The Historic Milton H. Cannon House c.1902
This carefully renovated & uniquely stone historic home is beautifully set on one of the largest lots within the City of Brunswick. It backs to a dedicated, wooded open space with a creek and is within walking distance to both the middle & high schools, and just minutes to daily commuter MARC trains. Featuring many amenities, including municipal water & sewer, a 3 season gazebo, original spring house with natural spring, and over-sized 2 car garage, gorgeous gourmet kitchen, wood floors, 4 bedrooms (2 are suites) and more, this storybook stone home has been meticulously maintained and lovingly restored with fine preservation in mind.
“The ‘hangover Georgian’ style of architecture executed in fieldstone, testifies to the skill and knowledge of the unknown craftsmen of that era. Its location in an area of natural springs, tells the observer that the builder was both practical and resourceful. The transition of the use of the house from country house, to working-farm cottage, to present city residence, demonstrates that well-built structures of good design can be adapted to many uses. Being well preserved and the only completely stone house within the city boundaries, it stands as a unique monument to the achievements and lifestyle of its past owners.” (Maryland Historical Trust)
Entry Hall 14′ x 8′ – Wood floor, chair rail, staircase, 1 window.
Front Parlor 15′ x 15′ – Wood floor, built-in bookcase, closet, 3 windows.
Dining Room 15′ x 12′ – Wood floor, 2 hanging lamps, door to porch, 2 windows.
Kitchen 12′ x 12′ – Wood floor, granite counters, double sink, recessed lights, oak cabinets, 2 windows.
Powder Room – Wood floor.
2nd Floor (8′ ceiling)
Landing 14′ x 5′ – Wood floor, 2 windows.
Bedroom Suite 12′ x 9′ – Wood floor, 2 closets, 1 window.
*Bathroom 8′ x 7′ – Ceramic tile floor, shower, heat lamp, 2 closets, 2 windows.
Master Bedroom 12′ x 12′ – Wood floor, 2 closets, 2 windows.
*Master Bathroom 8′ x 5′ – Ceramic tile floor, shower, heat lamp.
*Master Sitting/Dressing Room 12′ x 10′ – Wood floor, 2 closets, 2 windows.
Bedroom 3 16′ x 10′ – Vinyl floor over underlayment over the original yellow pine beneath, walk-in closet, 1 window.
Bathroom 7‘ x 6’ – Vinyl floor over underlayment over the original yellow pine beneath, square bathtub with shower, 1 window.
Bedroom 4 10′ x 10′ – Vinyl floor over underlayment over the original yellow pine beneath, walk-in closet, 1 window.
Partially Finished Basement – Storage, living area, laundry
Spring House (vintage structure)
3 Season Gazebo – Composite floor, 2 ceiling fans, electric stove
Over-Size 2 Car Garage
Up to 4 building lots with a remainder of 1/2 acre for the historic house
(Maryland Historical Trust)
The Milton H. Cannon House is significant as the only stone house within the town of Brunswick and is a good example of vernacular Colonial Revival construction in the early 20th century. When built, the Cannon House was in a rural location, although in the Cannon Addition to Brunswick, platted by Thomas J. Cannon in 1890. His son Milton erected the house, apparently as a summer residence with a working farm. Probably because of the longer construction time for stone houses, the typical houses built during Brunswick’s building boom from 1890 to the 1930’s were frame, although local stone was readily available. The Cannon House represents a more leisurely approach to housing that was uncommon in the town during this period. The decorative details such as the broken pediment and the interior trim work are evidence of Cannon’s desire to emulate the authentic historical details of local vernacular houses, which were probably considered “colonial”, although the details were used locally in the late Georgian, Federal, and Greek Revival periods.
Thomas J. Cannon’s Addition was the project of the Mutual Land and Improvement Company, of which Cannon was president. Laid out over 160 acres with 600 lots, the addition did not approach full development until the mid-20th century, probably due both to economic factors and the steep valleys and hills common throughout the parcel. When Cannon died intestate in 1910, his real estate holdings were sold off, leaving 20 acres surrounding the Cannon House, which passed to the Michael family. By 1938, only 1-1/2 acres remained of the property. Further information on the previous owners of the Cannon House may be found in the 1974 National Register nomination form, at the Maryland SHPO and the Frederick County Department of Planning and Zoning.
(Maryland Historical Trust)
Beginning at the first floor level, the north end of the house has two bays occupied by 2/2 double hung sash type windows, framed by white-painted, plain wooden trim and sills.
The second floor level also has two bays occupied by windows positioned directly over those on the first floor level and identical in detail.
The roof line and dormer on this facade are identical in detail to that of the front and south side facades.
The room configuration is of an end hall plan, two rooms deep for a total of six rooms with a floored attic and full stone-walled cellar which now has a concrete floor.
Generally, most of the original woodwork is in place, composed of symmetrically moulded trim with corner block “roundels” around each door and window. The doors throughout are four-panel, with decorated butt hinges, box lock sets, and porcelain door knobs. The apparent original flooring is southern pine, tongue & groove, 3 inch wide boards throughout. The baseboard is plain, 6 inches high, topped with ogee moulding in most places. All trim and doors are painted white.
The most interesting detail of the interior is the open string, southern pine staircase, rising two flights (with one landing) to the second floor. It has turned newel posts and turned balusters that also enclose the second floor level. The ornamental step-end brackets are of a tulip design done in poplar wood. The attic staircase has pine runs and risers and is enclosed.
The house has indoor plumbing, electricity, and a steam–heat– radiators system. The Parlor Chamber was partitioned about 1913 to install the first bathroom. All walls received a re-plastering in the 1940’s. The kitchen was remodeled in the 1960’s with modern cupboards, modern paneling on the walls and ceiling tiles–the original trim was removed or covered over. The Kitchen Chamber also received remodeling in the same manner at that time. Chair railing with a papered wainscot has been recently added to the two stair halls. An oak mantle, painted white, with fluted and panel decorations was installed in recent years in the front Parlor to disguise plumbing additions. Interior louvered shutters are recent additions on all windows.
KOENIG/CANNON STONE HOUSE © 1902 – The history of the stone house and its families…
By Connie J. Vavra Koenig, 1972
January 16, 1913 – Charles B. & Blanche V. Nichols Michael
Liber 302 Folio 496 – 20.78 acres from the parcel known as the Cannon Addition to Brunswick. To Charles B. & Blanche V. Nichols Michael
Charles worked for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in Brunswick as a Conductor; Blanche cared for the children, the house and the garden—a back, enclosed porch was added to accommodate cooking, canning and laundry—its door to the right side led to the outhouse—a front porch with columns and typical lattice trim to cover the space below was added to sit and entertain company. Most people interviewed commented on the good times at the Michael Farm with their dairy/delivery business and a spring house still during Prohibition. Milk and cream were cooled in the trough in the spring house and sold around town—no bottles were found with their name imprinted, only cardboard milk bottle-cap-tops. The spring water was piped to the house via a spring house pump. An older gentleman recalled coming to the still for the moonshine across the creek from what is now the 2 nd St. area–the Michael Farm would have been very isolated at the time. A lean-to shed had been attached to the roof of the spring house to accommodate the dairy and still operation. The stove pipe hole for the still can be seen on the N wall of the old lean-to foundation. The Michaels constructed a dam on the creek out of concrete to produce a deep swimming hole—remnants of that dam can still be found about midway of the N property line. The largest room on the 2nd floor was partitioned @ 1920 for an indoor bathroom on the S side. The outhouse, called the garden house by the family, had been located NE of the large oak tree seen in the old photo of the Milton Harvey Cannon family—an old foundation was found there. Another cellar for root storage was said by Clarence Michael to have been located NE a distance from the front door— location evidence never found. The barn was located SW of the spring house about where H St. is now located—old photos confirmed this location.
(Maryland Historical Trust)
Brunswick is a town with a double heritage, one of which is reflected – in its physical’appearance, and the other which, except for a few scattered buildings, is extant only as a part of recorded history. In its early days, Brunswick (then known’as Berlin) was a small river town whose trade-oriented economy was ‘boosted by the arrival'” of the” Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in the second quarter of the 19th century. The growth of the railroad ultimately altered the town beyond recognition when a large rail yard established there in the 1890’s caused a massive building boom. Brunswick today is a railroad town of basically circa 1890 to 1930 period construction, with very few visual remnants of its earlier and quieter identity.
The land on which Brunswick is situated was a land grant of 3,100 acres called “Hawkins Merry Peep-0-Day,” given to John Hawkins in 1753. A part of this tract owned by Leonard Smith in 1787 was laid out in a town of ninety-six lots which Smith called Berlin. A flour mill was established and trade developed with the surrounding area. Berlin was situated on the north-south route between Frederick County, Maryland, and Loudon County, Virginia. A ferry operated here before 1822 and in 1859 a wooden toll bridge was built over the Potomac to replace the one burned in the Civil War. The increased traffic created by the coming of the C & O Canal reinforced Berlin’s position as a local center of commerce. The construction of the B & O Railroad from Point of Rocks to Hagerstown through Berlin also added to the town’s prosperity.
During the Civil War, the Confederates took advantage of Berlin’s location to make raids into Maryland, using a pontoon bridge when the bridge there was burned. The Union forces also passed through the town, as after the battles of Antietam and Gettysburg, Generals McClellan and Meade each camped their armies here before advancing into Virginia.
From the point of view of historic preservation, Brunswick presents an unusual opportunity to study the environment of a late 19th century railroad town. For, as 19th century Berlin was lost to the circa 1900 railroad boom town, so many such railroad towns have themselves been lost in the path of progress.
Maryland Historical Trust – Milton H. Cannon House
Maryland Historical Trust – Brunswick Historic District
MARC Train – Commuter Stations (Brunswick Line)
Brunswick – Town Website
1904 Cannon House – Vintage image