Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory - Maryland


The Wilderness

The Wilderness, Trappe, Maryland (38.639570, -76.135657)


(a) East Range Felling Date: Winter 1807/8

(b) West Range Felling Dates: Winter 1807/8; Spring 1808

(c) Smokehouse Felling Dates: 1806-1816

(a) Floor joists (3/3) 1807 (C), 1789; Chimney trimmer (1/2) 1807. (b) Floor joists (7/7) 1807 (C, ¼C) 1785, 1786, 1804; (c) Joist (1/2) 1788. Site Master 1693-1807 WILDx1 (t = 9.09 LMP; 8.23 ESHORE1; 7.90 PIEDMO).

The Wilderness is a multi-period historic home overlooking the Choptank River in Talbot County, Maryland. Although documentary evidence for the Wilderness stretches back to the mid-seventeenth century, it achieved its greatest prominence in the mid-nineteenth century as the birthplace of Daniel Martin, the twentieth governor of Maryland. The present-day house is composed of two blocks (an east range and a west range) with a modern kitchen extension to the east and several historic outbuildings (including a smokehouse and a dairy) arranged around the kitchen courtyard. A dendrochronological study of the Wilderness was undertaken in an attempt to date the primary construction phase of the east range, the west range, and the smokehouse. The oak timbers in the east range provided a felling date of the winter of 1807/8, the timbers in the west range provided felling dates of the winter of 1807/8 and the spring of 1808, and a single sample from the smokehouse provided a felling date range of 1806 to 1816.

Worthington, M.J. and Seiter, J.I 2013 The Tree-Ring Dating of Wilderness, Trappe, Maryland Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory Report 2013/01




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Contact Information

Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory

Michael Worthington
Jane Seiter, Ph.D

25 E. Montgomery St.
Baltimore, MD 21230