Live in History: Baxter Farm in the Monacacy National Resources Management Area

10/05/2016
By Preservation Maryland

Does living in a historic house located within one of Maryland’s scenic State Parks, Natural Resource Management Areas or other protected state lands sound like a dream come true? Several properties are now available through Maryland’s Resident Curatorship Program:

MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES RESIDENT CURATORSHIP PROGRAM

The Resident Curatorship Program was begun in 1982 in an effort to preserve state-owned historic resources. As the largest landholder in the state, Department of Natural Resources (DNR) owns many historically significant sites and structures. Some of these, like Fort Frederick in Washington County or Rock Run Mill in Harford County, are operated as museums while others are used for park operations and staff housing. Unfortunately, given the realities of tight budgets and an excess of buildings, not all of the historic structures in the department’s portfolio can be maintained.

This is where the Resident Curatorship Program comes in.

Rather than allow these historically significant properties to fall into ruin, the Resident Curatorship Program offers them to the general public for restoration. Curators are responsible for all costs associated with restoration and maintenance of the property but receive life tenancy free of rent in exchange for their efforts. Because the property remains in possession of the state, it is also exempt from state-levied property taxes. Since its inception in 1982, the program has grown to include 48 properties throughout the state and has leveraged over $11.6 million dollars of private investment in state owned real estate. This successful program has been the model for similar efforts in other states such as Massachusetts and Delaware.

BAXTER FARM IN THE MONACACY NATURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT AREA

 

The Baxter Farmhouse was likely constructed in the first quarter of the 19th century as a simple, four room structure. Over the decades, the house has been expanded to its current size with significant improvements having been made in the late 19th century. The property was acquired by DNR in 1975 and is now included as a part of Monocacy NRMA. Located near Dickerson, along the Frederick/Montgomery County line, the Baxter Farm is within an hour drive of both Baltimore and Washington DC. The Monocacy River runs just to the south of the property and the area offers beautiful scenic views of the Maryland countryside. The Baxter Farm curatorship includes a brick farmhouse, garage/apartment, spring house, corncrib/tractor shed, bank barn, and the surrounding six acres of land. DNR is in search of a partner to rehabilitate the house and outbuildings and to ensure the continued preservation of this important piece of Maryland’s history. Responses to the RFP are due November 10, 2016.

For more information on the Baxter House or the Resident Curatorship Program:

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