Unraveling the Mystery of Centuries Old Buildings and Houses

While traveling country roads around the Chesapeake and Delaware bays old, abandoned buildings often catch my attention.  There’s a strong sense of the past and mystery in many of these silent places now standing unused and crumbling in distant farm fields or alongside quiet country roads.  As I glance at them I sometimes think about the stories those walls contain.  It’s that air of mystery or the centuries old vernacular architecture that catches my attention.

A little research can cause a property to give up some of the puzzle.  Most likely an old-timer, someone in the neighborhood, knows some bits of the story of these once valued structures, many of them now in some sagging state of decay.  Digging through land records, tax assessments, wills and court cases will yield more of the secrets.  A close examination of the structure also adds to the fact-finding.

Of course it doesn’t have to be an abandoned structure as the same methods will produce results on any building or property

Here are two structures that caused me to pause briefly on trips around the area recently.  The abandoned house is located on Priestford Road outside Churchville in Harford County.  The Church is on the Crisfield Road outside Westover in Somerset County.


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7 Responses to Unraveling the Mystery of Centuries Old Buildings and Houses

  1. Bill says:

    Always like to see the history of these buildings. NIce pics Mike.

  2. Mike says:

    Thanks Bill. Always appreciate that comment from the real professionals in the business.

  3. These photos are great! I’ve recently relocated back to my homestate of Delaware and am interested in places such as these to photograph. Previously, I lived in Massachusetts for 11 years and photographed many urban settings similar to these. Where exactly is this located? You said outside Churchville….is that Maryland, I assume? Any info would be great.

  4. Mike Dixon says:

    Thanks exit9photography. I just checked out your blog and you have some really creative works there. I just usually keep a camera in the car and when the scene and sunlight are right grab photos to help with these posts or my lectures. The top one is in Harford County, MD. A few miles east of Bel Air heading down toward Havre de Grace, there’s a small community called Churchville. It’s on a rural road heading just north of there a mile or so. The bottom one is in Somerset County on the road to Crisfield, but it’s just a few miles west of a community called Marion Station.

  5. Rima Sorges Collins says:

    Hi Mike, I was looking for any information about a farm across the street from the abandoned house on Priestford Rd. There is a structure on the farm/property that looks like four silos connected together and it looks like a castle or turrets. It is very interesting. I subscribe to your blog and enjoy it very much. I live in Cecil County and always wonder about the history of the old houses around here and especially the abandoned ones. I live near Liberty Grove road and there was an abandoned 12 bedroom house that recently sold, in the past year. I am so curious about that property I am tempted to go knock on the door one day.
    Thanks for sharing and if you have any information, my curiosity would appreciate it.
    Thanks, Rima

  6. Geetar76 says:

    Here is information on the farm in the top picture. It is part of Indian Springs Farm, probably the largest farm in Harford County at around 800 acres. I pass by there often and love to see the old structures, although I wish they were more preserved. Here is some information on the farm from the Maryland Historical Marker Database. http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=1283

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