John D. Berry House c. 1866
The John D. Berry House is an extraordinary historic manor home with 11 bedrooms & 6 bathrooms, and includes 4.5 private acres with carriage house and other vintage structures. Just minutes from downtown Olney, this significant historic landmark boasts a beautiful, rural-like setting with mature trees and a spacious lot. A wonderful blend of historic detailing and modern amenities, this restored & renovated home features original wood floors, 5 fireplaces and mantels, elegant rooms for entertaining, as well as, a gourmet kitchen, main level bedroom suite, au pair suite, insulated windows, Whirlpool tubs and much more.
John D. Berry was the grandson of Richard Berry who first acquired property locally in the late 1700s, and by 1807 owned nearly 1,000 acres. The core of this frame farmhouse was built by John D. Berry around 1863. The present house has four distinct sections, one of which may be of log construction. By 1884, John D. Berry built the bank barn and stone carriage house. According to insurance records, the farmstead was augmented by the smokehouse, built between 1884 and 1888. ” – Maryland Historical Trust
John D. Berry House is a home of rare and beautiful distinction, near to Washington, DC & Baltimore, yet a world away.
Entry Hall 25‘ x 6’ – Wood floor, hanging lamp, closet, 4 wall sconces.
Living Room 21‘ x 19’ – Wood floor, fireplace with wood mantel, crown molding, 5 windows.
Library 15′ x 13′ – Wood floor, fireplace with wood mantel, built-in bookcases, door to porch, 3 windows.
Dining Room 19′ x 15′ – Wood floor, chair rail, crown molding, built-in china cabinet, hanging lamp with medallion, glass French doors to porch, 2 wall sconces.
Bedroom Suite 20‘ x 12’ – Wood floor, crown molding, closet, 2 windows.
*Bathroom 6′ x 5′ – Granite floor, shower, pedestal sink, 1 window.
Kitchen 21′ x 13′ – Wood floor, fireplace with wood mantel, rinsing sink, chair rail, granite counters, Whirlpool Gold double oven, Kenmore dishwasher, Jenn-Air electric stove, Kitchen-Aide stainless steel refrigerator, double sink, pantry, closet, 3 windows.
Breakfast Room 22′ x 13′ – Wood floor, fireplace with wood mantel, chair rail, crown molding, hanging lamp, door to back porch, door to stairs to au pair suite, 3 windows.
Laundry Room 12′ x 8′ – Carpet, closet washer/dryer, window.
Au Pair Suite (2nd floor) 21′ x 9′ – Wood floor, closet, door to porch, 2 windows.
*Bathroom with claw foot tub.
Master Bedroom 19′ x 15′ – Wood floor, fireplace with wood mantel, 5 windows.
*Master Bathroom 12′ x 9′ Marble floor, 3 closets, Whirlpool tub, 2 sinks, 1 window.
Bedroom 4 14′ x 12′ – Wood floor, fireplace with wood mantel, 2 closets, door to porch, 2 windows.
Bedroom 5 14′ x 12′ – Wood floor, 1 closet, 4 windows.
Hall 25′ x 5′ – Wood floor, 3 closets.
Bedroom 6 12′ x 9′ – Wood floor, 1 closet, 1 window.
Bedroom 7 16′ x 9′ – Wood floor, 1 closet, chair rail, 1 window.
Bedroom 8 14′ x 9′ – Wood floor, 2 closets, 2 windows.
Bathroom 15′ x 5′- Ceramic tile floor, bath tub, 1 window.
Hall 10′ x 5′ – Wood floor.
Bedroom 9 11′ x 9′ – Wood floor, 1 window, 2 closets.
Bathroom 11′ x 5′ – Wood floor, claw bath tub, 1 window.
Bedroom 10 12′ x 12′ – Wood floor, closet, 4 windows.
Bedroom 11 Suite 25′ x 10′ – Wood floor, recessed lights, electric baseboard heat, 1 window.
Bathroom 10′ x 9′ – Ceramic tile floor, Whirlpool bath tub, track lighting.
This farmhouse was built between 1866 and 1876 by John D, Berry, on land which had already been in the Berry family for nearly 100 years, when it was purchased by John;s grandfather, Richard Berry, from Thomas Owen. The part of Richard Berry’s land called “Pig Park” had been left to his daughter, Deborah D. Berry (Burgess) in 1819; his son Elisha was to get “Shepherd’s Hard Fortune” and part of “Charles and Benjamin”. But because of an equity suit charging Elisha with mis-administration of the will, Elisha’s property came into the hands of the Farmers and Mechanics Bank of Georgetown. Eventually Deborah purchased 250 acres of the property from the bank. When she died in 1852, her acres were divided between her four nephews, children of Elisha Berry.
The 1865 Martenet and Bond map of the area shows the house of J. D. Berry, one of the nephews, to be some distance from the present dwelling. Presumably it was modest, as the 1866 assessment did not assess him for improvement of his 91 acres property although it did indicate a reasonable amount of household furnishings. By 1876 at least the first part of the present house had been built and Berry was assessed accordingly. By 1878 Hopkins map verifies that a dwelling had been constructed in the present site. As the other building had disappeared from the map, perhaps it had been added to the new building. The present house had four distinct parts, one of which is thought to be log, which could easily have been the material of John’s first home.
John sold his land and home to George E. Cook in 1906, ending many years of Berry ownership. After several intermediary owners, the house and 119.15 acres were purchased in 1948 by Homer K. and Mary B. Vann who modernized and renovated the home. It was sold in 1965 to the present owner…
MHT Site Survey
The Master Plan for Historic Preservation and the Historic Preservation Ordinance, Chapter 24A of the Montgomery County Code, are designed to protect and preserve Montgomery County’s historic and architectural heritage. When an historic resource is placed on the Master Plan for Historic Preservation, the adoption action officially designates the property as a historic site or historic district, and subjects it to the further procedural requirements of the Historic Preservation Ordinance.
Designation of historic sites and districts serves to highlight the values that are important in maintaining the individual character of the County and its communities. It is the intent of the County’s preservation program to provide a rational system for evaluating, protecting and enhancing the County’s historic and architectural heritage for the benefit of present and future generations of Montgomery County residents. The challenge is to weave protection of this heritage into the County’s planning program so as to maximize community support for preservation and minimize infringement on private property rights.
Once designated on the Master Plan for Historic Preservation, historic resources are subject to the protection of the Ordinance. Any substantial changes to the exterior of a resource or its environmental setting must be reviewed by the Historic Preservation Commission and a historic area work permit issued under the provisions of the County’s Preservation Ordinance. The environmental setting for each site is the entire parcel on which the resource is located. The environmental setting of a historic resource can be modified at a later stage, generally when the property is sub-divided.
Preservation Map – Montgomery County Designated Plat for John D. Berry House
John D. Berry House – Maryland Historical Trust Summary
John D. Berry House – Maryland Historical Trust Historic Site Survey
John D. Berry House – Places From The Past
Historic Olney – Maryland Historical Trust
Residents Guide – Historic Preservation in Montgomery County
Montgomery County Historical Society – All about the history of the county (22 min.)
Tax Credit Programs – Montgomery County Historic Properties
Montgomery History – History of Montgomery County
Montgomery County – About Montgomery County
Visit Montgomery County – Maryland’s Gateway to the Nation’s Capital
Information is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed.