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20857 Indian Bridge Road, Great Mills, MD 20634



Single Family Home5+ Bedrooms3 Bathrooms2,946 SqftPool: None

Property Details

  • $475,000
  • Property Type: Single Family Home
  • MLS Number: SM10213404
  • Pool: None
  • Bedrooms: 5+
  • Stories: 2
  • Bathrooms: 3
  • Property Status: For Sale
  • Acreage: 2
  • Fireplaces: 2
  • Square Footage: 2,946
  • Year Built: 1898
  • 2 Acres - 4 Season Porch - An additional 80 Acres For Purchase - Barn/Shed - Double Pane Insulated Windows - French Doors - Gourmet Kitchen - Historic District - In-Law Suite - Main Level Full Bathroom - National Register of Historic Places - Original Wood Cooking Stove - Pastoral Views - Sunroom - Two Staircases - Wall to Wall Carpeting - Wood Floors
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      Historic Cecil House c.1898
      This beautiful and well maintained historic home is one of 4 significant structures in the Cecil’s Mill Historic District, close to DC & Baltimore. Featuring 5 bedrooms, an in-law suite, gorgeous gourmet kitchen with the additional original cast iron cooking stove, a spacious sun room with views of fields and distant woods, and a “rocking chair” front porch with views of the country store and old mill. This historic landmark is a tribute to a bygone era, and with the surrounding historic district and the purchase of the additional approximately 80 acres, this property may be ideal for a winery and vineyard, or a country inn/B&B with a significant historic setting, or bring your horses/horse farm, all in a small town environment.  This property is truly a once in several generation opportunity, since the property has never been for sale.

      This is a home of rare and beautiful distinction, close to to Washington DC, yet a world away.

      *Additional approx. 80 adjoining acres is available at $299,000 or with the house at $759,000. (PLAT)


      Main Floor
      Center Hall 20′ x 9′ – Wood floor, hanging lamp, staircase.
      Living Room 16′ x 11′ – Carpet, built-in cabinets, hanging lamp, 2 french doors to Dining Room, 3 windows.
      Dining Room 16′ x 12′ – Carpet, fireplace (decorative) with wood mantel, ceiling fan, 2 windows.
      Den 15′ x 12′ – Carpet, fireplace (decorative) with wood mantel, built-in cabinets, ceiling fan, 5 windows.
      4 Season Porch 18′ x 8′ – Carpet, ceiling fan, exterior door, 6 windows.
      Kitchen 26′ x 14′ – Wood floor, electric appliances, granite counters, double sink, stamped tin back splash, vintage cast iron wood stove, 3 windows.
      Pantry 9′ x 8′ – Vinyl floor,  skylight, closet, door to bathroom
      Bathroom 8′ x 6′ – Ceramic tile floor, skylight, bathtub, closet.
      Sun Room 22′ x 12′ – Wood floor, wood stove, 12 windows, 2 doors to back yard.

      2nd Floor
      Bedroom 1 15′ x 14′ – Carpet, ceiling fan, 1 closet, 5 windows.
      Hall Bathroom 12′ x 8′ – Ceramic tile floor, bath tub, 2 windows.
      Bedroom 2 15′ x 12′ – Carpet, closet, 3 windows.
      Bedroom 3 15′ x 10′ – Carpet, closet, 2 windows.
      Bedroom 4 12‘ x 11’ – Carpet, closet, 1 window.
      Hallway & Back Staircase
      Bedroom 5 Suite 15′ x 14′ – Carpet, 3 windows.
      *Bathroom 8′ x 6′ – Carpet, closet, bathtub, 1 window.
      *Walk-in Closet 8′ x 7′ – Carpet, 1 window.

      Unfinished Basement
      Unfinished Walk Up Attic

      Vintage Barn/Shed


      2005 – Installed new 30 year architectural shingles
      2010 – New hot water heater
      2015 – Installed Hardiplank siding, with new insulation boards
      2017 – New oil furnace
      2018 – New well pump
      Double pane insulated windows

      Cecil’s Mill Historic District

      The Cecil’s Mill District includes four buildings: Cecil’s Mill, Cecil Store, the Cecil Home, and Old Holy Face Church. Cecil’s Mill is a 2 1/2 story wood framed, tin-roofed structure with clapboard and corrugated tin siding. Constructed about 1810, it was originally a 2 1/2 story rectangular building with cellar. Several shed additions of one and two stories had been added since construction. The foundation retains some of the original stone and brickwork from the 1826 Clifton Factory as well as the original drive and gearing. On the north side of the mill is an unsheltered saw mill with the tracks, carriage, and gearing intact. This mill was used until 1959 and the interior grist mill until the early 1940s. Across the street on the east side of Indian Bridge Road stands the store, house, and Holy Face Church….
      The Cecil Home is north of the store on the same side of Indian Bridge Road. It was constructed in the late 1800s and is five bays long by three bays wide and 2 1/2 stories high. The house has two additions at the rear, one 2 1/2 stories and the other 1 1/2 stories. The house with the additions is L shaped. A one story porch extends across the front with a dormer above and corbeled chimneys at the roof peak. The siding is clapboard and the gable roof asphalt shingled. This house was constructed on the site of the tavern and served as an inn as well as the home of the Cecils. To the north of the house separated by a small field is a barn and the Old Holy Face Church. (MHT)

      About the District – A Brief History (

      The Cecil’s Mill Historic District includes the original water-powered textile mill “Clifton Factory.” (built in 1812) and Cecil’s Country Store and Post Office (built in 1906). Today the Country Store and Post Office is home to Cecil’s Country Store. Below is a timeline of the over 200 years of history that resides here where California and Great Mills meet.

      • March 1810 – THE FOUNDING. William Hebb, Peter Gough, and William Clarke Somerville purchased a three acre tract of land called “Clifton”. The partners erected a three-story building called the “Clifton Factory” where woolen cloth and cotton yarn were produced. This venture represented the premier manufacturing enterprise in St. Mary’s County during the Industrial Revolution.
      • Ca. 1812 – THE WAR OF 1812. Some members of the St. Mary’s Militia were ordered to muster at the Clifton Factory. In 1813, one hundred twenty five muskets were delivered to Clifton from Annapolis.
      • Ca. 1813 – THE GRIST MILL. A license was obtained from Oliver Evans to manufacture flour or meal. The grist mill was located in the basement of the Clifton Factory building.
      • Ca. 1828 – THE FACTORY VILLAGE. By 1828 an entire village had grown up around the mill. Many new structures were added including an 11-room Tavern, Stables, a Wheel House, Spring House, Weaving House, Meat and Poultry House, Dyeing Establishment, Wood House, Shoe Makers Shop, Saw Mill, Tan House, Bark Mill House, several Double Houses, and a Farm House.
      • Ca. 1860’s – THE CIVIL WAR PERIOD. During the difficult period of the Civil War the manufacturing equipment was moved to Howard County and the factory ceased production of cloth and yarn, although use of the grist mill continued.
      • Ca. 1871 – CLIFTON ON THE MEND. An 1871 article published by the St. Mary’s Beacon reports: “The Village of Clifton Factory is on the mend. Captain Spencer has established a first class store, improved shops and dwellings and renovated the valuable mill property. The Hotel kept by Greenwell sets a most excellent dinner.”
      • Ca. 1879 – W.W. CECIL. William Washington Cecil probably purchased the Clifton property from Thomas O. Spencer by 1879 although a deed was not recorded until 1892.
      • 1890’s – W.W. CECIL SELLS TO SONS. W.W. Cecil sold the property to his sons John T. Cecil and George B. Cecil. Shortly thereafter, John T. Cecil secured the Clifton portion. He made many improvements to the property including renovating the old mill. He tore down the upper levels of the old Clifton Factory and erected a new three-story mill on the original 1810 foundation. He also replaced the old millstones with the newer technology of roller mill equipment, the first in the county. His power source however remained the overshot waterwheel.
      • 1905-1906 – MAN ON THE MOVE. In 1905 John T. Cecil was elected County Commissioner. In 1906, he razed the old three-room store house (dating back to at least 1834) and erected on the same location the present Cecil’s Country Store. By 1906, his son J. Allan Cecil, at the age of 10, began to clerk at the new store.
      • 1907 – POST OFFICE. The Great Mills Post Office apparently dates back to the early 1800’s. From early on, the location interchanged between a site off present day Flat Iron Road in Old Great Mills and the Clifton Factory. In 1907, Clifton became the official site of the Post Office and remained so until 1974. In 1907 the first member of the Cecil family was named Post Mistress. Hellen Robb Greenwell Cecil served until 1914 whereupon her husband, John T. Cecil, was appointed Post Master. The family tradition continued with the appointments of son H. Robb Cecil in 1934 and Rose Boothe Cecil (wife of J. Allan Cecil) in 1944.
      • 1927 – DIESEL POWER ARRIVES. The mill operated by water power until 1927 when a diesel engine was installed. The engine had formerly been used by William F. Cecil (son of John T. Cecil & Hellen Robb Greenwell) to provide electricity to Leonardtown.
      • 1945-1976 – GRIST MILL, SAWMILL, AND STORE CLOSE. The grist mill closed around 1945 as Americans discovered store bought white bread. The building continued in use as a feed mill and saw mill. The sawmill closed in 1959 following the tragic death of H. Robb Cecil (son of John T. Cecil). In 1976, Cecil’s Country Store was closed by J. Allan Cecil (who started clerking in 1906) and his wife, Rose.
      • 1976 – NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES. Cecil’s Historic District was registered on the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of Interior. The Historic District includes Cecil’s Old Mill and Cecil’s Country Store.
      • 1983-1987 DIESEL ENGINE/SAWMILL RECONSTRUCTION. William J. Clements restored the 50 H.P. Fairbanks Morse diesel engine and reconstructed the “Number 2 American Sawmill” of the 1920’s. The sawmill was operational for the first time since 1959.
      • 2002 WATERWHEEL RESTORED. The steel double overshot waterwheel is probably the last existing operational waterwheel of its kind in the state of Maryland. The effort to restore the waterwheel was led by John Thomas Cecil Sr. and completed under the leadership of J. Allan Cecil and his sons, Allan III and Matt.

      Cecil’s Mill Historic District Significance

      Cecil’s Mill Historic District is of interest for two reasons: its historical use as a mill site, and the existence of the c.1810 mill and related buildings presently on the site. The Clifton Factory was the first and only attempt to establish industry in St. Mary’s County until the 20th century. The “Factory” area has been the site of milling establishments since before the Revolution with the “Great Mill” about a mile downstream and the “Indian Bridge Mill” about a quarter mile above. The area was not only an economic center in the St. Mary’s County community but a cultural one as well. (MHT)

      Cecil’s Mill – A Brief History

      Around 1900, John Thomas Cecil built this mill over the foundation of W.W. Cecil’s mill which was torn down. The first belt driven roller mill in the county and the saw mill were operated by water power until Cecil’s death in 1927. His son, H. Robb Cecil continued the operation converting to diesel power instead of water. The grist mill was closed in 1940 when store-bought bread created too much competition. The saw mill was closed in 1959 after the death of H. Robb Cecil. In 1975 John A. Cecil and William Cecil gave the mill to the historical society for the purpose of preserving the structure and eventually housing a museum.
      The old mill now offers a unique collection of antiques, handcrafted arts and crafts, scrapbooking, and homemade jams & jellies.
      Cecil’s Old Mill still has much of the original milling equipment on display. One of the pleasures of shopping at the old mill is the opportunity of being surrounded by history. Cecil’s Historic District has been a hub of commerce for St. Mary’s County since the early 19th century.
      Outside, take a trip back in time to see the Old Mill’s restored double overshot waterwheel, one of the last in existence. And if you are very fortunate you might find Bill Clements operating the old sawmill! (

      Cecil’s Mill

      By John Allan Cecil II
      complete article>>>

      For 117 years the Western Branch supplied water to the_ Cecil’s Waterwheel. The water from the Western Branch would be diverted to the mill race, which is basically a man-made canal. Cecil’s Mill Race was over 3000 feet long, 10 to 15 feet wide and between 2 to 8 feet deep. Considering it was dug by hand, this was quite a feat. The last time the mill race was dug out was in 1917 by John T. Cecil; they say he had back problems, and now I know why.

      The mill race had a mill pond where water was stored for dry times. The water was stored energy. Parts of the mill pond’s wooden gates are still standing today.

      Once the water left the mill race, it entered what was called a flume. The flume directed the water to the waterwheel with a gate that governed the amount of water allowed over the water wheel usually the gate would be opened about 2 inches. If you wanted the wheel to spin faster, you would open the gate farther.

      The original waterwheel, made of wood, was converted to steel about 1870. A steel waterwheel is four times more efficient than a wooden waterwheel. The Cecil waterwheel measures 10 feet in diameter and 12 feet wide. It is classified as a double overshot waterwheel, and it is believed to be the only one of its kind still in existence in Maryland. The overshot wheel was usually more difficult to install due to the fact that the water elevation had to be above the wheel, and naturally the stream was below the wheel. Most wheels were undershot wheels where the water level only needed to be half way up the wheel. The reason an overshot wheel was preferred is that they were about 65% efficient, whereas the undershot wheel was only 30% efficient, and a double overshot would produce over two times more horsepower than a single-shot wheel. The Cecil’s wheel produces approximately 40-50 horsepower per my calculation. The waterwheel was used to produce mechanical power, which improved production, efficiency, as well as the quality of the product. This mechanical power was used to operate machinery such as pulverizers, screeners, separators, mill stones, rollers, sifters, saw blades, the hoist and other pieces of machinery.

      At the end of the waterwheel shaft is a large gearwheel. This large gearwheel turns a small gearwheel, which is on the same shaft as a large drive pulley; this in tum is connected to a leather belt, which is used to operate the machinery in the mill.

      Around the 1920’s the mill added a steam engine that came from the Leonardtown Laundry as a backup system for the waterwheel. It appears that water was not always abundant during the dry time of year. The waterwheel was used for the last time in 1927.
      complete article>>>


      Wikipedia – Cecil’s Mill Historic District
      Maryland Historical Trust – Cecil’s Mill Historic District
      National Register of Historic Places – Cecil’s Mill Historic District
      Cecil’s Mill – A brief history (
      Cecil’s Old Mill – Visit St. Mary’s Website
      Cecil’s Country Store – Visit St. Mary’s Website
      Great Mills – Boundary Map (MHT)
      Cecil’s Mill – A history by John Alan Cecil II
      Historic Mills – Other Mills in the Area
      Clifton Mill – Location with Pond & Race
      Tarleton Mill – Location with Pond & Race
      Plat – Additional Acreage Available with Cecil House

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