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.