Historic Pleasant Hill c.1761
This is a gorgeous, historically significant 4.5 acre estate with modern amenities, woods & creek in Charles County, close to Baltimore & DC. The house includes a modern addition designed to blend beautifully with the 18th century original structure and is a perfect melding of modern & historic, with a gourmet kitchen, 4 full BA’s, powder room, in ground pool, brick patios, and original wood floors and fireplaces. This is a home of rare and beautiful distinction.
Maryland Historical Trust
Pleasant Hill is as an outstanding example of a Tidewater house. The structure retains integrity of form and materials, especially the intact Flemish-bond brick of the original structure. The setting of the house, surrounded by a wooded ravine, retains its historical associations. The west wing and hyphen, constructed in 1992 are of an architectural style sympathetic to the original design, and the rear porch alteration does not significantly detract from the architectural integrity of the house. Pleasant Hill was originally situated on 80.94 hectares (200 acres) of “Green’s Inheritance” purchased by John Spalding in 1713 and inherited by his grandson, Basil Spalding. According to the records of the Charles County Tax Assessor, a house was constructed on the land in 1761, when Basil Spalding built Pleasant Hill. Pleasant Hill appears on the Maryland Geological Survey’s 1840 Map of Eastern Maryland with 1860 Additions. The house and 70.82 hectares (175 acres) remained in the Spalding family until 1911 when they were sold to Julia Sinclair. In 1919 Julia and John Sinclair sold the property to Jeremiah Mudd.
The land on which Pleasant Hill is located was originally part of a larger tract known as Green’s Inheritance. In 1713 John Spalding purchased 200 acres of Green’s Inheritance for Pleasant Hill. The home was built in at least three phases.
- The first phase was begun in the 1760s by Basil Spalding, grandson of John. The original structure was a single story, two room home with a full cellar. It was made of timber framing with sawn clapboards. There were two chimneys on either end. The cellar was divided into two rooms, one of which had a fireplace and is believed to have been the original kitchen. A 20th century architectural historian described it as a typical middle-class home but “of better quality than most.” Basil died in 1792 and left the home to his widow, Catherine.
- One of Basil’s sons, Edward (possibly known as Ralph), had a daughter named Catherine in 1793 with his wife, Juliette Boarman. Catherine is believed to have been born at Pleasant Hill. After his father’s death, Edward’s family moved to Kentucky. His daughter Catherine later founded the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth.
- In 1797 Basil’s son, Basil Jr., received 150 acres of the property and the house.
- The second phase took place during Basil Jr.’s ownership. Sometime between 1798 and 1828 he added a two-room wing to the southeast end. The east-most room had a brick floor and a large fireplace, likely meaning this room became the new kitchen. Some commentators describe this wing as the oldest or original part of the home. But structural clues strongly suggest that it was built later. Basil Spalding, Jr. died in 1828 and his property was divided between his two sons in approximately 1838. His son John took Pleasant Hill.
- The third modification took place during John’s ownership, between 1838 and 1848. During this time, John added a second floor to the original two-room portion of the house and the first room of Basil Jr.’s addition. John also added two-story porches to the front and back of the home along the length of the two-room main block. The front porch remains. The back porch is believed to have been demolished in the early 20th century after it became structurally unsound. During John’s time at Pleasant Hill, he operated a store and post office from the property. The inventory of John’s estate indicate that he was a slave-holder, owning 19 slaves. John died in 1848.
- John’s son Basil inherited Pleasant Hill and lived there until he sold the property in the first decade of the 20th. Historian Richard Rivoire says it was sold to J.T. Robey. A title search, however, indicates that it was sold to John F. Sinclair.
- Sinclair sold Pleasant Hill to Jeremiah Theodore Mudd in 1919. Theodore’s daughter Virginia later inherited Pleasant Hill. At Virginia’s death, in the 1980s, the property passed to a younger Jeremiah (Jerry) Mudd. Jerry Mudd sold the house to Don Rice and Beth Loker in 1991.
- This was the fourth phase in the construction of Pleasant Hill. From approximately 1992 to 1995, Don and Beth added a two-story wing to the west end of the house, consisting of a one-room basement, kitchen, and second-floor bedroom. The new wing was connected to the older portion of the house by a hyphen which connected to a new, glass-enclosed, two-story porch where the original porch had been located. They also added a separate garage and swimming pool. At this time, the older portion of the home was restored to its appearance in the mid-nineteenth century. Tom Shiner was the architect for the new wing and restoration. Don Rice, however, performed much of the woodwork himself.
Maryland Historical Trust – CH-78 – Historic Pleasant Hill
Wikipedia – Pleasant Hill
Boundaries – Pleasant Hill Map with boundaries