The Historic Layton House c.1793
One of the most significant historic homes in Montgomery County, the Layton House, was built by the uncle and aunt of John S. Layton, the first postmaster in the northern part of the county. The town was eventually named Laytonsville for the postmaster. A magnificent formal brick structure for the time, the Layton House was the first house built in the area and was the center of the bustling community of Cracklintown (now Laytonsville). Today, Laytonsville is a charming Montgomery County historic district and a gateway to farms and horse pastures that once dominated the landscape, yet close to shopping, schools, entertainment and the Shady Grove METRO.
With high ceilings, grand entry hall, 4 spacious bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, gorgeous wood floors and beautiful historic detailing, this historically designated home, offers a rare opportunity for 19th century living, while enjoying 21st century amenities. A roomy country kitchen includes 2 fireplaces and with original wood mantels, butcher block counters, a gas cook top, 2 sinks and access to a private porch and gardens. Large windows illuminate the light and airy interior and a fireplace in nearly every room adds warmth and character to this extraordinary, well maintained Montgomery County treasure. On over a 1/2 acre lot with landscaping, gardens and a vintage log cabin, this is a home of rare and beautiful distinction close to Baltimore & DC, yet a world away.
Main Floor (10′ ceiling)
Center Hall 22′ x 9′ – Wood floor, hanging lamp, staircase, 1 window.
Front Parlor 17′ x 15′ – Wood floor, fireplace with wood mantel, 2 windows.
Dining Room 20′ x 12′ – Wood floor, fireplace with wood mantel, hanging lamp, 2 chimney closets, 2 windows.
Kitchen 24′ x 14′ – Wood & brick floors, 2 fireplaces with wood mantels, painted glass front cabinets, butcher block counters, double sink, second prep sink, KitchenAid gas cooktop, dual wall ovens, 2 closets/pantries, recessed lights, side door to patio, 4 windows.
Powder Room 8′ x 3′ – Ceramic tile floor, 1 window.
2nd Floor (10′ ceiling)
Bedroom 1 26′ x 14′ – Wood floor, fireplace with wood mantel, closet, 2 doors to porch, 4 windows.
Hallway 10′ x 9′ – Wood floor, hanging lamp, laundry, 1 window.
Bedroom 2 18′ x 15′ – Wood floor, fireplace with wood mantel, 2 windows.
Bedroom 3 18′ x 15′ – Wood floor, fireplace with wood mantel, 3 windows.
Hall Bathroom 10′ x 8′ – Wood floor, shower, 2 closets, 1 window.
Bedroom Suite 4 22′ x 15′ – Wood floor, 2 closets, exposed beam ceiling, exposed brick wall, window seats with storage, 2 windows.
*Sitting Area 6′ x 4′ – Wood floor.
*Bathroom 8′ x 6′ – Wood floor, bath tub, track lights, 1 window.
Gardening Shed (vintage structure)
Log Cabin (vintage)
The Layton House, built by the family from whom the town takes its name, is in a part of Montgomery County that was sparsely settled by holders of large tracts of land until the Revolutionary War era and that was never to see many houses built in a formal Federal or Greek Revival style. It is remarkable, therefore, that the first house built in the present town and the focal point around which Laytonsville developed, is a self-consciously Federal-style house of a plan and form that was very popular in early 19th century Montgomery County. Lying at the intersection of the Old Baltimore Road and the road from Washington and Mechanicsville (now Olney) to Damascus and Frederick, the house stood on a natural site for a small commercial and trade center. Since it lay in Cracklin District, the earliest name for the town was Cracklintown. As late as 1878, the G.M. Hopkins Atlas refers to it as “Cracklintown or Laytonsville P.O.,” the first name reflecting the geographical location and the second the name of the postmaster. Both names are found in the 1850 census, but in the list of principal villages, only the nomenclature “Laytonsville” appears. Thus, by 1850, the Layton family were prominent enough to have imprinted their name on the town although the older usage persisted.
Maryland Historical Trust
The Layton House is a 2-story brick Federal-style house with a three-bay Flemish bond main (north) facade and a gable roof. The front door, in the west bay, has three-light sidelights and a multi-paned transom. The windows, all 6/6 double hung sash with shutters, have stone sills and wooden lintels, the latter ending with bulls-eye design impost blocks. A cornice below the eaves consists of three courses of brick, the lowest of headers, the middle of angled bricks, and the highest of stretchers. On the east end, which is laid up in common bond, the double chimney stacks are joined by a curtain which rises above the ridge of the roof. There is a single window between the stacks at the attic level, and there are two second-floor windows at the extreme ends of the walls. A later, gable-roofed addition projects from the end wall at the first floor level and shelters the entrance to the cellar. The west end wall, also of common bond brick, is blank except for a single window centrally positioned at the first floor level. On the south end is a common bond brick, two-story addition with a two-story galleried porch along the east side and a shed roof sloping from west to east. The addition has a brick stack rising in the southwest corner and a second stack along the west wall. Several outbuildings stand on the property, including a log slave quarters which was moved here from its former location up the road. It has a three-bay facade with a central doorway and flanking windows. A small internal chimney on the north end is intended for a stove flue. The quarters is one room with a small, boxed staircase leading to the loft. In construction, the inner and outer surfaces of the logs are squared, while the upper side has an inverted V profile so that it fits into notches on the lower side of the adjoining perpendicular log. The gable ends are clapboarded.
Maryland Historical Trust
An early example of an academically designed house in the Northern Region, the Layton House stands in contrast to the more typical folk housing which characterized this area from the late 1700s through the mid 1800s. The residence was the home of John Layton who opened a post office in the community. Formerly known as Cracklintown, the town was renamed Laytonsville in his honor. The house has been dated to 1804 when it was built by Henry and Margaret O’Neal, aunt and uncle of John Layton. Alexander Case, builder of several brick structures in Laytonsville, constructed the house. The three-bay brick house has outstanding Federal style features included parapeted gables, double interior end chimneys, and wooden lintels with corner blocks. The side-hall passage plan is articulated in the asymmetrical arrangement of the front façade windows. A rear ell has two-story gallery porches. The property includes a brick outbuilding that may have once served as a smokehouse, and a log slave quarter, moved on site from the Nellie Griffith Farm near Etchison.
Places From The Past
Laytonsville has stood as a crossroad to the history of Maryland for over two centuries. The intersection of the northern district of the town provides a route to the major metropolitan areas of the state– Damascus and Frederick County, to the east to Baltimore, to the south toward Washington, D.C., and to the west the Potomac River. Although in January 1998 Laytonsville is still a cozy town, its small size, 614 acres and a population of 295, belies its long and interesting history (MHT – historic district).
Laytonsville was originally known as Cracklintown. This name originated from the popular cracklin bread, which was baked in the locale. This recipe, essentially a bacon corn bread, also leant the entire area the name of Cracklin District. The original town extended beyond Laytonsville’s current boundaries, along Sundown Road toward the Hawlings River. The earliest church, school, and store were in this area. The first major transit road through Cracklintown was built in the early 1800’s. This was the Brink-Sundown Road, referred to in documents from the early 1800’s as the “road from the mouth of the Monocacy to Ellicotts Mills.” ( more history)
Maryland Historical Trust – Layton House
National Register of Historic Places – Layton House
Places From The Past – Layton House
Library of Congress – John S. Layton House
Maryland Historical Trust – Town of Laytonsville Historic District
Town of Laytonsville – Laytonsville Town Website
Zoning Ordinance – Zoning Ordinance for the Town of Laytonsville
Maryland Preservation Plan – About preservation & grants
Wikipedia – Layton House