August 18, 2017

Preservation Personals: Maryland Home Seeks History-Loving Caretaker

  • By: Jared Foretek

Chestertown, Maryland, is a beautiful, historic riverside town on Maryland’s Eastern shore, and my first owner literally wrote the book on it.

I was built in 1908 for Frederick Usilton, author of the History of Kent County 1630-1916, which he published sometime before 1923. Usilton’s wife was also a noted suffragette at the time. In his book, Usilton called Kent "rich in precious historical gems," and by now I like to count myself among them.

The prolific Walter Pippin built me in the Foursquare style with a unique Arts and Crafts influence, and more than a century hasn’t dulled the beauty of my brick construction, gable window details, and foyer woodwork.

On the first floor is my fully upgraded kitchen, complete with custom-made wood cabinets, under-cabinet lighting, stainless steel appliances, and a gas six-burner stovetop. Adjacent is the formal dining room—with its gas fireplace and crystal chandelier—and the parlor, where you can bask in the sunlight streaming through my bay windows.

Upstairs you’ll find the master bedroom and bath. The two spacious closets and sinks are perfect for a couple, and you’ll consider yourself lucky that it isn't the early 1900s anymore when you're enjoying the large jetted tub.

There’s also plenty of outdoor space to enjoy the beauty of Chestertown, which abuts the Chester River just ten miles from the Chesapeake’s Eastern beaches. The house has a wraparound porch, and the blue-stone patio in the rear is perfect for admiring the enclosed yard’s vegetable garden and landscaping on a warm summer day. When you retire inside, the high-velocity central air conditioning (installed in 2012) will keep you comfortable.

Historic Chestertown is a lovely community. I’m located just a block from Washington College, which dates all the way back to 1782. As Mr. Usilton said, the area’s rich in history, and with me, you’ll be fully immersed in it. See more here.

Frederick Usilton House facade

photo by: Nancy McGuire

Chestertown, Maryland 21620.

Frederick Usilton House bedroom

photo by: Nancy McGuire

The bay windows in my master bedroom let plenty of sunlight in.

Frederick Usilton House fireplace

photo by: Nancy McGuire

The gas fireplace in my first floor parlor will keep you warm during the cold months.

Jared Foretek is an editorial intern at the National Trust. He enjoys historic train stations, old bars, and interesting public spaces.

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