Historic Mount Welcome Retreat c.1800
Historic Mount Welcome Retreat is grand and glorious! Built by Alexander Walters, owner of the Waltersville Quarry for which the town of Granite was originally named in 1800 and expanded in 1835, this Federal style manor home overlooks a charming historic farm landscape. Built of solid granite, with original wood floors, walk out lower level with master bedroom suite, an additional master bedroom suite on main level, spacious rooms, high ceilings, center hall, gourmet kitchen, and set on 13 private acres with a pond & beautiful bank barn, this gorgeous farm is close to Baltimore & DC, yet a world away.
Large Bank Barn
Bath House by Pond
Original stone servant house
The property known as Mount Welcome Retreat is located at 3144 Granite Road in the town of Granite, an 18th century town in the western region of Baltimore County. In 1778, Samuel Wright Walters purchased the property, which was historically part of two parcels known as Norwood’s Delight and Peddicoart’s Banter. Alexander Walters, owner of the Waltersville Quarry for which the town of Granite was originally named, built the first three bays of the present stone dwelling circa 1800. In 1835, the property was devised to Maria Worthington Walters and Lemuel Offutt, who enlarged the structure. The property remained in the Offutt family for 114 years, before being sold to the Bergers in 1949. Mount Welcome Retreat is fashionably detailed in the Federal style, and stands as an excellent example of a rural farmhouse, complete with circa 1800 slave quarters and late 19th century German bank barn.
The main dwelling is a five-bay wide, center-hall, single-pile structure of solid stone masonry construction. The two-and-a-half story Federal style building rests on an English basement and is banked into a shallow hillside. The main block was constructed in two phases, with the northwest portion being constructed circa 1800 and the southeast addition dating to circa 1835. The three northwest bays are of roughly cut and coursed granite construction with ashlar quoins while the two southeast bays feature coursed ashlar granite. This division is further emphasized by a mortar seam between the two sections that is visible on both the southwest elevation and the northeast elevation. Two interior end granite chimneys rise above the side gabled roof. A kitchen wing was added to the ground level of the southeast elevation in 1950 and a bedroom wing was added to the ground level of the northwest elevation in 1970. Despite the construction of these modern addition, the overall integrity and architectural statement of the early 19th century dwelling is intact. Both wings are one-story high and clad in aluminum siding with side gabled roofs. A third interior end stone chimney rises above the kitchen wing. All roofs are clad in asphalt shingles. A three-bay wide half-hipped roof porch ornaments the facade. A full-height, full-width half-hipped roof porch dominates the northeast elevation.
The facade, or southwest elevation, of the main block is five bays wide. At the ground level, there are three 8/8 windows piercing the three west bays and two 6/6 windows piercing the two south bays. Flanking the central window are two half-story engaged stone piers. The central entry is recessed from the facade and features
paneled wood sides and granite lug lintel. Above the 8-paneled double-leaf door is a rectangular fixed transom with tracery of molded wood glazing bars. The first and second story windows of the three west bays are all 12/12. Those of the south two bays are 6/6. All of the window openings on this portion of the building feature
wood surrounds, granite sills and lug lintels. The three-bay wide porch features square wood posts, shaped wood brackets and a scroll-sawn balustrade. The porch deck is supported by granite piers.
The southeast elevation of the main block is visible only at the first, second, and attic stories. There are no openings on the first or second stories of the main block. Two 4-light casement windows with wood surrounds, granite sills and lug lintels pierce the attic story.
The northeast elevation of the main block features two panel-and-lighted single-leaf doors and three 6/6 windows at the ground level. A paint line extends across the three north bays at the level of the window sill, suggesting that in the 1830s, when the building was being enlarged, the ground level was excavated roughly three feet lower than its original depth. Below one window of the east two bays the wall surface appears to have been filled in with coursed ashlar stone, as evidenced by a mortar seam extending past the sill to the
ground. The first story features a central entry with a panel-and-lighted single-leaf door leading to a cantilevered square balcony with a wood scroll-sawn balustrade. The first and second story windows of the two east bays are 6/6. Those of the three north bays are 12/12. All of the window openings on this elevation of the main block feature wood surrounds, granite sills and lug lintels. The granite sills of the ground level windows appear to be replacements. Six square posts support the two-story, full-width porch.
The northwest elevation is pierced only at the attic story by two 4-light casement windows with wood surrounds, granite sills and lug lintels. The first and second stories of the northwest elevation of the main block have no fenestration.
Constructed in 1950, the kitchen wing extends from the southeast elevation of the main block. Only the southwest elevation of this wing is clad in vinyl siding. Two 2/2-vinyl sash windows pierce the wing with vinyl surrounds on the southwest elevation. One 8/12 window and one panel-and-lighted single-leaf door pierce the southeast elevation of the wing. Both of these openings have aluminum surrounds and sills. Two 1/1 vinyl sash windows and one 8/6 vinyl sash window, all with aluminum surrounds, pierce the northeast elevation of the kitchen wing.
Extending from the northwest elevation of the main block is the bedroom wing, which was constructed in 1970. Two 6/6 vinyl sash windows with aluminum surrounds pierce the southwest elevation of this wing. Three-6/6 vinyl sash windows with aluminum surrounds and sills pierce the northeast elevation. The northwest elevation of the wing has no fenestration.
The interior of the main block features a central hall, single pile plan that dominates all stories. On the first story of the main block, all of the walls and ceilings are plastered. The floors are finished in wood boards that vary from 3 1/2 to 9 1/2 inches in width. Only the floor of the first story hall is finished with 2 1/2 replacement boards. In the center hall, the 6 1/2 inch tall baseboard is square-edged with a quadrant bead at the base. Turned newel posts that are 3 feet 4 inches high frame the hollow newel stair. The balustrade is comprised of turned wood balusters with a wood handrail. The open stringer is ornamented with a continual wave motif or scrolled brackets. The landing window between the first and second stories is recessed with paneled sides and a molded wood surround.
Leading to the two first floor parlors are two 6-panel doors with molded surrounds and paterae cornerblocks. The baseboard of the northwest parlor is 8 1/2 inches tall with a beveled cap and a quadrant bead at the base. The windows are recessed with flared paneled sides, molded surrounds and paterae cornerblocks. The door casements feature the same surrounds. On the northwest wall of the parlor there is a centrally located Federalstyle fireplace with Tuscan columns supporting a molded mantle shelf. A wide beveled panel ornaments the area below the mantle shelf. Built-in recessed bookcases with reeded surrounds and paterae cornerblocks flank the fireplace.
The southeast parlor features a square-edged 7 1/2 inch tall baseboard with a quadrant bead at the base. The Egyptian-influenced Ionic columns that support the molded mantle shelf distinguish the mantle in this room. Like the windows in the northwest parlor, these windows are recessed, however they are not framed by paneled
sides. All window surrounds in this room are square-edged. The doors leading from the parlor to the hall has a square-edged surround, while the door to a built-in closet has a molded surround. The south corner of this room was partitioned circa 1950 for the addition of a bathroom, the door to which has a square-edged surround.
On the ground level, the original kitchen, now used as a dining room, features a molded fireplace surround and a shallow mantle shelf. The original forged iron hearth crane is extant. There is a built-in cupboard to one side of the fireplace. Molded and paneled wainscot surrounds the perimeter of the room. The floor is finished in
replacement 2 1/4 to 3 1/2 inch boards.
The interior of the attic is fully plastered, and the rafter/plate system is only visible in the south corner. In this circa 1835 portion of the attic, the rafters rest on a false plate.
The circa 1800 slave quarters is located to the southeast side of the house. The structure is in a ruinous state. Only the two gable end walls and a portion of the facade (northwest elevation) are intact. The southeast wall has completely deteriorated to a state of rubble. In addition, the roof and all of its framing members have collapsed. However, based on its form, detailing, and close proximity to the main house, the structure’s original use is discernable. The two-bay wide, single-pile structure is one-and-a-half stories in height. The building features a random rubble granite foundation and structural system with ashlar granite quoins. Although the roof is no longer intact, its side gabled form is evident based on the construction of the gable end walls. Two interior end chimneys rise along these end walls. One door opening with a paneled door and one window opening with missing sash pierce the northwest elevation. Both openings have wood surrounds and granite lug lintels. The window opening has a granite sill. The east and west elevations are both marked by two window openings with wood surrounds flanking the interior end chimneys. The south wall has collapsed. Due to the condition of the
structure, interior wall placement could not be determined, although it appeared to have consisted of two rooms.The interior, including the half story, was completely plastered. Both hearths featured large granite lintels and the east hearth retains an historic forged iron crane.
The circa 1880 German bank barn rests on a random rubble stone foundation in a field to the northeast of the house. The wood frame structure is clad in board-and-batten siding. Two cupolas and a center gable peak dominate the side gable roof, which is clad in standing seam metal. The cupolas have pyramidal roofs and louvered vents. Louvered openings pierce the bank barn throughout, including a semi-circular ventilator in the wood shingle-clad center gable. Additionally, there are four 1/1 windows and one double-leaf sliding wood door on the first story of the southwest elevation, all of which have wood surrounds.
To the east of the dwelling lies a man-made pond and a pool house that dates from the 1960s. Rising one-story in height, the pool house is constructed of panel-faced concrete block with a side gable roof of asphalt shingles. An inset porch and sliding glass doors dominate the facade. The single 2/2 window features horizontal sash and a wood surround. The gable ends of the pool house are clad in pressed plywood that resembles board-andbatten siding.
Updated on January 9, 2019 at 11:56 pm
Historic Mount Welcome Retreat c.1800 - 3144 Granite Rd, Woodstock, MD 21163, USA
Historic Mount Welcome Retreat c.1800 - 3144 Granite Rd, Woodstock, MD 21163, USA