Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory - Maryland


Josiah Henson Site

Josiah Henson Site, Montgomery County, Maryland (39.044028N; -77.121615W)

Log Kitchen
Felling Dates: Spring 1849, Winter 1849/50, Spring 1850, and Winter 1850/51

Log beam (8/14) 1848(¼C), 1849(C), 1849¼(C), 1850(C). Site Master 1742-1849 UTCx1 (t = 11.65 DC AREA; 8.99 LBENNETT; 8.99 PBMx1).

Located on the Old Georgetown Road in North Bethesda, Maryland, the Josiah Henson Historic Site is comprised of a frame dwelling with three additions. The now Colonial Revival frame house is 18’ x 19’, one-and-one-half stories tall and four bays wide, with a side-gabled roof. On the rear, west façade is a 14.5’ x 17.5’, two-story kitchen and bedroom wing and to the south is an added screened porch. On its north façade is a 16.5’ x 12.5’, one-story, log addition for which the site is known (figure 1); this addition is the subject of the following dendrochronological study.

The hand-hewn logs of the log addition extend approximately eight courses high and are joined at the corners by V notches. The chimney is corbelled to match the two chimneys in the frame section. Above the logs of the north elevation wall, the gable is sheathed in weatherboards that match those of the frame house. Inside, a brick hearth and fireplace opening is centered in the north wall.

The frame section of the house dates to 1800-1815, while the dendrochronology has shown that the log wing dates to the winter of 1850/51 or very shortly thereafter. The structure’s construction and framing, therefore, date to the 19th century. The house was likely built by George or Isaac Riley, while the log wing may have been built by Isaac’s widow, Matilda Riley. The house and log wing were renovated between 1936 and 1939, according to drawings by architect Lorenzo Winslow. The effort included the construction of the two-story rear addition and side, screened porch. The appearance of the house has not changed significantly since that work was completed.

Worthington M, J, and Miles D. H. W. 2010 The Tree-Ring Dating of the Log Kitchen Block at the Josiah Henson Site, Montgomery County,Maryland ODL report

Link to Montgomery Parks site 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