The 1784 version of the Cloverfields house had a service wing off the rear of the main house. In the video featured in this newsletter, Jason Tyler, RPA, discusses the history of this wing, since the original building of the house in the year 1705 up to now.Read More
In this month’s video historian Willie Graham discusses four different nails: a rose head nail from 1704-5, an early machine-headed cut nail from the 1830s-40s, and L-headed brad from late 18th century, and a common wire nail from 1897. Graham also explains to us how these nails fill in gaps in the chronology of the Cloverfields house.Read More
The Cloverfields house is being rebuilt so that, in a few years, it will look pretty much as it did in 1784. It is in that year that wealthy planter, politician and Revolutionary War patriot, Colonel William Hemsley (1737-1812), is believed to have completed the decades-long redesign and expansion of his grandfather’s 1705 dwelling. While the current rebuilding takes place, the Cloverfields Preservation Foundation seeks to understand how Col. Hemsley furnished his ancestral home.
Historians and decorative arts specialists know the type of furniture and range of objects a family of the Hemsley’s status typically displayed in each room, but however deep their general knowledge of eighteenth-century decor, the answer to specific questions requires extensive research. To learn, for example, how many chairs the Hemsleys kept in the dining room, if they placed a carpet in the entry hall, or how many family members slept in a particular room, the Foundation’s research team is turning to historic estate inventories records.Read More
This newsletter features Ray Gauthier, president of Lynbrook of Annapolis. Gauthier and his team are reconstructing the Cloverfields house.
In the video, we can see how Gauthier discusses original construction methods, and praises the work done by those who built the house over 300 yeas ago. It’s almost as if he is having a conversation with them, not through words but through bricks, panels, doors, and dentil molds. Overhearing a positive conversation between a twenty-first-century residential contractor and an eighteenth-century one invites us to imagine how this conversation can continue centuries from now.Read More
The frame of the roof of the Cloverfields house has some unusual features: a connection to a classical cornice, principal rafters that are bent, and false plates. In the video, architectural historian Willie Graham tells us about them. He also describes the role that those exceptional elements play in the architectural history of the Chesapeake Bay.
Of these elements, Graham explains, the ones that would become ubiquitous in the Chesapeake region are the false plates. The plates turn Cloverfields into a precursor of what Graham dubs an (“almost”) “American way” of framing. The classical cornice, on the other hand, stands as an early instance of experimentation in the American way of building classical architecture.Read More
In January of 2018, a ground penetrating radar detected an anomaly in a specific section of the lawn. Something had happened below the surface of that portion of the lawn, different from what was around it. Since then, the preservation specialists working at Cloverfields have tried to figure out the reason for the anomaly. Thanks to the archaeologists of Applied Archaeology and History Assoc., we finally have an answer.Read More
The writing of an accurate timeline is one of the more challenging tasks faced by the preservation specialists working on the Cloverfields house.
The house has undergone at least seven significant transformations since it was built, and it is sometimes hard to identify which specific changes resulted from each renovation. A historian may recognize a door as definitely belonging to a certain period, and therefore assume that the structure surrounding the door, made of the same material as the door, and looking equally corroded, belongs to that period too. The scientific dating of the wood of the frame surrounding the door, however, may tell a different story. The door, for example, may have been added a few decades after the rest of the structure was built.Read More
In the past several newsletters we told you about some of the artifacts they uncovered. The last newsletter concentrated on fragments of the lead strips which once held together the glass panels of windows. Previous newsletters discussed evidence for clothing and clothing accessories, including a shoe buckle, a bone grommet, and a parasol tip. We also described a lead cloth seal (a sort of 18th-century merchandise tag), and a ceramic shard from 18th-century German stoneware. In this newsletter, we will also focus on a ceramic shard, but a different one. But before telling you about it, we will go behind the scenes to explore what happens to the artifacts once they leave the Cloverfields site.Read More
This month’s video features Devin Kimmel, AIA, ASLA. Mr. Kimmel is the principal of an architecture firm based in Annapolis, MD. The firm, Kimmel Studio Architects, specializes in historic preservation and in high-end architecture. In the video, Mr. Kimmel highlights how his knowledge of Maryland architectural history can inform his design of new houses. The newsletter also discusses historic window glasses and panes.Read More
Built in 1705, Cloverfields was one of the first brick houses of the Chesapeake. In this newsletter, we discuss how in a landscape dominated by wood dwellings, this material was worth of notice. We also show how the Cloverfields Preservation Foundation is going to great lengths to ensure that the bricks that will replace Cloverfields’ historic bricks match the originals in texture and color. Finally, we tell you about some remnants of pieces of clothing from previous centuries found at the site.Read More
The Cloverfields Preservation Foundation is happy to update our readers on the continued investigation of the historic brick home. This month, we feature a video of archaeologist Jason Tyler giving an overview of his work at Cloverfields. Additionally, we highlight two events hosted at the Cloverfields property over the month of October, 2018.Read More
Welcome to another edition of the Cloverfields Preservation Foundation’s monthly newsletter. This month’s updates may be some of the most exciting to date. Upon careful review of our findings, our team has determined the most significant historical period as well as a coinciding date to restore the house to.Read More
Deciphering the walls: The exterior walls of the Cloverfields house are far from uniform. Among the more visible irregularities, we find the darker brick of two rectangular-shaped areas next to the windows of the second floor. One needs not to be an expert to suspect that the bricks were added at a later date and that they are covering window openings. What we do not know is when this change occurred, or what materials and techniques were used to make it happen. Raymond J. Cannetti, featured in the video above, was brought onto the team to help us answer these sort of questions.Read More
Welcome to another installment of the Cloverfields Preservation Foundation’s Newsletter. This month features Dr. Susan Buck, PhD, a conservator and paint analyst. A video shows how she analyses the layers of paint of a notable architectural feature of the Clovefields house: the original eighteenth-century cornice. The cornice was discovered beneath the current roof treatment. The newsletter also expounds on how the Clovefields Preservation Foundation is producing drawings and taking photographs in order to document the Cloverfields house and grounds as they stand today. The drawings are being produced by Kimmel Studio, and the photographs were taken by David Berg. The drawings and photographs will be added to collections of the Library of Congress, so that they can be available for future generations of investigators.Read More
The eighteenth-century kitchen provides us with an illustrative example of interdisciplinary team work. Historian Marsh Johns uncovered the 1798 tax records which mentioned the kitchen. The archaeologists found the foundations and, while excavating, also unearthed several artifacts, including a seal. Along with his team, architect Devin Kimmel is measuring the kitchen and producing detailed drawings. The paper trail, the archaeological findings and the drawings are being used by the other historian of the team, Graham, to date different sections of the kitchen. Lynbrook of Annapolis, in the mean time, is working closely with all of them so that the team can continue to write the story of kitchen and of the house.Read More
Interested in a 3D tour of a historic Maryland house? The Clovefields Preservation Foundation published a 3D map of the Cloverfields house. The 3D tour allows you to "walk through" and explore the house from the comfort of your computer screen. Each circle on the floor is a clickable point where you can move and see 360 degrees around you. For the most immersive experience, we recommend a full screen view.Read More
Greetings. We are pleased to announce that February of 2018 has been an extremely productive month for the Cloverfields Preservation Foundation. Our most important news is that we were able to draw a timeline of construction that challenges the traditional dating of the Cloverfields house and its additions.Read More
Welcome to the first installment of the Cloverfields Preservation Foundation Newsletter! It is our goal to use this as a monthly bulletin to inform anyone interested about our process going forward to research, analyze, document, preserve and restore the Cloverfields house and grounds to their most significant historical period. We hope we can convey our eagerness and excitement about the project by showing you photographs, videos and historical documents related to the restoration.Read More