Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory - Maryland


Melwood Park

Melwood Park, Prince George's County, Maryland (38.813117° -76.816733°)

(a) Primary phase Felling Dates: Spring 1711, Winter 1712/13, Winter 1713/14, and Summer 1714

(b) Gable end extensions and raising of front roof slope
Felling Dates: Winter 1765/6, Summer 1766, and Winter 1766/7

(a) Principal rafters(1/2) 1712(C); Common rafters (10/17) 1713(22C, 20C, ½C2, C3), 1712(C), 1710(17), 1708; Ex situ clapboards 1710(16¼C, 9¼C, 5¼C, 1696(1710) (¼C); Sill beam (0/1); Floor joists (1/3) 1694(1). (b) Principal rafters (2/4) 1766(C), 1765(C); Collars 1766(C), 1765(1766) (C), 1765(½C4), 1761, 1751, 1750; Ex situ clapboard 1748(14); Floor joists 1752(16), 1742, 1741; Common rafter (0/1); Sill beam (0/1); Inserted posts (0/2). Site Masters 1620-1752 MELx1 (oak) (t = 5.8 MONTP; 5.5 PIEDMONT; 4.7 BPR; 4.6 HQF); 1574-1766 MELx2 (tulip poplar) (t = 8.4 SOTx45; 5.0 WRE; 4.9 HSC; 3.8 GLOx1); 1597-1748 MELx3 (oak clapboards) (t = 6.0 PIEDMONT; 5.8 MONTP; 5.1 EYREHALL; 5.0 SOTx12)..

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.

Miles, D H, and Worthington, M J, 2008 “The Tree-Ring Dating of Melwood Park, Prince George’s County, Maryland”, ODL unpubl rep 2008/16.

Link to Wikipedia page for this building here.




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Contact Information

Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory

Michael Worthington
Jane Seiter, Ph.D

25 E. Montgomery St.
Baltimore, MD 21230