Antrim 1844 Country House Hotel
A National Historic Trust Property
Antrim 1844 was built by Col. Andrew Ege (1813-1876) on land inherited by his wife, Margaret, from her father Major John McKaleb. This magnificent plantation was named in honor of the McKaleb's family ancestral home in County Antrim, Ireland. Truly an American treasure, Antrim 1844 exemplifies a quintessential brick Greek Revival Mansion with historic influences and exhibits a classic example of a mid-nineteenth century agrarian plantation. Nestled at the foothills of the Catoctin Mountains in Taneytown, Maryland, this area abounds with immense rural beauty and rich history. Col. Ege farmed and raised livestock on his 450-acre prestigious estate, much the same as the farmers in Carroll County do today.
Miraculously, most of the original outbuildings, the Carriage House, the Ice House, the Post House, the Summer Kitchen, the Brick Kitchen, the Overseer’s Wing, the Barn, the Spring House and even the brick double-sided Outhouse, which supported the lifestyle of an important property of that era, are still intact today.
From the moment you see Antrim 1844, you will be amazed by the breathtaking splendor of another era; from the towering white columns on sweeping grand porches, through the impressive double front doors, vestibule and entrance hall to the cantilever staircase that spirals gracefully up to the third floor. The beautiful identical Drawing Rooms boast 14-foot ceilings enhanced by plaster medallions and crown molding, over-sized Monticello windows with interior shutters set off by white marble mantels carved by William Rinehart (a prominent sculptor from Carroll County), and heart pine floors. Outside are masterfully restored Formal English Tea Rose Gardens stoically anchored by twin bronze fountains. A large glass enclosed cupola is proudly perched atop the 17,000-square-foot mansion, flooding it with sunlight. Legend has it the cupola was used as a lookout for troop advancement prior to the battle of Gettysburg.
In 1856, Col. Ege sold Antrim 1844 to a gentleman named Piper. Not much else was recorded about the property until George Washington Clabaugh bought Antrim 1844 in 1873. His son, Harry Morris Clabaugh, was elected Attorney General of Maryland (1895-1898) and was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court by President Roosevelt in 1903. Benjamin P. Lamberton (1878-1938) married Helen Clabaugh (1881-1946) and had three children, Harry, Ben and Helen. Antrim 1844 remained in their family’s possession for nearly 100 years. Many dignitaries from Washington, D.C. frequented gala parties here and it was the site of many important functions and gatherings.
In 1961, Antrim 1844 changed hands once again when George Crouse (a well-known Taneytown businessman) purchased the property and 24 surrounding acres. Although Mr. Crouse never lived in the house, he maintained it and opened it up to large functions and friendly gatherings. Most importantly, under Crouse's ownership, Antrim 1844 was honorably placed on the National Historic Trust Register. The Crouses decided to place it on the market after George Crouse passed away. In 1987, Dorothy and Richard Mollett saw Antrim 1844 for the first time and instantly fell in love with the property and its rich history.
After purchasing Antrim 1844, Dort and Richard Mollett's mission was to restore the property to its original splendor. The Molletts had restored six historic homes in the Baltimore area and were prepared for the diligent work the property required. By the end of 1988, Antrim 1844’s mansion opened its first and second floors as a bed and breakfast with four handsome guest rooms; a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of life within close proximity to Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
Over the last 30 years, Dort and Richard have restored, expanded, constructed and reconstructed many different aspects of the property. With the purchases of five additional houses on adjoining Mill Avenue, Antrim 1844 currently enjoys the distinguished honor of serving as a luxurious, 40-room boutique hotel with an award-winning fine dining restaurant and expansive wine cellar. The Molletts have also added a gift shop, swimming pool, tennis court, croquet lawn, horseshoes, badminton and a nature trail by the stream for guests to enjoy. Future projects include renovating another house on Mill Avenue, adding four additional guest rooms and constructing a spa with lovely treatment rooms and an exercise facility.
Additional Facts about Rooms and Property:
Slonaker House – Bradford Slonaker lived in the house from 1875 to 1918 and made annual trips to Vermont to personally select large stones which he carved into gravestones and transported to the cemetery in Taneytown.
Zepp House – The Zepp House was originally the residence of famed Taneytown photographer, Edward Zepp.
Birnie House – The home of Dr. Clotworthy Birnie, a prominent Taneytown physician. He was born in 1843 at his family farm in Glenburn. His nieces, Amelia and Elizabeth Annan, resided at the Birnie residence. His doctor’s office and waiting room were on the first floor.
Glenburn – Built in 1840 by Rogers Birnie, he operated a boy’s boarding school from 1847 – 1877. In the late 1800’s, Congressman Joseph Goulden purchased the house and farm on Bear Branch Creek. In 1937, Chester and Gippie Neal of Kentucky bought it and raised a family there. Robert and Elizabeth Neal then took over ownership and in 1983 opened Carroll County’s first Bed and Breakfast. In 2007, Dort and Richard Mollett purchased the Glenburn and have been restoring it as their residence.
Witherow House – Harry, Grace and Lester Witherow resided in this house in the early 1900’s. One of Grace’s nieces, Wilma Witherow Wood Pecachek, was a dear friend of Dort and Richard Mollett.
Sgt. John Buffington – Sgt. John Buffington was born near Taneytown in 1841. With the outbreak of the Civil War, he enlisted with the Union. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery.
The Bentley Room – Eli Bently was a famous clockmaker who worked in Taneytown during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Some of his beautiful tall case clocks still exist today. Clocks that were nearly $100 during that time are now valued well over $20,000 in today’s antique market.