an over-sized 3 car garage and a vintage barn. The grounds include a patio, gardens, gazebo, coy pond, and meandering trails through mature woods. This is a home of rare and beautiful distinction.
Manor of Truman’s Place takes its name from a 1,000 acre proprietary manor grant to Henry Darnell in 1664, one of thirteen manor grants made in Charles County between 1642 and 1680. Darnell conveyed the 1,000 acres by assignment to Nathaniel Truman, a Calvert County justice, to whom a patent was issued in 1666. Truman’s Place is a mid-nineteenth century, two and one-half story, gable-roofed brick house with a two-story kitchen-service wing. Its late-Federal design belies its origin as a one-story, two-part dwelling. The original dwelling, built by Richard Gardiner between 1759 and 1782, was of Flemish bond, brick construction with a five bay front elevation, built in the familiar four room design with a centered rear stair passage. The home was enlarged by Richard’s grandson, Thomas Gardiner in about 1850. The roofs of both parts of the house were raised, and a Greek Revival-style porch was added. The house has had various restorations, while today, the house has been lovingly restored by the owners with a gathering space addition to take advantage of the view of the rear sunken garden with koi pond and gazebo. Truman’s Place was impacted during the British temporary occupation of the area when the British, on their march to Washington, burned the separate kitchen.
SOME POTENTIAL USES: Elegant Residential Estate. Equestrian Facility Bed & Breakfast - Near to Baltimore, DC & Chesapeake Bay Wedding & Events Venue
HISTORIC SIGNIFICANCE Taking its name from a 1,000-acre proprietary manor grant to Nathaniel Truman in 1666, of which this property was a part, Truman's Place is the largest and most sophisticated mid-19th century brick house of its architecture in Charles County. Particularly noteworthy features include its overall scale and composition, the five-bay, central passage plan of the main block, and the bracketed eaves and window cornices of the principal facade. Most Charles County houses of this period, during which the three-bay/side-passage plan was the most favored, exhibit considerable restraint in their exterior decorations; the exuberant treatment of the front cornices and windows of Truman's Place are especially important when viewed in that context. Contributing to the local significance of the building is the remarkable similarity between its 19th century masonry and other construction details and design elements to three other substantial brick structures in this locality. These buildings, all of similar age and designed and constructed by Baltimore contractors, represent the first complete break from regional vernacular forms and construction methodology, and were the last "important" houses to be built here until several decades after the Civil War. Of these buildings, Truman's Place is by far the most architecturally refined. Also of interest is the fact that the house evolved to its present plan and appearance from a considerably older, one-story, two-part dwelling. The outer walls of the earlier building are clearly evident in the exterior masonry of all four elevations of the existing structure and constitute the only local example of its design to survive in any physical form. The original dwelling was built by Richard Gardiner between 1759 and 1782, and enlarged by Richard's grandson, Thomas I. Gardiner, c. 1850. The Gardiner family, who figured prominently in the county's social and economic history throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, retained ownership of Truman's Place until 1938. MHT more...
DESCRIPTION A 2 1/2-story brick structure, to which is joined a smaller two-story brick wing, Truman's Place was built on a north-south axis. The formal, five-bay principal elevation of the main block faces west and features a bracketed eave cornice and ornamental boxed cornices over the first floor windows. The four-bay rear elevation has a centered door but an asymmetrical arrangement of windows. The north end is unbroken except for a small window near the gable peak, and two flush gable chimneys stand at each end of the dormered roof. The lower, one-room deep service wing has an unbalanced composition of windows and doors, a bracketed eave cornice on the west front, and an exterior chimney with stepped weatherings. The masonry of both parts of the house incorporate the brick shell of a c. 1770, one story, five-bay dwelling with a kitchen-service wing. The Flemish bond brickwork of the earlier structure contrasts sharply with the common bond masonry used in raising the two parts of the original house to their present height c. 1850. The interior of Truman's Place was in extremely poor physical condition by the late 1930's and has been largely rebuilt. Its 19th century center hall plan remains essentially unaltered, but the structural framing, as well as the woodwork and other finishes are contemporary with its 1938-1946 rehabilitation. Exterior features of the same vintage include slate roof shingles and a pedimented architrave framing the transomed entrance door. Ancillary structures, including a tenant house with an attached stable, a tobacco barn, a garden shed, and a three-bay garage, all date from the 20th century. MHT more...