Hot House: 10110 Falls Road, Rockland Village, Brooklandville, MD. 21093
Historic stone house, attached, circa 1820, with new cedar shake roof. Recent renovation. One bedroom, two baths over 1,488 sq. ft. Large living room with custom built-ins, hardwood floors, and Butler stone fireplace. Custom kitchen. Skylight loft bedroom with luxury master bath, walk-in closet, dressing room. Landscaped perennial garden with irrigation system: $339,000
What: A 200 year old mill worker’s house, beautifully restored, longtime home of a Maryland Historical Society Director. Originally an Indian camp, Rockland is the oldest continually inhabited mill village in the country — an iconic Maryland location. In 1706, its 200 acres were surveyed and purchased by one Richard Gist, a Quaker and a surveyor who became a commissioner and planner of Baltimore City. Gist’s land holdings in the area later grew to 2,000 acres. His son Christopher worked with George Washington as a surveyor in Virginia, saved Washington’s life twice, and later became his aide-de-camp in the War of Independence. Richard’s daughter Anne married into the Johnson family, who held the village and most of the land for over two centuries. In the 1820’s, the Johnsons built the grist mill, as well as the little stone village to house its workers.
The houses are not large, but they are well-built, with thick stone walls, deep window sills and big stone fireplaces. As Falls Road became increasingly trafficked, the entrances became oriented toward the back. These back entrances now form a semi-circle of about ten houses around a kind of village green, which is accessed by a driveway off of Falls Road. It is a picturesque and close community, with 10 acres of common land that includes a trout stream at either end and a large, spring fed swimming pool which “only needs one pipe” to get it up and running again. The pool was one of the first in Baltimore — engineered for Robert Johnson by the brother of H.L. Menken. Everything in the village has a story, and Tom Bruggman, longtime resident, knows them all—like how Robert Johnson used a telescope to keep an eye on the pool from his estate high above the village, checking for people breaking the “no skinny dipping” rule.
The beauty of this particular Rockland house is that it has just had a tremendously successful renovation — everything designed to let in light and maximize space. It feels tight as a ship and ready to go another century or two.
Where: Rockland Village is on the corner of Falls Road and Old Court Road, a centuries-old crossroad – with great access to points north, south, east and west. In addition to the large common green space in Rockland, there are three parks nearby – Robert E. Lee Park , Meadow Wood Park, and Park Park (the Park School down the road has its own park). From here, you can take Joppa Road east, pass the farm stand, over towards Graul’s and Towson. You can head up I-83 a few miles to Wegmans, or take the pretty drive over the hill to Stevenson Village. The Valley Inn is your local gastropub, and Green Spring Station less than a mile from here. Riderwood Elementary School is the local school and it is top rated, Pikesville middle and high schools, less so.
Would Suit: Someone who always wanted to live in Colonial Williamsburg.
Why: A lot of history for the price.
Why Not: Falls Road traffic is just a few feet from your door.
NB: You can board your horse in the stables of the horse barn in the field behind Rockland.