- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 11, 2004

The National Trust for Historic Preservation on May 24 named southern Maryland’s tobacco barns to its list of the most endangered historic resources in America.

Fourteen barns were placed on the National Trust’s list. Those 14 — which date from the late 1700s to the late 1800s, and vary in size and construction techniques — are meant to represent the rest, thousands of collapsing barns that, according to the Trust, are “emblematic” of the region.

Most of the 14 barns are on private property and inaccessible to visitors, though many barns are visible from public roadways. Barns in county parks and open spaces welcome visitors.

In November, historic preservation representatives from Prince George’s, St. Mary’s, Anne Arundel, Charles, and Calvert counties will meet to begin work on a Web site and a series of brochures that will guide visitors to the barns that accept visitors.

Right now no tours or self-guide resources are available for would-be visitors to the 14 named barns. But with nearly 5,000 tobacco barns thought to be standing in southern Maryland, according to organizers, even a casual Sunday drive through back country roads can provide a visual sense of the historic structures.

Here’s a rudimentary guide to the 14 barns’ locations:

Anne Arundel County

1. Rosehill tobacco barn: Rose Hill Drive, Gambrills. Private.

2. Tongue tobacco barn: near Route 2, Tracys Landing. Private.

Calvert County

3. Yost-Williams barn: Williams Road, Prince Frederick. Private.

4. Dorsey-Weems barn: Scientists’ Cliffs Road and Octavius Bowen Barn Road, Scientists’ Cliffs. Private.

5. Parran/Bond barn: near Prince Frederick. Private.Charles County

6. Jenkins Farm tobacco barn: Smallwood State Park Historical Retreat. Publicly accessible.

7. Tobacco barn and stripping shed at the Jule Farm: Friendship Landing Park. Publicly accessible.

8. The tobacco barn at the Exchange: Springhill-Newtown Road south of La Plata. Private.

Prince George’s County

9. Tobacco barn at Talburtt: Westphalia. Northwest of Upper Marlboro. Private.

10. Tobacco Barn at Warington: On the Enterprise Golf Course grounds, 2802 Enterprise Road, Mitchellville. Publicly accessible.

St. Mary’s County

11. Sims/Bond Property tobacco barn: Greenwell State Park, Steerhorn Neck Road, Hollywood. Publicly accessible.

12. The Samuel Spalding tobacco barn: Old Three Notch Road, Hollywood. Private.

13. Dryadocking tobacco barn: Tintop Hill vicinity, Leonardtown. Private.

14. Red House Farm barn: Chaptico. Private.

— Raymond M. Lane

Three barns that are worth a roadside look

The Anderson, Pittman and Jones tobacco barns are not open to the public, but may be seen by passers-by. Here’s a guide:

m The big red barn at the Andersons’ Middle Plantation is seen easily on the right side of Davidsonville Road about one mile north of the Route 50-John Hanson Highway interchange. It’s a local landmark that area residents use to give directions to out-of-town visitors. There is a historical marker, but no pull-off to park and observe safely. The family does not welcome visitors entering the long driveway leading to the barn and grounds at 2621 Davidsonville Road in Gambrills, but the barn is easily observed.

• The oldest tobacco barn at the Pittmans’ Dodon Farm stands where Dodon Road comes to a split about a half mile off of Route 424. It stands to the right, close to the roadway and is flanked by a more modern horse barn to the left. One can easily observe the trussing and supports that once held stacks of hanging tobacco in a barn thought to be built around the time of the Civil War. The family does not welcome visitors entering the long driveway leading to the house at 440 Dodon Road in Davidsonville.

• The Jones family farm house and tobacco barn date from the Civil War and are easily viewed safely from the roadway at 545 Armiger Road, Huntingtown. The family lives off property, but the land is farmed, and visitors are asked not to enter the fenced area.

— Raymond M. Lane

Boning up on the history

Looking for resources to help you bone up on your tobacco barn his- tory? Here’s a brief guide.

To see

m Watercolor and acrylic paintings of historic southern Maryland tobacco barns by Mildred Anderson of Middle Plantation in Gambrills will be shown and offered for sale beginning Oct. 9 at the Barnes & Noble bookstore, 2516 Solomons Island Road, Annapolis. Admission is free. Call 410/573-1115.

To read

m The National Trust for Historic Preservation offers a detailed description of the 14 barns’ use and construction, and the importance of preserving them at www.nationaltrust.org. Click on “Historic Places” in the tool bar and from there go to “11 Most Endangered Historic Places.” Scroll down to “2004 list” and from there click on “Tobacco barns, southern Maryland.” Then click on No. 3, “Learn more.”

• Brochures produced by the Calvert County Historic District Commission provide a history of tobacco barns and the tobacco culture found in southern Maryland from Colonial days to the 2001 tobacco buy-out of most Maryland tobacco farms. Call 410/535-4583 or see www.co. cal.md. us, to send for “Tobacco Barns: Calvert County, Maryland”; “Cultural Heritage: Calvert County, Maryland”; and “African American Voices: A Journey to the Past in Calvert County, Maryland.”

— Raymond M. Lane

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