Historical Society’s preservation plan completed
CENTREVILLE — The Queen Anne’s County Historical Society is pleased to announce it received a prestigious Preservation Grant by the National Trust for Historic Preservation — awarded late 2014 — to complete much needed historic structure reports on Tucker House and Wright’s Chance located in historic Centreville. The grant paid for detailed analysis and design work that was carried out during 2015 by Barton Ross & Partners, LLC Architects.
The Historical Society said the project was successful, allowing the organization to create a complete history of the Historical Society properties and a valuable plan for their continued maintenance and preservation. Historic architect Barton Ross prepared a 557page report that included analysis of Tucker House, Wright’s Chance and the McKenney cemetery property outside of town. This Preservation Plan examined current conditions by prioritizing urgent maintenance problems and looked to the future with plans for historical interpretation and expanded use by the public. The Plan also included a developmental history for each of the houses using architectural drawings and provided recommendations for repairs with cost estimates.
One of the more surprising reports came from Michael Worthington, the dendrochronology expert on the project. Worthington was able to extract four samples from the cellar timbers and roof rafters of Wright’s Chance to date in his laboratory. Two of the samples had complete sapwood and provided a felling date for the summer of 1793. Ross concurred that architecturally Wright’s Chance was consistent with a 1790’s date of construction and that ver y likely the house was constructed in 1794, following a customary year of wood seasoning by air drying. This revised date of construction will require new interpretive thinking on the part of the society, as previously it was believed that the house was built some 50 years earlier, in 1744.
The Plan’s recommendations for preservation will serve as a valuable tool to guide the historical society in the professional stewardship of the properties. The Society hopes to use the Preservation Plan — in conjunction with their 2020 Strategic Plan — as a vision or blueprint to assist in proposed alterations at the properties, future grant planning, marketing, and fundraising efforts over the next few years.
According to the historical society, grants like these from the National Trust Preservation Funds have provided more than $15 million in assistance since 2003 to similar projects. The matching grants are awarded to nonprofit organizations and public agencies across the country to support wide-ranging activities including consultant services for rehabilitating buildings, technical assistance for tourism that promotes historic resources, and the development of materials for education and outreach campaigns.
Wright’s Chance is one of the historical properties in Centreville maintained by the Queen Anne’s County Historical Society.
Brick work — with date 1744 — incorporated into the side of historical property Wright’s Chance.