Historic Structures

Cliveden - Chew House, Philadelphia Pennsylvania

The Chew House was built in 1763-64 by Benjamin Chew, then Attorney General of Pennsylvania, at Cliveden, his country estate. With the outbreak of the Revolution, Chew, whose patriotism was doubted, was relieved of his political duties, and was paroled to New Jersey. Thus on October 4, 1777, it was not Chew, but Colonel Musgrave and six companies of British infantry who were occupying Cliveden. This outpost was a full mile in advance of the main British line which Howe had positioned in Germantown to defend Philadelphia from Washington's forces which were encamped on Skippack Creek to the northwest. Washington began his attack on the night of March 3 in a march on Germantown. His forces were divided into two columns, one under Sullivan, and the other under Greene, while Lord Stirling held his troops in reserve. Sullivan arrived at Germantown at dawn, and despite the heavy fog, pushed back the enemy outguards until he reached Cliveden. Greene, however, lost his direction and arrived late on the scene. As the colonials attacked Musgrave barricaded his troops in the Chew House and stoutly resisted the assault. Knox, commanding the American artillery, blew in the main entrance, but his fire had little effect on the solid masonry walls. Musgrave continued to hold out while Sullivan pushed on to attack the main British line. In the ensuing engagement, Sullivan's troops were mistakenly fired upon by fellow soldiers and then for reasons not entirely clear, their line broke. Greene was forced to extricate his forces and retreat back to Skippack Creek. Cliveden had not fallen. The main house is two-and-a-half stories, with a full cellar, and measures 54 by 44 feet in size. The front exhibits the characteristic facade emphasis found in Georgian architecture: the front wall being built of regular ashlar gray stone masonry, and the others of rubble masonry stuccoed and grooved to simulate ashlar. The belt course, window sills, and lintels are made of dressed sandstone, and the lintels are grooved to simulate flatkeyed arches. The gable roof has arched dormers with flanking scrolls, a heavy cornice with prominent modillions, and five large urns are positioned on the roof. The large windows have 24 panes, and panelled shutters adorm the first floor windows.

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Blendon Estate, Owings Mills Maryland

The Blendon Estate is the northernmost portion of the Caves Estate operated by the Carroll family during the 18th and 19th century. The land was first acquired by Dr. Charles Carroll in the 1730's and 1750's. By the time that the original wing of the tenant house and the hank barn on the Blendon section of the estate were constructed in the 19th century, the Caves property had grown to 2,500 acres. Under the ownership of John Henry Carroll (1803-56) and his son John Nicholas Carroll (1847-1926), the Caves was a grain and livestock farm, consisting of multiple fields extending on both sides of what is now Park Heights Avenue and Caves Road. On sloping land such as is found surrounding the site of the tenant house and nearby bank barn, livestock production seems to have been paramount. The tenants of the Carrolls resided in the dwelling and raised the livestock and hay needed for feed in their portion of the estate. Hay was stored in the main level of the barn, and the livestock were kept in pens in the lower level. The Caves mansion house and main cluster of outbuildings stood over a mile to the southwest, across what is now Park Heights Avenue. In 1897, the son of John Henry Carroll, John Nicholas Carroll (1847-1926) defaulted on a mortgage he had taken on the Caves estate, and the tract was sold at auction. The portion containing the tenant house and barn passed in 1925 to Janon Fisher, a retired engineer who resided in the Caves mansion to the south of the parcel containing the barn. In 1935, Fisher and his wife sold the 110 acres surrounding the barn and tenant house immediately to the south to Richard E. Breed, 3rd, President of the General Perm Refining Co. of Baltimore. It was probably Breed who erected the Breed-Krongard House, the large, Neo-Georgian residence that now stands on the top of the hill above the barn. Breed, who lived on the property until selling it in 1946, apparently also remodeled the lower level of the barn to serve as a garage and horse stable. Since 1946 the estate has been known as Blendon, a name that Breed may have given it. Three other families owned Blendon and resided there during the period since World War II.

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Republic Iron and Steel Company Youngstown Works, Ohio

The Republic Iron and Steel Company was established in 1899 through a consolidation of various rolling mills and blast furnace plants primarily in the central and southern states. Capitalized at over $55 million, the company was one of the largest organizations to emerge at the end of the 19th century. It included thirty-six bar-forged iron plants, five blast furnaces, and numerous mining concerns (Lake Superior ores, Connellsville coke, and Alabama coal). Many of the facilities, however, were outmoded, and Republic moved to acquire new facilities while consolidating existing facilities to maximize production efficiency (this often involved shifting machinery between plants). Of particular concern to Republic was the enhancement of its steelmaking capabilities to supply their finishing mills. In its first year, Republic actively sought additional mining properties and purchased open-hearth plants in Birmingham, Alabama, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Youngstown, Ohio. In the eight months between May, 1899 and the end of the year, Republic produced 525,951 tons of goods, including merchant bar iron and steel, foundry and mill pig iron, a large percentage of finished products such as nuts, bolts, washers, rivets, nails, railroad spikes, shafting, axles, and a variety of specialty items. By 1900, Republic was recording gross assets of over $17 million. Between 1899 and 1905, the general offices of Republic Iron and Steel were located in Chicago, after which they moved to Pittsburgh until 1911 when operations were centered in Youngstown, Ohio. In 1936, the headquarters would move again to Cleveland, marking a greater orientation toward the Great Lakes, and Republic's largest consumer, the automobile industry.

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Pleasant Prospect - Isaac Duckett House, Woodmore Maryland

Pleasant Prospect reflects the wealth and elegance of the upper class of planters in Prince George's County during the late 18th and early 19th century. The house was unusually large and well appointed for its time, with a large hall or passage, formal parlor, separate dining room and a library in the main block of the first floor. The 1839 inventory of the personal estate of John Contee gives indications as to the use of the rooms. The parlor is referred to as the drawing room in the inventory. This is another term for the best parlor where guests were received. Contee*s inventory lists all the common accoutrements of the early 19th-century middle-to-uppermiddle class parlor including; drawing room carpet, large mahogany sofa, two lounges, one pair of mahogany card tables, mahogany tea table, one dozen mahogany chairs, mantel glass (mirror) and pair of mantel lamps, lot of books in drawing room and a piano. This compares well with what Elisabeth Garrett in her book At Home; The American Family 1750-1870 refers to the salient features of the late-18th to early 19th century drawing room which included: a pair of sofas, a dozen chairs, a twain of piers glasses (a mirror between two windows usually with a table beneath it) and tandem tables. Likewise, the dining room at Pleasant Prospect was an indicator of wealth. Garrett points out that a separate room purely for dining was a symbol of economic success during this period. Generally, dining was done in the kitchen or multi-use room where other items (desks, game tables, sofas, etc.) might also be found. Contee's inventory lists a sideboard, one mahogany dining table, one set of mahogany dining tables, eight rush bottom chairs, eight green arm chairs, two knife cases, two large looking glasses, a brussels carpet, hearth rug and a (horse) hair (stuffed) sofa.

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