The Historic Christopher Erb House c.1799
This beautifully restored 5-6 bedroom stone historic farm house and 37+ gorgeous acres are bounded by Big Pipe Creek and a country lane, just minutes from Westminster Maryland. Nestled in a private setting that seems to have ignored the rest of the world’s frantic march to modernity, this farm features the original 2 story spring house, a pond, fenced pasture (bring your horses), mature wooded areas, a full compliment of wildlife and an enormous amount of charm. The stone house has front and back porches with views of the acreage, original wood floors, updated kitchen and 3 1/2 updated bathrooms, basement hearth, insulated replacement windows and much more. This is a home of rare and beautiful distinction, close to Baltimore & DC, yet a world away.
Center Hall 24′ x 7′ – Wood floor, chair rail, staircase, hanging lamp, closet.
Parlor 16′ x 15′ – Wood floor, fireplace, chair rail, 3 windows.
Den 15′ x 10′ – Wood floor, chair rail, 3 windows.
Dining Room 16′ x 14′ – Laminate floor, track lighting, chair rail, 2 windows.
Kitchen 14′ x 10′ – Laminate floor, double sink, ceiling fan, 3 windows.
Powder Room 5′ x 4′ – Vinyl floor, 1 window.
Landing 11′ x 7′ – Wood floor, chair rail.
Master Bedroom 21′ x 12′ – Wood floor, ceiling fan, 3 closets, 5 windows.
*Master Bathroom 8′ x 5′ – Vinyl floor, marble counters, 1 window.
Hall Bathroom 6′ x 5′ – Vinyl floor, claw foot bathtub, 1 window.
Bedroom 2 15′ x 14′ – Wood floor, 3 windows.
Bedroom 3 13′ x 12′ – Wood floor, chair rail, 2 closets, 3 windows.
Bedroom 4 10′ x 10′ – Wood floor, exposed wood ceiling beams, ceiling fan, closet, 1 window.
Bedroom 5 11′ x 9′ – Wood floor, exposed wood ceiling beams, ceiling fan, closet, 1 window.
Hall Bathroom 6 x 5′ – Vinyl floor, bathtub.
Bedroom 6 12′ x 11′ – Wood floor, 1 window.
Storage Room 15′ x 12′ – Wood floor, exposed wood ceiling beams, 1 window.
Partially Finished Basement
Family Room 24′ x 17′ – Vinyl floor, hearth, closet, wood paneling, door to rear patio, 2 windows.
Storage/Utility Room 26′ x 17′ – Concrete floor, laundry, door to rear patio.
Spring House (vintage structure)
(Maryland Historical Trust)
The Christopher Erb House is an excellent example of Pennsylvania German construction in Carroll County. Architecturally it presents a number of Pennsylvania German building characteristics such as the stone construction, floor plan, and ornamental details. Historically, it shows the influence of Pennsylvania Germans in this area and their tradition of family farms. The range of Pennsylvania German architectural features in the Christopher Erb House includes use of interior woodwork, exterior cornice ornamentation, bank construction, insulation between the basement and upstairs, kitchen use of the basement level, roof framing techniques in the attic and spring house, and the date stone (see 7, Description for a complete analysis). The Erb family was an early and influential family in the settlement of the Silver Run and Taneytown areas of Carroll County. Peter Erb appears in the patent records in the mid-eighteenth century. Christopher Erb applied for a resurvey in 1798 to consolidate his land holdings at the time that he was building his house. The property remained in the Erb family until 1879 (through two more generations) and the history of this family presents a representative view of the nineteenth century family farm in Carroll County.
(Maryland Historical Trust)
Christopher Erb had obtained a certificate of resurvey for “Erb’s Pleasure” (773 acres; 12/13/1798), but the patent was rejected because, according to the Patent Office, there was no prior record of one of the tracts in the resurvey. Peter Erb, the only child of Christopher Erb, petitioned the Patent Office to grant the patent with the unrecorded portion being resubmitted as unpatented land and this was accepted by the Patent Office.
Christopher Erb’s Pennsylvania German heritage is evident in the architectural characteristics of the house that he constructed in 1799. Its use of space, such as the basement summer kitchen and root cellar, relates to the family farming tradition of the Pennsylvania Germans.
After he inherited the property circa 1810, Peter Erb continued to operate it as a” family farm. He improved it through the construction of a stone bank barn in 1835. His 1842 estate records show the prosperity that many of the German families had attained in this region. It includes an extensive inventory that contains an unusually high number of references to textiles. In his will, Peter Erb divides his 440 acre farm between his two sons, Peter and Eli Erb.
Eli inherited the Christopher Erb House and continued its operation as a family farm. In 1879, he lost the property due to bankruptcy (Carroll County Equity Court, No. 1674). It continued in use as a farm property until 1976 when it was reduced in size to 37.77 acres.
(Maryland Historical Trust)
The spring house is a two-story structure that is recessed into the ground over a spring that also contains Pennsylvania German characteristics. It is constructed of stone and has a beveled mortar joint. The main facade has three-bays with a door in the northermost bay and six-over-six windows in the other two bays. A section of masonry around the door on the second story of the structure is whitewashed which may indicate an earlier porch configuration from the full-length, double-tiered porch on the west facade. The door was originally a six-paneled door that has been altered but still contains tapered strap hinges with heart-shaped points. The original door to the main house is here and has tapered strap hinges with round points and a box lock.
The main floor of the spring house has later partitions dividing this floor into four rooms. In the northwest room is an interior-end chimney with a stove flue. The northeast corner of the structure contains a corner stairway. The doors have tapered battens going’from-four-inch to three and one-quarter inch. They contain wrought iron strap hinges and an early style latch. The spring house has a principal purlin roof framing system similar to the main house. Some of the beams in the roof framing system and in the first floor appear to have old mortises which would indicate that they were reused from another structure. The ground floor has a spring in the south room and a fireplace .in the north room. All of the rooms on the main floor of the spring house have chair rails and several have peg boards along the middle partition. Sitting in the spring house is the original door to the main house. It is a thick handmade door with wrought nails and has an original wrought box lock. The lock was made with a outside handle that would unscrew. There is also a thumb-latch pull on the exterior of the door.
This extraordinary property is protected with a state of Maryland historic preservation easement on the exterior and land. No subdivision.
All information is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed.
Certified Historic Properties Specialist
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.
189 Kentlands Blvd.
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
301-975-9500 ext.4604 Office