Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory - Maryland


Melwood Park

Jacob Leiter House, Leitersburg, Maryland (39.691769, -77.626250)

(a) Main Crib     Felling Dates: Winter 1795/6, Winter 1796/7, Winter 1797/8, Winter 1798/9

(b) Addition to Main Crib    Felling Dates: Winter 1780/1, Winter 1781/2

(b) Kitchen     Felling Dates: Winter 1796/7, Winter 1797/8, Winter 1798/9

Site Master JLMDx1 1642-1798 (Oak) (t = 10.87 MARYLAND; 9.72 KEEDSITE; 9.04 DRNx4). Individual sample jlmd26 (Oak) 1649-1796 (t = 5.16 MKF; 5.07 haas1; 4.86 LMP). Individual sample jlmd23a1 (Oak) 1651-1782 (t = 5.96 DRNx4; 5.54 FDSMx1; 5.39 CHVAx1).

Melwood Park, Prince George’s County, Maryland, is a multi-phased building, the earliest of which was thought to have been constructed in the late 1720s. The dendrochronological analysis has moved this back by over a decade to a likely construction date of 1714. The roof is remarkable on account of its principal rafter construction with light-weight riven common rafters with some of the original red oak clapboards. Ex situ slices of four of these were found to have been felled in the spring of 1711, demonstrating that these had been seasoned for several years before being used. In 1767 the house was extended at both ends and the roof raised at the front. A large number of rafters and collars relating to this work produced precise felling dates of winter 1765/6 to winter 1766/7. The majority of the timbers used on this later phase of work was of tulip poplar, compared with the equal mixture of oak and poplar used in the Period I structure. 1750 to c1800.

Worthington, M J, and Seiter, I 2017 ‘The Tree-Ring Dating of the Jacob Leiter House, Leitersburg, Maryland’, Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory 2017/11




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Contact Information

Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory

Michael Worthington
Jane Seiter, Ph.D

25 E. Montgomery St.
Baltimore, MD 21230