Historic Rockland c.1803 is a three-story stone manse constructed in 1803 by Colonial Frisby Tilghman, son of Maryland’s first Attorney General. Built on one of Washington County’s original land grants, Widow’s Mite, Rockland is considered one of the County’s most significant historic properties. Tilghman had assembled an estate of 1,110 acres by the time of his death in 1847, making it the largest estate in the county. The major area of significance of Rockland is its architecture; particularly its Victorian period alterations.
This 8,600sf historic home is perfectly situated in a 25+ acre equestrian estate and features 7 spacious bedrooms, 3.5 renovated bathrooms, 8 fireplaces (6 with original double-nested marble mantels), gourmet kitchen, 3,000 bottle wine cellar & state-of-the-art alarm system.
Some Potential Uses:
Elegant Residential Estate.
Equestrian Facility – Up to 23 stalls and spacious pastures.
Bed & Breakfast – Near to Baltimore, DC & Civil War attractions, luxurious with separate owner’s quarters.
Wedding & Events Venue – Currently a successful wedding venue.
Main Floor 12′ ceilings
Front Entry 20’x25′- Wood floors, columns, floating staircase, 10′ bays with 6′ windows, scalloping over door, medallions, crown molding.
Parlor 20’x20′- Wood floors, marble fireplace, baseboard radiant heating, 10′ bays with 6′ windows.
Dining Room 20’x20′- Wood floors, marble fireplace, crown molding, 6′ windows, baseboard radiant heating
Hall to Sun-room 7’x15′- Wood floors.
Sun Room 10’x15′- Ceramic tile.
Powder Room 8’x8′- Vinyl floor, front end loading washer and dryer, pedestal sink, polished fixtures.
Kitchen 19’x15′- Silestone counters, ceramic tile floor, Wolf 4 burner gas range stove, 2 Wolf ovens wall mounted with warmer, Sub Zero refrigerator and freezer, fireplace with mantle, 2 sinks, custom cherry wood cabinets, tile back-splash, stained glass ceiling fixtures.
Older North Section
Entry 21’x8′- Old staircase, wood floors, chandelier.
Family Room 16’x22′- Carpet, exterior door, brick hearth with wood stove, back stairs, 9′ ceiling, wet bar with built-in’s, ceiling fan.
Landing 7’x10′- Wood flooring, chandelier, floating staircase from main floor.
Master Bedroom 17’x20′- Wood floors, marble fire place, 6′ windows, crown moulding, medallion, 10.5′ celiing, 2 ceiling fans.
Master Bathroom 13’x18′- Pearl Whirlpool, wood floors, 2 sinks, walk in closet, shower with 2 shower heads.
Bedroom 2 18’x20′- Wood floors, marble fireplace, walk in closet, crown moulding, medallion, ceiling fan.
Bedroom 3 18’x13′- Wood floors, marble fireplace, walk in closet, ceiling fan, built in bookcases.
Older North Section
Hallway Bathroom 7’x12′- Vinyl Floors.
Hallway 10’x10′- Stairs to old entry, stairs to old attic.
Bedroom 4 13’x11′- Fireplace, wood floor, closet.
Bedroom 5 12’x15′- Wood floor, closet.
Bedroom 6 10’x10′- Wood floor.
Bedroom 7 14’x15′- Stairs to family room.
Rockland is listed on the Maryland Inventory of Historic Sites and is eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. Given the important association to James Pennington, who earned international recognition for his human rights advocacy and an autobiography of his early life in slavery, Rockland has also been designated as an official site of the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom by the U. S. Department of the Interior. Rockland is noted in such historic publications as Charles Varle’s 1808 map of Washington & Frederick Counties and the 1877 Washongton County atlas.
References to Rockland can also be found in numerous modern publications which include: Scharf’s “History of Western Maryland”, Patricia Schooley’s “Architectural Treasures of Washington County”, Maryland Life magazine, as well as numerous county and state historic brochures. Rockland has also been featured in Antietam Cable’s Mini-Series “Historic Homes of Washington County”.
The house is three-story, seven bay stone and brick dwelling (which was previously white stucco, probably beginning in the late 19th century when other Victorian enhancements were made). The house consists of two sections reflecting two distinct building periods.
The larger south section is square with four bays in its front, side and rear walls. Its windows are relatively larger with six light double-hung sashes at both levels with interior shutters. The main entrance is located in the third bay fromthe south end of the house. A neoclassical pedimented entrance way with fluted pilasters and dentil cornice trim surrounds the doorway. A semi-circular fan light with ray mullions is present over the door. A matching doorway is presnt at the rear of the house opposite the front entrance and for a large portion of the year the sun rises and sets through these magnificent doorways.
The north portion of the structure is three bays in length and is also constructed of stone. The earliest portion of the house, it is smaller in size than the south section, its windows mostly six-over-six light sashes. The main entrance is located in the center bay of the east wall. The doorway is framed very simply and is topped with a four-light transom, and the door shows six raised panels. The three-bay entrance porch extends along the north wall.
LATE 19TH CENTURY
The Victorian enhancements to the mansion were likely made in the last part of the 19th century when the house, then on 256 acres, was purchased by General Thomas T. McKaig for $25,000 (equivalent to $6.5M in today’s dollars) who married one of Frisby Tilghman’s daughters, Margaret.
The most dominant feature is the Federal-style suspended staircase in the south wing, which spirals from the ground floor to the third floor attic. An oval skylight with curved muntions illuminates the stairs. Originally the staircase terminated in a belvedere, but this feature was so deteriorated that it was replaced with a widow’s walk. In 1991, the home was extensively restored & renovated, preserving significant features, including fanlights above the doors on the second floor that echo that of the first floor entrances, original woodwork and doors, drawn plaster cornice moldings, ceiling tracery and ceiling medallions.
MODERN IMPROVEMENTS & FEATURES
Large 7 bedrooms and 3.5 Baths
8 Fireplaces – 6 with Original Double-Nested Marble Heaths, 1 with Woodstove
Gourmet Kitchen (circa 2007) w/ Custom Cherry Cabinets, Siletone Countertops & Wolf. Subzero, Asko Stainless Steel Appliances (Range, 3 Ovens & Warming Drawer) (2 sinks, 2 dishwashers)
3.000 Bottle Wine Cellar
Central Station Monitored State-of-the-Art Alarm (Fire & Burglary) System
Updated (circa 1995) Plumbing throughout
Updated (circa 1995 & 2005) 400 AMP Electric w/ Significant Expansion Available
3 High Efficiency Central Air Units with 5 zone damper/temperaturc control
Oil Hot Water Furnace & Hot Water (circa 1995) with 6 zone temperature control
Electric Baseboard Heat individual room temperature control
PROPERTY SITE FEATURES
Large 3 Bay Shop with Oil Furnace and 200 Amp 110/220 Electric Scrvice
Large Hot & Cold Water lnsulated Wash Stall
4 Bay carport with run in and dog kennel
7 stall bank barn with tack/feed room and grooming stall
Carriage House – Office with Heat & Electricity
Large Bank Barn (capacity for 16 stalls)
Auxiliary Buildings roofs painted 2007
Original Summer Kitchen and Spring House Intact
Original Family Graveyard Intact
ROCKLAND (WA-II-102 -Maryland Historical Trust)
Of the main house’s two sections, the southern section probably dates from ca. 1810-1820. The windows are topped with large header stones incised to appear as jack arches. The interior features an oval cantilevered stair which extends to the attic. The older section to the north likely dates from ca. 1800. This section is gable-roofed; a mansard roof added ca. 1870 has been removed since this property was first surveyed for the MIHP in 1974. Likewise, white stucco covering the outer walls has been removed from both sections.
The mid-19th century barn is a timber-framed Pennsylvania Standard type with an even gable profile. It rests on stone foundations with the forebay side facing east and the ramp side facing west. Under the forebay, a series of two-leafed doors open into cattle and horse areas, as well as entryways. Space between the doors at window height is enclosed with diagonal lattice-work. The framing is covered with German siding and louvered vents, and threshing floor doors fenestrate the upper wall area. Round metal ventilator towers, dating from the late nineteenth century, embellish the roof ridge. The German siding and wooden vent openings may post-date the barn structure, being typical of late 19th century barn finishes.
more from MHT…
ABOUT JAMES W. C. PENNINGTON (1807-1870)
(Cited from hallowedground.org)
Born Jim Pembroke, James W. C. Pennington escaped from slavery at Rockland, the home of Frisby Tilghman, in Washington County, Maryland, in 1827. From this modest beginning he eventually won world renown. After staying six months with Quakers William and Phebe Wright in Adams County, Pennsylvania, Pennington settled in New York. (See a profile of the Wrights on page __). Working first as a coachman, he found spiritual guidance from Presbyterian minister Dr. S. H. Cox and experienced a religious awakening in 1829. At the same time he became involved in abolitionist activities and found them compatible with his study of religion. For a while he taught black children at a school in Long Island. In 1834 he moved to Connecticut where he audited classes in Theology at Yale University and pastored Temple Street Congregational Church, a black congregation. Under his leadership, his church championed abolition and civil rights, and Pennington spoke widely on those issues. He also supported temperance and African missions, but denounced the colonization movement to send free blacks from the United States to settle in Liberia. In 1841 he wrote and published one of the first histories of Africans in America. The same year he became founding president of the Union Missionary Society and raised money for the kidnapped Africans on the slave ship Amistad to return home. As the Connecticut delegate to the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London in 1843, Pennington developed an international reputation as a human rights advocate.
ABOUT COLONIAL FRISBY TILGHMAN (1773-1847)
(cited from hallowedground.org)
Frisby Tilghman was the eldest son of James Tilghman of Queen Anne’s County, Maryland, on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Like many sons of planters from eastern Maryland, Frisby migrated to the western part of the state in the late eighteenth century, where land was plentiful and comparatively low-priced. Trained as a doctor, he married the wealthy Anna Maria Ringgold and turned his hand to farming instead. He helped found a local agricultural society and an academy and earned a reputation as a progressive farmer. Active in civic life, he served four terms in the Maryland House of Delegates, promoted the C&O Canal project, served on bank boards of directors, and formed and commanded a militia unit (he was known as Colonel Tilghman).
When George Washington became President of the United States of America in 1789, he looked at the area between Sharpsburg and Shepherdstown (Virginia) as a possible site for the permanent location of the U.S. Capital. It would have occupied both sides of the Potomac River in the same manner as the site he eventually chose further down the river at Georgetown and closer to his home at Mount Vernon.
Construction of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal began at Georgetown in the District of Columbia in 1828 and reached Sharpsburg around 1836. Working on the canal then became a welcome employment opportunity for many of the townspeople.
The Battle of Antietam, or Battle of Sharpsburg as it was referred to by the Confederate Army, began at dawn on September 17, 1862. About 40,000 Southerners under the command of General Robert E. Lee were pitted against 87,000 troops of the Federal Army of the Potomac commanded by General George B. McClellan. At day’s end and the end of a pivotal event in the Civil War, 23,110 men and boys were dead, wounded, or missing. The sense of community shared by the people of Sharpsburg provided the strength by which they overcame the devastation of the battle and rebuilt their town. Veterans and families later made their pilgrimages, walking from the train station through the town to the National Cemetery. The town’s Memorial Day Parade, begun in the 1860’s, was the first in the nation and continues today as an occasion of solemn remembrance.
Journey Through Hallowed Ground – Rockland
Washington County Historical Trust – Rockland, circa 1803
Maryland Historical Trust – Historic Rockland
From Slave to Abolitionist, James W. C. Pennington – Dean Herrin, 2001
National Park Service – Antietam Battlefield
Plat – Rockland Plat