Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory - Maryland


Drayton Hall

Handsell, Dorchester County, Maryland (38.508835N; -76.81209W)

Primary Construction Phase Felling dates: Winter 1836/7, Summer 1837

Floor joist (9/10) 1836 (½ C, C). Site Master 1749-1836 HAND (t = 8.38 DC AREA; 7.66 POPMAST; 7.60 ESHORE; 7.31 MD2009).

Handsell is an historic brick plantation house located two miles north of the town of Vienna, Maryland. The 1 ½-story building sits on top of a tall above-ground basement. Its principal elevation, laid in Flemish bond, is five bays long. The plan of the first and second floors consists of a central stair passage with two flanking rooms. The ground floor or basement kitchen contains neither central passage nor stair, with access to the upper stories apparently occurring by way of an exterior stair that no longer exists.
It is thought that the original 18th-century plantation house was severely damaged in a fire of c. 1806/7, which destroyed all of the timberwork within the building and left only sections of the exterior brickwork surviving. This dendrochronological study has shown that the house was rebuilt in the summer of 1837 or very shortly thereafter.

Worthington, M J and Seiter, J I 2011 The Tree-Ring Dating of Handsell, Dorchester County, Maryland, unpublished Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory archive report 2011/02

Link to Restore Hensell's webpage here.




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Contact Information

Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory

Michael Worthington
Jane Seiter, Ph.D

25 E. Montgomery St.
Baltimore, MD 21230