- The Washington Times - Friday, April 9, 2010

While plenty of people love their homes so much they feel like they own a “trophy house,” only a handful of families have the privilege of owning a true landmark. Now, just such a landmark home is on the market: the “Cannonball House” in St. Michaels on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

This historic home, built in 1803, sits on the corner of Mulberry Street and St. Mary’s Square at 200 Mulberry St. Built in the classic Federal style for shipbuilder William Merchant, the residence rests in a prime location within steps of the harbor, restaurants and shops that draw visitors to this charming town.

The Cannonball House received its name for a shocking event that happened in the War of 1812 during the British assault on St. Michaels. According to local legend, the residents of St. Michaels hung lanterns in the treetops and kept their homes dark during the British siege, hoping to confuse the gunners.

The ruse usually worked quite well and the British missed most of the homes, but one cannonball grazed the chimney on Merchant’s home, ricocheted off the chimney stack and ripped through a dormer window into the residence. The cannonball then bounced down the steps, surprising Merchant’s wife. Burn marks are still visible on the stairs.

On the market for $1,495,000, this home rests between the St. Michaels Harbour Inn and Marina and the St. Michaels Museum. Its historic presence relies not only on the legend of the cannonball, but also on the architectural significance of the residence. The imposing brick detached home features Flemish bond bricks with delicate mortar joints and finely laid arches above each window. Ionic columns surround the front door.

Inside, the most distinctive features include original woodwork with herringbone-patterned chair-rail moldings, elaborate mantels, six-panel solid wood doors, and archways in the first- and second-floor halls. A brick kitchen wing, built at the same time as the original residence, is attached to the east side of the home, while the south side features an enclosed porch.

This home has three finished levels with six fireplaces set on a lot of approximately 6,000 square feet. The property’s original brick walls enclose a landscaped private garden with plenty of space for entertaining outdoors, dining under the stars or even adding a swimming pool if desired. A newly renovated guest house offers a private space for the countless visitors this home is sure to attract.

The traditional double-parlor floor plan provides plenty of indoor space for entertaining. The living room includes hardwood flooring and a wood-burning fireplace, while the dining room has hardwood flooring and a decorative fireplace.

The kitchen, renovated in 2006, has ceramic tile flooring. Nearby is a sunroom with walls of picture windows and a side door to the yard.

Upstairs, the master suite has hardwood flooring and a wood-burning fireplace. An additional bedroom and full bath are on the second level, with two more bedrooms and two more baths on the upper level.

For more information or an appointment to view the Cannonball House, call associate broker Cornelia Heckenbach with Lacaze Meredith Real Estate at 410/310-1229 or visit www.stmichaelsmdwaterfront.com.

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