This circa 1800 stable was built either by the Young family or the Fisher family of Seneca sandstone most likely quarried nearby on the Potomac River. Seneca stone was prized for its ruddy variegated color, local abundance, and durability. A stable built of stone was truly exceptional because the vast majority of agricultural buildings in Montgomery County were made of wood.
Today, this restored facility stands as the centerpiece of the 418 acre parcel Mr. Herman Greenberg donated to the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission in 1999 for equestrian pursuits.
Maintenance of horses requires a special shelter: a barn or stable. The term "stable" became associated with horses in the 18th century. Stables were built for racing and hunting clubs, the military, commercial enterprises, urban residences and farms.
Of all common livestock, horses seemed to be most susceptible to disease, so their health was the first consideration in stable design. Horses had long been kept in dark and damp quarters, but in the early 1800s owners came to recognize the importance of proper drainage and a balance of light and air with shelter from cold winds. Other considerations included the height of the horses, the number of animals to be sheltered, and the local climate.
Whether built of wood, masonry, or brick, the expense of construction a horse barn or stable demonstrated a considerable investment. This Seneca Stone Barn is a rare example of a traditional British-style horse barn — one of a very few still standing in the mid-Atlantic region.