Historic Rose Hill c.1800
This beautiful historic landmark has been lovingly restored & renovated. Built in c.1800 by Dr. Benjamin Duvall, a prominent Montgomery County planter & politician, Rose Hill is one of Sandy Spring’s oldest surviving frame homes and an exquisite blend of historic integrity & modern amenities. It features original heart pine floors, spacious rooms, original moldings, 2 staircases, front & side porches with garden views, extensive landscaping & gardens, a private 1.23 acre setting and a 2 story modern addition with a master bedroom suite & 2 car garage. Steeped in history, this stately farmhouse is a tribute to a bygone era. Seated in a rocking chair on its expansive front porch, one can imagine a simpler time and a slower pace of life.
Rose Hill is a home of rare & beautiful distinction close to DC, yet a world away.
*This area contains the original small chandelier and medallion, and wide front staircase, banister, and newel post. Originally the foyer held a large register that regulated the heat-flow from a coal furnace in the cellar below.
Living Room 17′ x 16′ – Wood floor, ceiling fan, wood stove, 4 windows.
*Access from the front hall to this room was by a narrow doorway until greatly widened by Louise Canby in the 1930s.
The wood stove was added during the first energy crunch. A chimney closet may have been used for keeping seeds dry over winter.
Dining Room 17′ x 16′ – Wood floor, fireplace with wood mantel (decorative), chimney cabinet, built-in china shelving, hanging lamp, chair rail, fireplace with wood mantel, 4 windows.
*Because this room was in fairly good repair, it was the last to be renovated by the current owners. As in most of the other rooms, they relined the old plaster with drywall. They also installed the chair rails and crown molding.
The fireplace mantel was rescued from a farm building by Louise Canby and greatly predates this wing of the house.
Study/Music Room 7′ x 6′ – Ceramic tile floor, wood paneling, built-in shelving, closet, 1 window.
*Once Yellott Canby’s farm office (mid-1900s)
Side Hall 16′ x 6′ – Wood floor, door to cellar, door to side porch.
*The ladder-like staircase, installed in the 1940s, replaced a wider stairway in order to provide more usable room in the side hall.
Kitchen 15′ x 12′ – Vinyl floor, gas range, double sink, custom wood cabinets, 2 windows.
*During Canby days this room held wood and kerosene stoves and a wooden icebox. The breakfast nook occupies space that once was a window shelf for cooling milk. The pantry was part of a tiny apartment lived in by a Canby farmhand.
Breakfast Nook 10′ x 9′ – Vinyl floor, hanging lamp, 2 windows.
Pantry 8′ x 6′ – Concrete floor, built-in shelving, 1 window.
Powder Room 6′ x 4′ – Wood floor.
Den 9′ x 6′ – Vinyl floor, door to side porch.
Laundry 14′ x 8′ – Vinyl floor, closet, sink, 1 window.
2nd Floor (9′ ceiling)
Landing 8′ x 8′ – Wood floor, 2 windows.
*The upstairs hall was once Louise Canby’s sewing room. In winter, heat rising from the foyer furnace register made it the home’s warmest room, and there the Canbys dressed and undressed.
Bedroom 2 18′ x 15′ – Wood floor, fireplace with wood mantel (decorative), closet, 4 windows.
*This was the Canby master bedroom.
Hall Bathroom 7′ x 5′ – Vinyl floor, bathtub, 1 window.
Bedroom 3 17′ x 14′ – Wood floor, closet, 3 windows.
Family Room 22′ x 15′ – Wood floor, exposed beam ceiling, 6 windows.
*Approaching this, one passes through a hallway with bath. In the hallway. a hatch opens to the ladder leading down to the side hall.
Note the exposed beams, with the burn marks and cut-nail holes.
Hall Bathroom 8′ x 6′ – Wood floor, shower, 1 window.
Master Bedroom Suite 21′ x 20′ – Carpet floor, ceiling fan, walk-in closet, back staircase, 3 windows.
-Master Bathroom 9′ x 8′ – Ceramic tile floor, shower, 2 sinks, 2 windows.
-Den 8′ x 7′ – Carpet, window.
*This large room forms part of the major 1987 addition.
Bedroom 4 16′ x 10′ – Carpet, 2 windows.
Bedroom 5 15′ x 10′ – Carpet, 2 windows.
*Reached by the original staircase. The north room, once a storage place, is now a finished guest room. The south room was used as a maid’s room by the Canbys during the 1930s.
In days of the old coal furnace, the Canbys blocked off the attic during winter to keep heat from rising into unused space.
Attached 2 Car Garage 22′ x 21′ – Concrete floor, 2 windows.
-Work Room 12′ x 8′ – Concrete floor, 1 window.
*Current owner’s annotations.
1987 – An addition including a two-car garage, small winery, laundry, breakfast nook, and widening of the kitchen downstairs, and a back staircase leading up to a large master bedroom, bath, and small computer room.
1993 – Clad the old German siding with vinyl
2003 – Major repairs to the front and back porches. The home is listed on the Montgomery County Historic Register, designated as Canby House.
In 1824, Quaker Thomas Canby made a life-changing decision to leave his teaching position at 0lney’s Fair Hill Friends school, marry as Episcopalian, and take up life as a farmer. By following his heart and marrying Deborah Duvall he won not only the wife who would bear their six children but also liaison with the landed Duvall family and ownership of the farm and house known as Rose Hill.
Despite the toll of time and a nearly catastrophic fire, part of the frame home that Thomas and Deborah lived in still stands, binding together two newer additions. An east wing was added in 1885 by their younger son William. In 1987 the present owners extended the old structure’s west end, adding an attached garage and a winery, and, upstairs, a commodious master bedroom.
Rose Hill played a minor role in the Civil War. Thomas’s and Deborah’s younger son Benjamin was twice wounded as a Confederate cavalryman; at home, brother William sheltered rebel Walter Bowie whose men later robbed the Sandy Spring Store. Sent to a Union prison, William was later pardoned by President Lincoln.
Rose Hill passed to William’s son Yellott and wife Louise who also farmed. In 1976 Louise sold the home to the current owners.
Rose Hill has stood for more than two centuries, overlooking land that was once a farm of the Duvall and Canby families.
The front portion of the house was built in 1885 by William and Sarah Rust Canby. According to historian Roger B. Farquhar, the center part dates to about 1800; it apparently had a detached kitchen. This section in turn was part of a still older structure of which little is known. The home’s modern, west wing was added by the present owners, in 1987, and occupies the probable site of the original structure.
The Duvall family owned a vast acreage in the Cloverly-Colesville area and counted among its members prominent planters-farmers, medical doctors, and politicians. In 1824 Thomas Canby, a Quaker teacher at the Fair Hill Friends school in Olney, married Episcopalian Deborah Duvall, moved with her into the Duvall home Rose Hill, and took up farming. His son William M. and grandson T. Yellott Canby carried on as Rose Hill farmers. Yellott married Louise Young, and their daughter Vertrees and son Tom grew up at Rose Hill.
In the late 1950s Yellott and Louise sold most of the land for development as the Stonegate subdivision, retaining the house and a few acres. Fire gutted the upstairs of the home’s old wing around 1975. In 1976 Louise, by then widowed, sold the home to the current owners.
Early Rose Hill possessed most of the features of working Sandy Spring farms: post-and-beam bank barn, ice pond and ice house, meat house, small tenant house with outhouse, spring house or dairy, windmill, apple orchard and cider mill, small family grave plot, and two farmworker cabins.
Today New Hampshire Avenue’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Muslim Center, and Heritage Church occupy part of the original Duvall-Canby tract.
When the current owners moved into Rose Hill in July 1976 the upstairs of the older section was burned-out and the windows boarded. The space then held two small bedrooms and a bath. They converted the area into a single large family room. Its exposed beams still show burn marks and the holes made by cut nails that held up the ceiling lathes.
Their improvements, room-by-room and year-by-year, have shaped today’s Rose Hill.
The I-house was a principal domestic building type in Montgomery County during the nineteenth century, but few of these houses have survived in the eastern section of Montgomery county without extensive renovation. Although Rose Hill has been remodeled, it retains sufficient integrity of location, setting, form, plan, and materials to represent a distinctive surviving example of this once common farmhouse type in eastern Montgomery County.
A house at Rose Hill was originally constructed around 1800 by Dr. Benjamin Duvall who left a log structure and land to his daughter Deborah. Deborah Duvall had married Thomas Canby III and soon after their marriage they moved to Rose Hill. According to family tradition, the hyphen section of this house, known by the Canbys as the “parlor,” is the original building that became an ell when the large frame I-house core was added around 1885. After her death in 1864, the 300 acre farm.was divided and their eldest son William Maudit Canby inherited the house and 135 acres of farmland. In the early twentieth century, his second son Thomas Y. Canby would receive the old house and fifteen acres of land. He lived at the residence into the 1950s .
The Canbys and Duvalls were prominent local families that were active in the county’s social and economic affairs. Dr. Benjamin Duvall was a wealthy planter and leading member of the Jacksonian faction of the Democratic party.2 Thomas Canby III was a Quaker school teacher at Fair Hill before his marriage and later became a prosperous farmer. The Canbys, typical of the independent farm families of Montgomery County in the nineteenth century, largely provided their own labor in the fields.3 Like their well-to-do neighbors, the Canbys erected an I-house to front the old farmstead reflecting their economic success. The I-house was the farmer’s ideal residence in that it was expressive of their ambitions and prosperity and, with the addition of decorative features, was considered one of the finest houses available at this time and place.
Maryland Historical Trust
Rose Hill – Maryland Historical Trust
Montgomery County Historic Districts – Montgomery County Planning
Preservation Loans – Maryland Historical Trust
Preservation Requirements – Montgomery County Historic Preservation Commission
Preservation Guidelines – Rose Hill falls under these guidelines.
Cloverly Historic Master Plan Area -Rose Hill is among these historic properties
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