- The Washington Times - Friday, November 10, 2000

A historic Colonial house on a small horse farm is a unique property in the Fort Washington area of Prince George's County.

The price of $840,000 includes the main house and more than 23 acres, a groundskeeper's house, three other outbuildings, fenced paddocks with shelters and a heated in-ground swimming pool with spa.

The original frame part of the main house dates to about 1747. A large brick section was built in about 1812. A second frame section, which architecturally balances the first, was added in 1981 by owner Linda Carole Briesmaster and her late husband, William Briesmaster Jr.

The Briesmasters bought the house in 1976, after it had sat empty and "abandoned for 15 years," Mrs. Briesmaster said. They restored it and built the addition as well as the groundskeeper's house and the swimming pool.

The Briesmasters also enclosed a breezeway from the present kitchen to the original kitchen that had been a small detached building. They made the breezeway into a sun porch, which doubles as a screened porch in the summertime, and the old kitchen into a large storage pantry with three windows.

They refinished the existing floor-to-ceiling cabinets in this pantry and added a center island.

The house, which is designated a historic site by Prince George's County, has four bedrooms, three full baths and two powder rooms.

Each of the three sections has an entry foyer. The main front door, with a transom window above, enters from a classic two-story columned porch at the front of the central brick section.

There are formal living and dining rooms, a first-floor family room and a kitchen with built-in breakfast nook, ceramic tile floor and ceiling-fan light fixture. Also on the first floor is a large game room or office with a private entrance from the driveway. Mrs. Briesmaster calls this room the poker room because Mr. Briesmaster would hold spirited poker games there. He and his friends "liked to play poker. They kind of played for big stakes at the time," and also played blackjack and craps, she said.

Now the blackjack and craps tables are gone, and the poker table, no longer in use, shares the room with a large roll-top desk and other furniture. On the ceiling are two large fluorescent light fixtures with stained-glass panels.

Mrs. Briesmaster never learned to play poker, she said, but she did join her husband in racing horses at nearby Rosecroft Raceway. They raised horses on their farm and "we raced 30 horses at Rosecroft Raceway," she said.

She continued to maintain the property as a horse farm after her husband died, she said, partly because "it looks pretty with the horses out in the paddock," but the horses now belong to others who board them there.

The property now generates about $3,000 a month in income, she said, because besides receiving money for boarding horses she rents out the groundskeeper's house. She said she also receives $1,300 a month from a company that leases space for a 150-foot cellular phone tower at the far end of the property, income that will continue to come to the new owners of the house. She said she is selling it now to retire to Florida.

Mr. Briesmaster owned a business called Atlantic Auto Parts, with eight stores and a warehouse, she said, and sold it before he died. Among his hobbies was carpentry, to which a king-sized built-in canopy bed in the master bedroom attests.

Mrs. Briesmaster hung the canopy with curtains. Inside, Mr. Briesmaster installed a TV set and VCR that will remain with the house. He also installed a row of small storage cabinets for her around the top of the canopy.

He installed another TV set in an enclosure in a brick wall that was once a fireplace in the sun room. He closed off the chimney above but it could be reopened if a new owner wanted to use that fireplace, Mrs. Briesmaster said.

As it is, the house has two working fireplaces: One with a beige marble and dark wood mantelpiece is in the living room; the other of beige brick is in the family room. There are floor-to-ceiling bookshelves on either side of the living room fireplace, one of which hides another of Mr. Briesmaster's creations a secret passageway. One of the sets of shelves opens to reveal a passageway from the central house to the 1981 addition, where Mr. Briesmaster's poker room is. The secret passage is the only first-floor entry from the central house to that addition, so "nobody would ever know [the poker players] were in there" when the passageway was closed, Mrs. Briesmaster said.

There is a separate stairway to the second floor in the addition, and the second floor is open all the way across. The main staircase, with a white wrought-iron railing, curves up from the center entry foyer to the second floor and continues to the third floor attic.

The attic is, in effect, a large cedar closet, entirely lined with cedar wallboard.

All four bedrooms are on the second floor, as are the three full baths. The two powder rooms are on the first floor.

Besides the master bedroom suite, there is a second suite with a sitting room and bathroom with whirlpool tub. The other two bedrooms share a hall bath that has a soaking tub for two.

The house had no closets when they bought it, Mrs. Briesmaster said, so they built several storage areas.

There is an oversized, one-car attached garage, which Mrs. Briesmaster carpeted and uses for storage. It has an electric garage door opener that works. There is a four-car detached garage that also provides storage space.

An old smoke house on the property now doubles as the pool house and a wet bar. It has a sink and a large pass-through opening where guests at the pool can be served drinks and snacks.

The Briesmasters restored a large gazebo near the pool in the rear and a picturesque well in the front yard that once supplied water. It is no longer in use now because the property has public water and sewer.

About two miles off Indian Head Highway on Livingston Road, the neighborhood is generally rural or rural residential. Mrs. Briesmaster said a public golf course is planned on a tract next to her property, with the 15th hole just beyond the detached garage. Beyond the golf course, she said, a new-home community is planned. It is about seven miles outside the Beltway interchange with Indian Head Highway.

Details

Address: 14200 Livingston Road, Clinton, Md. 20735

Age: Original frame house built circa 1747; brick structure added circa 1812; frame addition added 1981

Price: $840,000

Size: About 5,000 square feet on more than 23 acres with fenced paddocks for horses

Taxes: About $4,600

Exterior features: Historic brick and wood Colonial house with two-story columned front porch, three-bedroom two-bath groundskeeper's house, one-car attached garage and four-car detached garage, heated in-ground swimming pool with spa, pool house with wet bar, patio, gazebo, two-stall barn, mature boxwoods and hollies, landscape lighting.

Interior features: Center entry foyer and two side entry foyers, formal living and dining rooms, first-floor family room, first-floor game room or office, sun room, modern kitchen with breakfast nook, large pantry, four bedrooms, three full baths and two powder rooms, second-floor laundry, oil-hot water heat and electric heat pump, electric central air conditioning.

Amenities: Two fireplaces, two bay windows, built-in canopy bed in master bedroom with TV set and VCR, built-in shelves and cabinets, secret passageway, two staircases, ceramic tile floor in kitchen, whirlpool tub and two soaking tubs, crystal and brass chandeliers, ceiling fans, cedar closet, security system, lawn mower and all-window treatments convey.

Schools: Henry G. Ferguson Elementary, Eugene Burroughs Middle, Gwynn Park High

Close by: About two miles to shopping centers at Fort Washington, about 12 miles to mall at Waldorf; about seven miles to Beltway interchange with Indian Head Highway

Open house: By appointment

Contact: Mary Smirnow, Realtor with Long & Foster, 301/292-0700, 301/292-3690, Ext. 223, or 301/203-3145

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