A Ghost in the Ground.Before you is the foundation of "The Governor's House," the building that served as the officers' quarters, ceremonial hall and storeroom for Fort Frederick. What did that building look like? We know the size and general layout of the building from the foundation. There are only a few historical documents, which mention the building. Of those, the most significant is Samuel Hughes's 1778 letter, from which we learn that the building was a 2-story timber framed structure with weather board siding and a wood-shingled roof. Beyond that general description we know very little. There are no plans, sketches or early images showing more.
Where Do We Go from Here?Although most of the historical research is completed, this sketch is the beginning. DGS, DNR, the Historical Consultant, and the Architect will refine the design and will complete details for construction. The building will be erected using framing techniques very similar to those used by 18th century builders on the frontiers of Maryland. Throughout the process we are counting on the interest and support of visitors and the Friends of Fort Frederick.
Letting History Fill in the Details.To gather missing evidence, we conducted exhaustive historical research into similar military buildings and other structures of the 1756 period—especially those within a one hundred mile radius—part of the regional building tradition. We also consulted archival resources from the Library of Congress, the Historic American Building Surveys, private collections, original guidebooks for carpenters, and period design books. Our goal was to identify common building practices and stylistic features, which would inform the design for the reconstructed Officers Quarters. The sketch shown here is a result of that research.