1ST ANNUAL BURKITTSVILLE HOUSE & GARDEN TOUR, SATURDAY, MAY 20TH, 2017
RAIN OR SHINE

Burkittsville is an historic, virtually unchanged example of an American village of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Fields of crops and dairy farms surround the churches and houses strung along Main Street. The mountains rise to the west. In September 1862, Burkittsville became closely involved with the Civil War when Union and Confederate forces clashed in the Battle of Crampton’s Gap, the bloody prelude to Antietam.

The educational walking tour highlights three centuries of historic architecture as well as lovely private gardens. Houses, churches and farms from Burkittsville's founding through the 20th century stand side by side revealing layers of rich history. Guides will provide information on the history of the village and individual historic buildings as guests enjoy an exceptional opportunity to observe how contemporary lifestyles are lived within the framework of Burkittsville's unique architectural heritage.

Enjoy this exclusive opportunity to see beyond the quaint doorways and garden gates of one of the most enchanting villages in Maryland.


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BREAKING NEWS(04/09/2017):
Check here for any updated information about the 1st Annual Burkittsville House & Garden Tour to benefit the Burkittsvile Preservation Association!

BREAKING NEWS(03/23/2017):
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Below is a summary of the tour.


Biser House at 307 East Main Street. This house, along with the neighboring brick dwelling at 305 East Main Street, was owned by Daniel S. Biser. Born in 1801, Biser served thirteen terms in the Maryland House of Delegates, serving as Speaker of the House in 1841 and 1843. Biser also served on the board of directors for the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. This dwelling, built of brick laid in common bond, beautifully displays the typical Victorian-era embellishments that were made to many houses in Burkittsville in the latter part of the 19th century.









Dr. John E. Garrott's House at 101 East Main Street. As wounded poured into the village of Burkittsville on the evening of September 14, 1862, Dr. John E. Garrott offered his services to the Army Surgeon Alfred Castleman. Together, the men were able to dress the wounds of all soldiers being treated in either hospital "B" or "C."

Surgeon Castleman stated that, "having, by the kind assistance of Doctor Garrott, a good and excellent physician of the village, got through my dressings and seen my patients well asleep, I, in company with Doctor G., visited other hospitals to offer our services to the Surgeons there."

Castleman later recounted that the other surgeons were asleep. Disgusted by there lack of treatment of the wounded in other hospitals in the village, Dr. Garrott asked to be relieved of duty the following morning.

Dr. Garrott's elderly father was also a doctor, but, records do not mention him helping with the treatment of soldiers. No records support Burkittsville physician, Dr. Tilghman Biser, who lived across the street from Dr. Garrott, as assisting with the wounded.

Dr. Garrott's house is an example of an early frame house, later updated with elements of Queen Anne style, including the porch, cross gable, and projecting bay, all likely post-Civil War alterations.


St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church at 3 East Main Street. The Lutheran congregation in Burkittsville predates the founding of the town itself. Beginning in the 1810s, services were held in the Karn Cabinet Shop until 1829 when the Union Church (SMHS) was built. After sharing the Union Church with the Reformed congregation for 30 years, the Lutherans erected St. Paul's Church in 1859. The church served as a field hospital after the Battle of South Mountain and both its lecture hall and sanctuary housed wounded soldiers. The Romanesque-styled tower and narthex were added to the church in the 1870s. Inside the church's Colonial Revival-styled sanctuary is an 8-rank Moller Pipe Organ, originally installed in 1914.






Cost/Horine House at 6 East Main Street. Displaying the simplicity and refinement of Federal architecture, the Cost/Horine House is one of the best-preserved structures built during Burkittsville’s first period of growth and economic prosperity from the 1830s until the outbreak of the Civil War. The front façade of the house displays Flemish Bond brickwork, a technique for laying brick in which long and short ends of the brick are laid in an alternating pattern. This technique was considered to be the most aesthetically-pleasing method of brick construction and was accordingly quite expensive to build. Closer inspection reveals that the side and rear walls of the house are laid in the more cost-effective Common Bond. This pattern of differing brick construction can be found in many early structures throughout the town.



Horine's Store at 2 West Main Street. The soldiers making their way up Main Street towards the mountain, found the commerce of the village to be centered at the town square; including this building, which at the time housed a general store, operated by the Horine Family.

Store ledgers indicate that goods were purchased by soldiers of both sides during the time Burkittsville was occupied. Stores within the village were extremely important, especially to soldiers, who were often under-supplied. This property had been a commercial establishment since its construction in the early 19th century by Captain Joshua Harley, who owned the first store in Burkittsville. In 1824, this store became the home of the Harley's, and later Burkittsville Post Office. The Horine Family continued to operate their store for over a century after the battle, although the name was changed to Gordon's in its later years.

Today, the building houses P.J. Gilligan's Mercantile, making Two West Main Street, Burkittsville's oldest commercial structure


The Home Place at 8 West Main Street "The Home Place" is one of Burkittsville's earliest documented structures. The rear ell wing of this composite house was built in the late-18th century of half-timbered framing, a construction technique transported from Europe dating back to the medieval period. Few examples of this construction style exist in Frederick County today. The front section of the house was built in the early 19th century of logs. In the 19th century, this was home to the Arnold and Miller families and in the 20th century, Deborah Aughenbaugh, Burkittsville's first female mayor lived here.








The Easterday House at 101 West Main Street. The Easterday House is one of Burkittsville’s most elaborate Victorian-era structures, an example of Queen Anne style completed with two turrets, six gables accented by scalloped wooden shingles, and carved brackets and balustrades on the front porch. Parts of this house pre-date the Civil War. Less than a month before the Battle of South Mountain in 1862, sisters Elizabeth and Julia Ann Easterday purchased this house. Throughout the day on September 14, 1862, the Union Army passed by the front of the house on its way to the mountain and by the evening, wounded soldiers were carried by en route to one of over a dozen field hospitals setup throughout the village. In the twentieth century, this house served as the parsonage for Pleasant View Church of the Brethren.

St. John's Chapel. In the early 1890s, the rector of St. Mark's Episcopal Parish began conducting Evening Prayer services in Burkittsville. From this work, a small congregation was established and in 1896, the Gothic Revival-styled St. John's Chapel was completed. The congregation was short-lived and ceased holding regular services by 1920. The chapel was eventually deconsecrated and has seen use as an antique store and studio. St. John's was established under the leadership of the Rev. Edward Trail Helfenstein, future Bishop of the Diocese of Maryland (1926-1948).



The Graham House at 100 West Main Street. The Victorian character of the Graham House is indicative of the prosperous era enjoyed by Burkittsville in the last quarter of the 19th century. Local industry including two rye whiskey distilleries and a tannery helped to rebuild the economy after the Civil War and led to the construction of many new buildings in the town sporting popular styles of the Victorian Age. The Graham House, constructed in the mid-1880s, blends elements of Queen Anne, Gothic Revival, and Italianate architecture.









The Tannery Master's House at 109 West Main Street. This historic home dates to the early 19th century, likely built by Ezra Slifer, who owned the tannery before Michael Wiener, who was living in this Federal styled house with his family during the time of the battle.

The Tannery Master's House is one site which is directly involved in a significant legend of Burkittsville's history: the visit of Abraham Lincoln in the fall of 1862. The mystery of Lincoln's return route to Washington D.C. from Antietam gives the setting of Burkittsville as one of his stops. According to Wiener and Arnold family traditions, the President stopped and ate lunch on the rear sleeping porch of the house in the shade of the massive tree which still looms behind the structure.

According to General William Franklin's Notes on the Maryland Campaign, "...when Mr. Lincoln visited the army, he came through Crampton's Gap; he told me that he was astonished to see and bear of what we had done there. He thanked me for it, and said that he had not understood it before. He was in a respects very kind and complimentary."

The home burned in 1890, but was rebuilt within a year. Today, the house stands newly restored after several years of abandonment.


The Michael Wiener Tannery at 111 West Main Street. The Michael Wiener Tannery was the largest industrial complex within the village of Burkittsville when soldiers passed by on their way to battle in 1862. The Wiener Family purchased the tannery from the Slifer Family in 1846.

Michael Wiener, a Bavarian immigrant, was a well-trained tanner. By the time of the war, Wiener had expanded the complex to include a pottery kiln, wheelwright, a blacksmith, and carpenters shops, and even a loom. The center portion of the present hous at 111 West Main Street is all that remains.

The structure, built of stone on the first level and brick on the second, served as a manager's and magistrate's office. Widely respected, Wiener had a contract to produce saddles for the Austrian Army. While records have never been located to state how much was stolen from the Wiener's during the war, it can be assumed that they were at a great loss.

Local tradition states that the army confiscated all of Wiener's saddles. The tannery continued to operate until the early 20th century. After laying in ruin for several decades, the building was restored and expanded to produce the modern house seen today.


The Hamilton Willard Shafer Farm at the Northeast Corner of the intersection of Gapland and Catholic Church Roads. Hamilton Willard Shafer farm was built circa 1840. Is was owned by Dr. J.D. Garrott in 1858 based on the data in the Isaac Bond maps of Frederick County 1858. The property was sold to Martin Shafer, uncle to Hamilton Willard Shafer, prior to the Civil War. Gen Wm. B. Franklin used the property as his headquarters Sept. 14 1862. Gen. Franklin could view the Town of Burkittsville and Crampton’s Gap from this vantage point.

"Shortly after noon, as the cannon fire began to intensify, William Franklin established his headquarters at the stately home of Martin Shafer - one mile east of Burkittsville - and then sat down to enjoy a bite to eat. He granted his footsore soldiers a reprieve, as they had covered the six miles from Jefferson in just over two hours. ... Generals Henry Slocum, Baldy Smith, Winfield Hancock, William Brooks, and John Newton soon joined Franklin at headquarters, and together the officers - essentially the entire Sixth Corps brass, excepting only Colonels Bartlett, Torbert and Irwin - enjoyed a round of cigars." (Hoptak, 2011, p. 138)