built by Henry Williams circa 1869 as an Italianate styled dwelling.
This historic site sits on the remaining original 4.3-acre tract of land
originally patented as "Williams Hardship." Known as an "urban
farmstead" meaning the family income was not from farming, the farm
produced mostly for household use rather than for sale.
Currently the site has ten surviving 19th and 20th century outbuildings;
two poultry houses, a slaughterhouse, smoke house, two corn cribs, one
large livestock barn, a log living quarters, the original kitchen and a
brooder house. At one time there were eighteen outbuildings.
Originally the house was a two-story L-shape with two brick chimneys and
a screened porch. In 1907, the third owner, John B. Gray Sr., made the
first addition to Linden. He also planted six Linden trees, giving the
property its name.
He added to the porch, which lengthened the east and west parlors and
created an enclosed grand entrance with a new front porch with
balustraded roof supported by Doric columns. The addition created a
Colonial Revival facade.
The new addition provided a wide vestibule with a high arch in a federal
style that marks the original entrance.
As you walk to the bedrooms, you go up the original stairway of 1869
made of newel posts and handrails of walnut with turned balusters in
A large landing separates the four amply sized bedrooms with substantial
fireplaces surrounded by decorative wood mantles. A callbell, used for
summoning servants, is on the wall of the landing and on the side of the
fireplace in the master bedchamber.
"The master bedroom has closets that are larger than some being built
today," says Devon Smith, Administrator for the Calvert County
The interior walls are covered in horsehair plaster over wood lathing.
The pine floors are stained in a dark walnut and large six over six lead
glass windows are in every room.
"A Community Legacy Grant Award, Maryland Historical Trust Grant
Award, and community donations have allowed for the restoration of the
exterior," Devon says, "which included replacing the hand-floated lead
glass windows which were imported from Germany. We had the original
shutters dipped, sanded, and repainted. The pressed metal roof is
restored and new copper guttering was installed."
The corbel and arched chimneys were repaired and re-pointed. Many layers
of paint have been removed from the original cypress siding and hand
sanded before fresh paint was applied.
"Linden brings about a sense of community partnership. The Calvert
Garden Club has donated a collection of heirloom vegetables of the 1920s
for the historic kitchen garden. And when we asked Arthur Crafton,
master roofer, to replace the roof of the porch and he heard our budget,
he restored the roof and gutters with copper at his own expense," Devon
"Two Linden trees were replaced at the front of the house recently by
Mrs. Marianne Harms," adds Devon, "since there is only one left from the
original 1907 planting."
In the 1920s the last addition raised the rear of the home one and a
half stories. A small bathroom was added with indoor plumbing for a
freestanding claw-foot tub. Built-in cabinets surround a small enameled
Across the small landing is a small servant's bedchamber and a narrow
staircase leads to new attic space. The house's old roofline and
one-time green paint is still visible.
As you come down the back stairs it deposits you in the kitchen.
"This will be our gift shop," Devon states. "This new section is the
Historical Society's office, library, and climate controlled archives
The County purchased the property in 1997. In 2000 Linden was added to
the National Register of Historic Places. The Calvert County Historical
Society leases Linden from the county.
"Now we're focusing on the interior," Devon begins. "We have the great
fortune to work with Albrecht Construction Corporation, whose attention
to painstaking detail and historical accuracy in woodworking, hardware
replacements, and restoration techniques are greatly appreciated."
"We're honored to give Linden back to the county," says Devon. "Our
partnership with this house fits our ideal to preserve the past, enrich
the present, and inspire the future."
"How we plan to do that at Linden is to give tours and educational
workshops. We'd like to show and tell how they lived back then. We even
plan to talk about social graces, which was important to the urbanite."
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, Linden is located at
Seventy Church Street in Prince Frederick in Calvert County.
Office hours Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and every 2nd and 4th
Saturday 10 A.M. until 3 P.M., or by appointment.
Tours and workshops information can be found at 410-535-2452.