Meet the Owners

Antrim’s Adoring Stewards

Dorothy “Dort” and Richard Mollett were in their mid-thirties when they purchased Antrim. Their passion for restoring multiple beautiful historic homes in the Baltimore area led them on this journey. They invested a tremendous amount of energy into the restoration of Antrim 1844, with two children and two dogs in tow.

The lovely estate and mansion had been deserted for more than 50 years and none of the heating, plumbing and electricity were functional. It was empty of any furnishings and the grounds were totally overgrown. The Molletts’ vision originally was to renovate the exquisite Greek Revival Mansion and live there while operating a small bed & breakfast. Richard instinctively became the General Contractor overseeing the restoration while Dort contributed as an Interior Designer.

Owners Dort and Richard Mollett in the rose garden

Property Highlights

National Historic Trust Property
Award-Winning Inn & Restaurant
Indoor & Outdoor Event Spaces

A Treasured Past Since 1754

The History of Antrim 1844

Vision, dedication and hard work has brought Antrim 1844 and The Smokehouse Restaurant to life.

The Mansion in the 1980s
Historic photo of The Mansion

Taneytown was founded as a part of one of the area’s first land grants. Nearly 7,900 acres were granted to Edward Diggs and Raphael Taney under a patent designated as the Resurvey of Brothers Agreement. In 1762, the first lots were laid out and first deeds in Taneytown were registered.

Joseph McKaleb, an immigrant from County Antrim, Ireland, originally settled Antrim in 1770. He resided in an old stone house on the property. When he passed away in 1803, the property was inherited by his son, Major John McKaleb, a prominent merchant in Taneytown. Carroll County was formed in 1836, comprised of several ‘hundreds’ from both Baltimore and Frederick Counties. In 1843, following John McKaleb’s death, his daughter Margaret Ann McKaleb became the heir to Antrim.

Between 1844 and 1847, Major Andrew G. Ege, married to Margaret Ann McKaleb, built the Mansion at Antrim. This notable structure was a three-story, 50-foot square brick building, surrounded by a broad veranda and capped with a glass-enclosed cupola offering expansive views. Inside were high ceilings, marble mantelpieces by William Rinehart, and 25 meticulously crafted rooms.

The estate also featured extensive outbuildings, including a barn, carriage house, and hennery, all matching the Mansion’s grandeur. The surrounding landscape was beautifully manicured with varied shade trees and gardens. Notably, the construction was overseen by Benjamin Forrester, who also built the jail of Carroll County. After Margaret’s death in 1851, Ege remarried and eventually moved, selling Antrim to Col. James Piper in 1855. Piper, a noted public figure and landowner, later listed Antrim for sale in 1857.

Historic photo of The Mansion

Historic photo of The Mansion

An advertisement for the sale of Antrim Farm from the 1857 edition of The American Farmer

Advertisement for the sale of Antrim Farm,
1857 edition of The American Farmer

The Civil War, starting in 1861, brought pivotal changes to Antrim. In 1862, Laura Elizabeth Williams, wife of former New Orleans Crescent owner James H. Maddox, bought Antrim for $40,000 and moved her family there. A year later, in 1863, General Meade’s troops passed through Taneytown, with Antrim momentarily eyed as a potential battleground. This was highlighted in Laura Williams’ letter, describing Meade’s Army surveying the fields near Antrim.

“Nearly the whole of Meade’s Army passed through Taneytown…Antrim was selected, so as I have been told since, as the battle-ground. We saw them surveying the fields near the woods, below the house. The intention of Meade, they say, was to attack Lee at Gettysburg, and fall back to this part of the country.”
Letter to James Maddox from wife, Laura Williams
Dated August 4th, 1863
Sent from Antrim

Following the war, Antrim was purchased by Horatio Nelson Gambrill, a Baltimore manufacturer known for building Druid Mill. He later sold parts of Antrim as town lots. In 1873, George E. Clabaugh bought the 420-acre property, which included a section of the Frederick and Pennsylvania Line Railroad. His son, Harry Morris Clabaugh, became Maryland’s Attorney General and later the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The family owned Antrim for nearly a century, hosting many significant events. George made notable improvements, including installing a Springfield Gas Machine for Mansion lighting.

By 1885, under Harry’s ownership, the estate was farmed by tenants, producing common crops and employing about 15 horses. From 1885 to 1920, the Clabaughs sold much of the land in lots but kept 24 acres around the Mansion until 1961.

Newspaper clipping about Sale of Antrim from 1878

Newspaper clipping for
Sale of Antrim, 1878

Newspaper clipping from 1914

Newspaper clipping for
Sale of Antrim, 1914

Antrim and its then surrounding 24 acres were purchased by George Crouse, a well-known Taneytown businessman. 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 for the first time and instantly fell in love. By 1988, they had transformed the mansion into a bed and breakfast with four guest rooms. This marked the beginning of Antrim 1844’s new chapter as a tranquil retreat near major cities. The Molletts further expanded the accommodations by renovating the Smith House, the Barn and Ice House, and the Carriage House between 1992 and 1997, adding more guest rooms and suites.

The Mansion in the 1980s

The Mansion in the 1980s

The Smith House being moved to the property in 1991

The Smith House being moved
to the property in 1991

In 2004, the Birnie and Annan Houses, previously belonging to Dr. Clotworthy Birnie and his nieces, were renovated to add seven guest accommodations. This expansion was followed by the refurbishment of Witherow, Slonaker, and Zepp Houses on Mill Avenue between 2006 and 2007, adding 11 guestrooms.

Historic photo of The Birnie House

Historic photo of The Birnie House

Dort and Richard Mollett purchased Glenburn in 2007, restoring it for their residence. Originally established in 1840 by Rogers Birnie for a boys’ boarding school, the property had various owners, including Congressman Joseph Goulden and the Neal family, who transformed it into Carroll County’s first Bed and Breakfast in 1983.

Press & Accolades

See What They’re Saying About Antrim

Historic Hotels of America

September 2023

Historic Hotels of America – “Best Historic Restaurant Nominee


Historic Hotels of America

April 2023

Historic Hotels of America – “Top 25 Historic Hotels of America Magnificent Gardens


Gayot

January 2023

Gayot – “Best Romantic Restaurants in Baltimore Area- The Smokehouse Restaurant at Antrim 1844”


Historic Hotels of America

November 2022

Historic Hotels of America Awards of Excellence – “Best Small Historic Inn Under 75 Guest Rooms


The Knot

January 2021

The Knot – “Best of Weddings 2021


Washingtonian Magazine

December 2020

Washingtonian Magazine – “Christmas Inspired Wedding at Historic Antrim 1844


Martha Stewart Weddings

December 2020

Martha Stewart Weddings – “Parisian Inspired Wedding at Antrim 1844


Only in Your State

November 2020

Only in Your State – “Antrim 1844 Gets Decked Out for Christmas



Sarah Wockenfuss Photography

May 2020

Sarah Wockenfuss PhotographyBeautiful Christmas Wedding


Open Table Diners Choice 2022

January 2020

OpenTable – Diners’ Choice Award | Best Overall | Best Ambiance | Notable Wine List | Romantic


TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame

TripAdvisor – Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame


WeddingWire Couples Choice Award

2009 – 2020

Wedding Wire – Couples’ Choice Awards | Wedding Wire Rated Gold


2019 Pick The Knot Best of Weddings

2013 – 2019

The Knot – Pick Best of Weddings | Pick of Weddings Hall of Fame


Wine Spectator

Wine Spectator – “One of the most outstanding restaurant wine lists in the world.”


Zagat

Zagat

“One of the most prestigious inns in the country.”
— ZAGAT SURVEY

“In the top 1% of restaurants in North America.”
— DIRONA

“The most romantic table around.”
— WASHINGTONIAN

“Antrim 1844 easily provides one of the most genteel and luxurious dining experiences in the free state.”
— FREDERICK MAGAZINE


Delish

2020

Delish – Most Romantic Restaurant in Maryland


Historic Hotels of America

2019

Historic Hotels of America – Best Historic Restaurant in America


Wine Spectator

2019

Wine Spectator – Best Award of Excellence


BedandBreakfast.com

Bed & Breakfast.com – Diamond Collection


Country Inn – Top 100 Inns


1,000 Places to See Before You Die

1,000 Places to See Before You Die


MSN

MSN Lifestyle – Most Romantic Restaurant in Maryland


Maryland.com

Maryland.com – 10 Top Romantic Getaways


USA Today 10 Best

USA Today’s 10 Best – #1 Baltimore’s More Than Crab


Baltimore Magazine

Baltimore Magazine – 50 Best Restaurants


Culture Trip

The Culture Trip – Local Favorites Award Winner


VacationRentals.com

VacationRentals.com – Most Romantic Restaurants in Maryland


Chesapeake Bridal Awards

Chesapeake Bridal Awards – Top 10 Wedding Venue Finalist


Baltimore Business Journal

Baltimore Business Journal – Baltimore’s Restaurants with Top-Rated Food


Elevate your getaway and unwind with our Romantic Picnic Basket Package, complete with an overnight stay for two and lunch for two. Enjoy it in our picturesque gardens, on the charming estate grounds or take it with you on an adventure.

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