Even without a ghost, house holds interest History: Hard Lodging near Union Bridge was built by a Quaker settler in the early 19th century. An open house will be held next month to celebrate its restoration.

November 28, 1996|By Donna R. Engle | Donna R. Engle,SUN STAFF

No historic events took place at Hard Lodging. No famous people slept there. The owners were textile mill owners and farmers. The place doesn't even have a resident ghost.

But the Historical Society of Carroll County is sponsoring an open house to celebrate the renovation of the restored early 19th-century house built by a Quaker settler near Union Bridge.

Despite its lack of history, Hard Lodging has plenty of architectural interest, said Jay Graybeal, historical society director.

The property was carefully restored by Thelma W. L. Shriner, who bought the rundown house in 1941. She evicted sheep and chickens from parts of the house and began studying early American architecture to try to make the restoration as authentic as possible.

"She was a very interesting lady," Graybeal said. "She was an amateur architect, really ahead of her time to do that [restoration] in the 1940s and '50s."

The historical society's visitors guide says Hard Lodging, a Federal style, side-hall house, was more typical of city homes than the country setting where it was built. The house contrasts sharply with farmhouses typical of the area in 1800.

Shriner and her husband, F. Earle Shriner, never lived in the house. She donated Hard Lodging and 39 acres of surrounding farmland to the historical society in 1983 to ensure its preservation.

Mrs. Shriner died in 1994, leaving money for restoration in her will. The society spent about $50,000 to repair masonry, install central heating and air conditioning, add storm windows and paint the interior and exterior.

Graybeal and his wife, Doris, were the last tenants to live in the house, in 1988 and 1989.

Hard Lodging "is a wonderful house," he said. "Beautiful scenery."

Graybeal liked the views of Little Pipe Creek and the meadows, but his favorite was the view of the remnants of the mill from the second-floor landing. "I'm sure it's a view Solomon Shepherd looked at many times," he said.

Solomon Shepherd, who built the house, came to Union Bridge about 1778, married the daughter of a prominent local landowner and built a textile mill. The house originally was called Rock Hall. Thelma Shriner renamed it after she and her husband found references on 18th-century deeds to a nearby tract called Hard Lodging.

The house is open by appointment, except during special events.

Graybeal said the society has sponsored several weekend events and the house has become a stop for some bus tours.

The open house will be from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 8 at 4623 Ladiesburg Road. The house will be decorated for the holidays, and society members in each room will describe how the rooms were used.

Pub Date: 11/28/96

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