On June 26 at 11 a.m., the historic Trentham Mansion in Owings Mills will go on the auction block, ghost and all. The original stone house on this site was built in 1746 by the Rev. Thomas Craddock, the first rector of St. Thomas Church on Garrison Forest Road, who named it after a town in his native Staffordshire. Its accompanying 170 acre estate (now down to .75 acres) was part of the dowry of Craddock’s wife, Catherine Risteau. The couple lived and ran a boys boarding school there for many years, until at the age of 83, Catherine Craddock was attacked with an ax and died in the house.
Nearly 200 years later, in the mid-1980s, the Trentham Mansion was beautifully restored by Baltimore County preservationist Doug Carroll. Having suffered a fire in the 1857, it had been rebuilt in 1860 and then fallen into disrepair. Carroll ran into some problems with the renovation, as he related in a 2006 Baltimore Sun article.
“At first we had a problem with our equipment disappearing and things being moved around. We determined it was a ghost, a poltergeist. The best candidate for the ghost was Catherine Craddock. She was killed by a vagrant who was living in the barn.”
So he did the obvious thing.
“I found a picture of her and hung it on the wall. I explained to her that if we didn’t finish the renovation, the house would have to be torn down, and then where would she be? I suggested to her that it was time to move on to another plane. We never had any more problems with our equipment.”
Anyway, the Trentham Mansion is now completely and beautifully restored. Its 8,400 square feet have most recently been used as a Wellness Center. An octagonal stone bath house dating from 1747 remains on the property, where there was once a natural spring believed to have health-inducing properties. Catherine Craddock’s ghost is rarely seen, and believed to relatively at peace.
Zoned for Residential/Office DR5.5, the Trentham Mansion is suitable for a buyer or small business seeking a unique property in the area. It last sold in 2006 for $535,000. Located at 135 Village Queen Drive, off Craddock Drive in Owings Mills, the property is being auctioned by Alex Cooper Auctioneers.