Uniontown Offers A Look At Its Architectural History

Tree-lined Streets Lead To Gracious 18th-century Homes

May 05, 1991

The architectural heritage of Carroll County is preserved among the 19th-century homes and tree-lined streets of Uniontown.

The village is one of the oldest in the county, dating back to the late 18th century.

Situated on a large tract of land that was known as "The Orchard," this land was granted to an Englishman named Metcalf from the West Indies.

It then passed out of Metcalf's hands by a deed in 1802 toErhart Cover, who had the land laid out in lots by a local surveyor,John Hyder.

The original name of the village was "The Forks," so named because of Buffalo Road and Hagerstown Pike coming together at the western end of town.

The name was changed to Uniontown when Carroll County was incorporated in 1837.

From the 1802 Uniontown Hotel, now a private residence, to the 1908 Dr. Luther Kemp house, a bedand breakfast facility, the buildings of Uniontown show the type andrange of architectural styles in Carroll and the rural conservatism prevalent during the county's history.

The village of Uniontown was the first entire town in Maryland to be designated a historic district and is the only community in Carroll County to be designated a historic district under local zoning.

An architectural review board considers all proposals for exterior alterations and new constructionwithin the historic district in order to preserve the historical andarchitectural character of the village.

Combined with other features of the community, such as the tree-lined streets, the homes re-create the atmosphere and environment of a 19th-century rural village.

Much of the historic preservation work in the community has been accomplished by Historic Uniontown Inc., a non-profit organization.

Formed in 1971, the group owns two historic structures in the village -- the Uniontown Academy and the Old Uniontown Bank -- which are open as museums during Uniontown's special events.

The group also sponsors a biennial Christmas house tour.

Another important buildingin the village is the Weaver-Fox House.

This 1875 Italianate-style structure was built by Dr. Jacob J. Weaver and its architectural characteristics -- such as the hipped roof with ornamented cupola, bracket cornice, wood siding that imitates stonework and full-length front porch -- display features that were popular nationally during the Victorian period.

The more typical house in Uniontown, however, hasa design based upon the rural farmhouse style predominant in CentralMaryland.

The characteristics of this style include a two-story structure with a symmetrical facade, L-shaped plan, gable roof and gable-end chimneys.

It is a design that was used from the late 18th through the early 20th centuries.

Variations on this design can be seen in the houses of Uniontown as well as in the farm complexes of the surrounding countryside.

For more about the community's history, read "Uniontown, Maryland -- A Walking Tour," available at the public library, in local bookstores and at the Devilbiss store/post office in Uniontown.

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