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What's Up Magazine

What’s Up? With Eastern Shore Real Estate: June 2015

May 29, 2015 02:45PM ● By Cate Reynolds
By C.B. Scott

In this issue of What’s Up? with Eastern Shore Real Estate, we profile two properties full of historic character and Southern charm.

Queenstown, Queen Anne’s County

Primary Structure Built: 1860
Sold For: $1.65 Million
Original List Price: $1.9 Million
Last Sold/Price: Not Available
Bedrooms: 5
Bathrooms: 3 full, 2 half
Living Space: 5,216 square feet
Lot Size: 7.88 acres

The Bryan-Preston House is a piece of history for both the Eastern Shore and the nation. Not only is the home on an exceptional waterfront property on the Wye River, it is a historic treasure listed in the Maryland Historic Trust. From 1929 to 1940, it was the vacation home to Frances F.C. Preston. Frances Folsom Cleveland Preston holds an impressive record of firsts: as the 21-year-old bride of President Grover Cleveland in 1886, she is the youngest First Lady in U.S. history, the only one married in the White House, the only First Lady to serve two non-consecutive terms, and the only First Lady to remarry following Cleveland’s death in 1908. And her purchase of the Bryan-Preston property in 1929 marked the beginning of the Eastern Shore’s popularity as a mecca for waterfront second homes and retreats.

Five years after President Cleveland died in 1908, she married Thomas J. Preston, Jr., an archeology professor at Wells College in New York. When the Prestons, then in their 60s, purchased the property in the 1929, the tiny farmhouse was already 50 years old and included 112 acres of agricultural land. The following year, in 1930, she tripled the home’s size, with a two-and-a-half story addition the length of the east side of the farmhouse, transforming it to an impressive Colonial Revival second home.

While the home has hosted multiple renovations since the former First Lady resided there, details remain that echo her efforts to expand a tiny farmhouse into a stately waterfront estate. The wide plank wood floors have been preserved, and deep crown molding, wide staircases, four-panel doors, and beaded door and window surrounds are original to the Prestons’ time in the home.

Interestingly, she incorporated an existing outbuilding into the first floor addition. According to the Maryland Historic Trust, the outbuilding originally stood 12 feet from the farmhouse. Instead of demolishing the building, the Prestons made it part of the addition, removing plaster to expose brick nogging and circular sewn studs.

The home includes six fireplaces, water views from every window, and a large screened-in porch facing one of the more recent additions, a large, 11-foot deep kidney-shaped pool, complete with a diving board, positioned at the tip of the point.
According to David Kauffman, the listing agent, the property’s history is only rivaled by its views. “This home sits on one of the most awesome points of land on the entire Wye River. The water views can be seen from every window of this home and are over 270 degrees.”

The property is listed on the Maryland Historic Trust, and is named for the original 1860 builder, George L. Bryan, and the Prestons. The Prestons owned the home until 1940.

Source: David Kaufmann (listing and buyer’s agent), EXIT Gold Realty, 

Easton, Talbot County

Primary Structure Built: 1990
Sold For: $1.05 Million
Original List Price: $1.175 Million
Last Sold/Price: None
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 3 full, 1 half
Living Space: 4,000 square feet
Lot Size: 2.44 acres

The waterfront charmer on Peachblossom Creek in Easton is a study of elegant Southern style. From the wide, rocking chair front porch to the welcoming country kitchen, this home has plenty of places to spread out, relax, and enjoy the view.

This William E. Poole-designed home—“The Famous Natchez”—has all the hallmarks of Southern hospitality. High ceilings, built-ins, crown molding, wood floors, and wainscoting add charm to the 4,000-square-foot home’s large, welcoming rooms. Inside, the first floor includes formal living and dining rooms, a library/office, and the master suite. Sunlight from a wall of windows fills the cheery 16 x 11 square foot country kitchen.
Two bedrooms on the second floor share a Jack and Jill bathroom, and the fourth bedroom has a private full bath. A bonus room above the garage is accessed by a separate stairway. The basement is partially finished, with a recreation room. The unfinished room serves as a large 33 x 15 square foot workshop and storage room. Outside, the new owners can relax on one of the three porches or take in the waterfront views on rear the deck by the in-ground pool.

Lawrie Dudly is the selling agent, and her sister and husband purchased the property. The sisters grew up in Oxford. “We used to drive by and admire this house almost every day growing up,” says Lawrie. The couple’s goal has been to return to Talbot County. The sale closed in April 2015, and they are already enjoying the water views, waving to passing kayakers, and making friends with their new neighbors.

Sources: Barbara Watkins (listing agent), Eliza Albrecht (licensed assistant), Benson & Mangold Real Estate, (410) 822-1415, 
Lawrie Dudley (selling agent), Coldwell Banker, 410-310-0719,