History

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 estate 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 farm. Nestled at the foothills of the Catoctin Mountains in Taneytown, Maryland, this area abounds with immense rural beauty and rich history. In 1851, Margaret Ann McKaleb Ege passed away and is currently buried in the Piney Creek Reformed Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Taneytown, Maryland. After her death, Col. Andrew Ege married Matilda Craighead from Pennsylvania shorthly thereafter and moved to Kansas in 1856, listing Antrim Farm for sale in 1857. 

colonel andrew ege (agey)

"As a presidential elector and other prominent public positions, he was always noted for his firm adherence to settled convictions, and his earnest and untiring vindication of what he deemed right. Colonel Ege was a bitter opponent of the Know Nothing Party, in the days of his strength. As a great reader, he was well informed in the history of the past and present. His mind was stored with a vast fund of knowledge, the result of long experience and close observation. The deceased was a truly charitable man. He never saw distress without offering to relieve and assist the afflicted. A lover of the chase, he often said that he had owned more fine dogs than any other man in America. As a horseman and a good shot he was unsurpassed. In fact, his pleasures were those of past generations. Colonel Ege was a man of untiring energy, having improved twenty-one farms in his life, and had owned a large amount of land in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Iowa, Missouri, Michigan, and Kansas. He spent a large fortune in this state and did much for the material development of Doniphan county, where he resided since 1856."            - "Gray's Doniphan County History - A Record of the Happenings of Half a Hundred Years" 
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An advertisement for the sale of Antrim Farm from the 1857 edition of The American Farmer

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

In 1856, Col. Ege sold Antrim 1844 to a gentleman named James Piper who listed the property for sale in 1857. James Piper's daughter Adeline D. Miller would go on to marry Judge Oliver Miller.

"Miller served one term in the house of delegates, and became speaker in 1867. From 1867 to 1892 he sat as chief justice of the fifth judicial circuit and was a member of the court of appeals. Miller married Adeline D. (Piper) Greene, the widow of Charles H. Greene and daughter of James Piper of Taneytown, Maryland."   - American Legislative Leaders, 1850-1910 

Not much else was recorded about the property from this point until purchased in 1873 most likely held by the Piper family as the Civil War began in 1861. During the Civil War Union Maj. Gen. George Meade's Army of the Potomac defeated attacks by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, halting Lee's invasion of the North. 

"In 1863, during General Robert E. Lee's drive through the North, General Meade's plan for defense was devised along the Big Pipe Creek, Taneytown, since it was in proximity of principal supply routes, served as Meade's headquarters and "Antrim" was the site of concentrated troop activity."   - National Register of Historic Places

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.

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, 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 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.

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"Col. Ege was educated at the Academy of Dr. McGraw at West Nottingham, Cecil County and at Mt. St. Mary's College, Emmitsburg, Md. Soon after his marriage to Margaret Ann McKaleb, the daughter of Major John McKaleb, of Westminster, Md., he moved to Tawneytown, Carroll County, Maryland where he purchased a large estate and built a fine mansion, raising horses and cattle. He was a state legislator from 1845-46, a member of the Constitutional Reform Commission 1850-51, and was twice presidential elector. He was known as a bitter opponent of the 'Know Nothing Party.' His first wife died in 1851. He married second, Matilda Craighead, the daughter of William Craighead, Cumberland Co., Pennsylvania near Carlisle. In 1856 he sold his Maryland estate and moved west to Kansas, buying up large quantities of land in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas and Michigan. He was a lover of horses and of the chase, and often claimed that he 'owned more fine dogs than any man in America.' At the time of his death in Doniphan County, Kansas, three of his sons were settled on farms there."  - Ege Genealogy Book, 1911