East New Market

Property Reports

34 Main Street

Old Brick Hotel (ca. 1787)

(Also known as the Brick Hotel, the Old House of the Hinges, the Old Manning House, the Temperance House, and the Daffin-Mitchell House)

Daffin-Mitchell House 2005

The original structures on this property were erected, expanded, or improved during the time of Charles Daffin's ownership (1786-1790) and during the early part of Cyrus Mitchell's ownership (1792-1804).  It is also possible the Sulivane family was responsible for erecting some of the earliest structures on this property before 1783.  

A tax record from 1783 for James Sulivane's roughly 900 acre tract listed him with 1 framed dwelling house, 4 small houses, 1 carriage house, 1 brick house, and 4 logged houses.  Other structures stood on this larger property throughout the years.  A storehouse stood on the south part of this lot as early as 1792.  This original storehouse is no longer standing.  Dr. Anthony L. Manning built a large Brick Store House at the same location in 1865.  It was damaged by fire in 1896 and removed by 1920.  Dr. Anthony L. Manning also built a Framed Store House in the middle of the lot before 1866. 

James Sulivane sold a 4 1/2 acre part of his 900+ acre "New Market" tract to Charles Daffin in 1786.  We know a house was on the "Old Brick Hotel" property by 1789 as a deed from 1789 for the property across the street states it is "nearly opposite a house in New Market belonging to Mr. Charles Daffin".  A newspaper advertisement from December 1792 indicates that Cyrus Mitchell was responsible for the property.  He purchased the 3 to 5 acre property in April 1793.  According to the 1792 advertisement, this property contained a good dwelling house, kitchen, smoke house, stable, carriage house, and a good store house & granary. 

Since James Sulivane's "New Market" tract was 900+ acres, it is difficult to pinpoint from the 1783 tax record exactly which structure is the brick house.  The brick house could have been the Old Brick Hotel, the kitchen wing of the Old Brick Hotel or it could have been Friendship Hall or the kitchen wing of Friendship Hall.

See the story about "Old House of the Hinges" for more information about this name.

James Cheesman (b. 1895) stated in 1990 that as far back as he can remember that, Mr. Tom Higgins lived at the old house of the hinges.  He stated Higgins ran a hotel and livery stable.  It was called the Old Brick Hotel.  Mr. Higgins went down to the depot and got the mail.

From the Annual Candlelight Tour Brochure sponsored by the East New Market Heritage Foundation 1991

In mid-restoration, this late 18th century house is an excellent example of the transition from the Georgian to the Federal style of architecture.  Documents newly discovered reveal that the main section of the house was built between 1792 and 1796 by Cyrus Mitchell and not by the Sulivane or Ennalls families as previously thought.  Other evidence indicates that kitchen wing may date as much as 100 years earlier.  Substantial alterations, however, make dating most uncertain.  Although an 1840's Greek Revitalization and late 19th century Victorianization saw many original features altered, the present painstaking work has uncovered much evidence upon which the restoration is based and has seen the return of lost grandeur.

From "Between The Nanticoke and the Choptank, An Architectural History of Dorchester County, Maryland"   Edited by Christopher Weeks, with contributions by Michael O. Bourne, Geoffrey Henry, Catherine Moore, Calvin Mowbray, M. Fred Tidwell.

House of the Hinges 1936 rearOne of the most famous houses in Dorchester County, this substantial brick house sits off of the road shaded by venerable trees.  Locally known as the Brick Hotel, the late Georgian house has a steep roof, a carved frieze, and a cornice of carved modillions with triglyph, accented by guttae, all quite correct.  The hinges, by the way, have nothing to do with the house:  they are, instead, on the door of an old meat house located to the rear of the house's one-and-one-half-story kitchen wing.  The prominent Ennalls family is generally credited with building the house.  Later it passed to Anthony L. Manning, an officer in the War of 1812.  In the 1920s it functioned as the East New Market Hotel, but has since been carefully restored.  [Error Note - House was likely built by Cyrus Mitchell, not the Ennalls family.]

From "Souvenir Program of the North Dorchester Heritage Festival at Hurlock, Maryland, June 5-11, 1955"

House of the Hinges 1936 frontAnother ancient house bears the picturesque name of "The Old House of Hinges".  While to the casual passer-by the house looks quite recent, owing to extensive remodeling, the original old part of the house was built by James Sulivane.  Later it belonged to a branch of the famous Hooper family, of Warwick Fort Manor.  On the main street of East New Market is a beautiful home called "the old Manning property", or the "Brick Hotel".  It was constructed in the latter part of the eighteenth century by Major Anthony Manning.  Major Manning fought in the War of 1812, and afterwards retired to East New Market to live the life of a country gentleman.  The house was inherited by the major's son, Dr. Anthony Manning, who was a surgeon in the Civil War.  He lived there a long time, and, indeed, the house remained in the Manning family until about 1924.  After that it was used as a hotel for a short time. 
[Error Note - House was likely built by Cyrus Mitchell, not James Sulivane.  The house was also never owned by the Hooper family.]

From New Revised History of Dorchester County, Maryland by Elias Jones, Tidewater Publishers, Cambridge, Maryland - 1966, Chapter X, East New Market, by Miss Emma Edmondson Jacobs 1925

Some of the most beautiful homes have been well kept.  One of the most striking residences in the town is the Manning property; it is over 125 years old, and was built by Major Anthony Manning, who fought in the War of 1812.  However, it remained longest in the possession of his son, Dr. Anthony Manning, who was a surgeon in the Civil War.  Until the year 1924, this property remained in the family; but has lately been converted into a hotel, the only hotel in East New Market.
[Error Note - House was likely built by Cyrus Mitchell, not Major Anthony Manning.]

From The Daily Banner, July 30, 1923 - Historic Homes

Major Anthony Manning built the Old Brick Hotel over 130 years ago.  He was active in the war of 1812, and has been kept in the family of the Manning's until within the last year, when it was purchased by Mr. Charles Hubbard of Philadelphia.
[Error Note - House was likely built by Cyrus Mitchell, not Major Anthony Manning.]

The Laskowski Papers by F. Arthur Laskowski - Old Manning Property

On the west side of Main St. in East New Market and about 100 yards south of its intersection with Railroad Ave. is a 2 ½ story brick dwelling, which is the old Manning property.

That the Mannings were early inhabitants of Dorchester is attested by the fact that in the early land records we find land transactions by the Manning family. We also find that in 1779 Nathaniel Manning was a Captain in the Revolution. While the Mannings were active in military affairs, they do not seem to have been generally active in the political phase of the county.

During the latter part of the 18th century, Major Anthony Manning built what is now called the "Old Manning Property". This large brick dwelling is on the main street of East New Market and until a short time ago was known as "The Brick Hotel", although now it has once more reverted into a private dwelling.

During the War of 1812, Major Anthony Manning was actively engaged in fighting with the American Army against the British. After the war, he retired to his home in East New Market to live the life of a country gentleman.

The Major’s son, Dr. Anthony Manning, was a surgeon in the Civil War. When the property came into his hands, he retained it for a long period of years and it is said that the property was in the hands of some branch of the Manning family until 1924. After that time it was converted into a hotel, but remained a public hostelry for but a few years.

In a previous generation when gentlemen of the so-called sporting class of a community gambled handsomely, though not wisely, the owner of this property (Mr. Hamil Smith’s grandfather) lost it one night in a poker game. While stories like this may sound romantic to us, there is little beauty attached to the scene of a family leaving its ancestral home because of the flip of a card by the so-called "head of the family." We may berate the modern flapper for her rouge and short skirts, but at least she has the sense and spirit to resist any attempt of evicting her from her home because of her husband’s love of gambling – and more power to her.

During many years of its existence, like many old houses, it has had a varied career, and is now occupied by A.S. Bramble.

Building – The dwelling facing east and west is almost a duplicate of the house on the Goose Creek Farm. To the front is a hall extending across the front of the building. The stairway is to the left as one enters, and the woodwork and paneled doors are typical of the colonial period. Back of the hall are the large living rooms with fireplaces.

On the second floor, the hall is to the front, the large comfortable bed rooms opening upon it. In the large attic are comfortable rooms. Like most old dwellings of this type, there is a large one-story brick wing to the south.

Grounds – These are now limited to a small area between the house and street. In former days spacious gardens extended on the sides and to the rear. This land, however, was sold off in the course of time and buildings now occupy the space.

Mr. Hamil Smith, East New Market, Md.
Mr. A.S. Bramble, East New Market, Md.
History of Dorchester County

From the Maryland Historical Trust State Historic Sites Inventory Form

Popularly known as the "House of the Hinges," but also called the Manning house or the Temperance Hotel, this two-and-a-half story, four-room plan brick house stands in the center of East New Market, Dorchester County, Maryland. The Flemish and common bond brick house faces east with the gable oriented on
a north/south axis.

Built around 1795-1800, this two-and-a-half, four-bay brick house is supported by a raised three-course common bond brick foundation that boasts a molded water table. The front and side walls are laid in Flemish bond, while the west (rear) wall is a laid in common bond. The steeply pitched gable roof has been recently resheathed with slate. Attached to the south end of the main block is a story-and-a-half three-course common bond brick kitchen that incorporates fragments of an earlier structure of undetermined date. Standing behind the kitchen is a pyramidal roofed log smokehouse.

The east (main) facade is an asymmetrical four-bay elevation that has been recently restored with a new double-door entrance and flanking twelve-over-eight sash windows. The raised-panel double doors, located in the second bay from the south, have been interpreted with flanking pilasters and an elaborate modillion block cornice. The cornice profile was taken from the original block cornice surviving on the dormers. Each of the window openings are topped by carefully executed jack arches. The second floor is marked by four window eight-over-eight window openings. The second bay from the south had originally been a window opening, but was changed to a door opening and then back to a window opening. Stretching across the base of the roof is an intricate cornice with an elaborate series of moldings. The modillion blocks have a delicate tapered profile, and a row of candlestick punch and gouge work enhance the bed molding.  Distinguishing the steeply pitched roof are a pair of gabled dormers that boast modillion cornices and original arched sash windows. The sides to the dormers are covered with diagonal board sheathing. Piercing the foundation are segmental arches cellar window openings with restored horizontal bar grills.

The north side of the house is an asymmetrical elevation as well with a single twelve-over-eight sash window marking the west bay, and a pair of eight-over-eight sash windows lighting the second floor. Six-over-six sash windows light the attic to either side of the tall, interior end brick stacks that are finished with corbelled caps. The gable end is flush and trimmed with a molded bargeboard.

The west (rear) elevation is a three-bay facade with a raised ten-panel door flanked by restored twelve-over-eight sash windows. Three eight-over-eight sash windows light the second floor, and a pair of new dormers are centered on the roof. The cornice is less elaborately finished with more standard bed and
crown moldings than the front cornice.

The south side of the main block is partially covered by a story-and-a-half three-course common bond brick kitchen that incorporates the remnants of an earlier brick structure of undetermined date. The balance of the south wall of the main house includes an original eight-over-eight sash window that lights the first stair landing and restored eight-over-eight sash windows that illuminate the south rooms. The attic wall is pierced by a pair of six-over-six sash windows to either side of the large interior end brick chimney. The gable end is finished with a molded bargeboard. An exterior cellar entry is located in the east bay and is sheltered by a gable roofed frame entry.

The east (main) three-bay elevation of the kitchen is a symmetrical facade with a center four-panel door entrance and flanking six-over-six sash windows with jack arches. The entire south wall is sheltered by an engaged porch that is supported by square tapered piers set on marble blocks. The center opening of the porch is distinguished by a segmental arch. The porch ceiling is vaulted, and the floor is brick paved. Centered on the roof are a pair of six-over-six sash dormers with simple pilasters trimming the corners, and diagonal board side walls.

The south end of the kitchen is dominated by a partial exterior brick chimney with corbelled shoulders. The chimney is laid in five-course common bond.  Evident in the brickwork is a slight raising of the roof to include the engaged porch in front. A four-over-four sash window pierces the upper gable east of the brick stack, and the end wall of the porch is covered with Flush beaded boards.

The west side of the kitchen is a three-bay facade with a center four-panel door and flanking six-over-six sash windows.

The interior finishes of the main block are undergoing an extensive restoration that is focused on returning the house to its turn of the nineteenth-century finish. Much of the house had been extensively reworked around 1840 in Greek Revival taste. Despite ambitious interests to redesign the interior at the time, much of the original woodwork was left in place or reused in other situations throughout the house.

The first floor is divided into four unequal sized rooms. The squarish entrance hall, comprising the southeast quarter of the first floor, is dominated by the decorated quarter-turn stair that rises in the southeast corner of the entrance hall. The slender turned newel post and the series of turned balusters support a molded handrail. The stringer below is decorated with a delicate scroll design with the end of the S-shaped curve embellished with a gouge work star. Below the stringer the large triangular space is divided by a series of flat panels. The stair soffit is finished with the same flat panels. The soffits of the second floor run of steps were fitted with reproduction flat paneling as well. The entrance hall walls were originally fitted with flat-panel wainscoting as well, a section of which survives against the south wall rising with the stair. The wainscoting is embellished with a punch and gouge work row imitating classical swags. The entrance hall has been refitted with restored six-panel doors framed by crossetted surrounds with ovolo molded back bands.

The northeast room has been extensively reworked with the restoration of the hearth wall. The chimney breast had been stripped of its mantel and eighteenth-century over mantel. Original cupboards to either side of the hearth had been altered as well. The Federal mantel, the profile of which follows the paint ghost of the original, has been applied along with a crossetted over mantel. The cupboards to either side have been rebuilt as well with the beaded board shelves inserted where the earlier ones had been. The ceiling is trimmed with an original cornice that stretches across the distance of the north wall. An unusual feature of the front parlor uncovered during the restoration process is the partially whitewashed finish of the interior parlor walls. The whitewash only rises to the height of a chair rail. Painted over mantels executed during the early nineteenth century were removed and installed in the Maryland Historical Society.

The northwest room, the largest first floor space is highlighted by an elaborate wooden cornice that stretches around the perimeter of the room. A candlestick row of gouge work enriches a complex molded cornice. The hearth wall is currently being restored since the eighteenth-century mantel and over mantel were removed. The flat-panel wainscoting some of which survives is also being restored on the east wall where a Greek Revival sized double-door opening has been introduced.

The southwest room is the smallest first floor space. A southeast corner fireplace is fitted with a Greek Revival style mantel with simple pilasters and a plain frieze under a thick shelf. The room is fitted with raised-panel wainscoting, and as in the rest of the house the doors and windows have been restored.

The second floor is divided into four rooms that open from a center passage.  The stair that continues to the attic is less elaborately finished with plain rectangular balusters and a simpler molded handrail. The upstairs passage is also fitted with flat-panel wainscoting and crossetted door surrounds. The door reveals are finished with raised panels, and many of the original raised six-panel doors survive as well. The finish of the bedrooms is relatively plain in contrast to the rest of the house. The southwest room includes a corner hearth. The ovolo molded firebox surround had been removed and used elsewhere, but is now being returned to its original location. Beaded baseboard stretches around the perimeter of the room. The northern two rooms are in the process of being repartitioned with the addition of closet space and/or bathrooms.

The attic was finished evidently around 1840 with the space partitioned into five rooms. Sawn lath and plaster walls with beaded baseboards were the principal finish. Located in the southwest room is the enclosed attic stair which carries an early square newel post and square balusters that support a molded handrail. A beaded board partition encloses the ladder stair. The upper attic is unfinished.

The kitchen interior has been heavily reworked through the years and has now been extensively gutted. Surviving on the south end wall is a flush paneling framed by beaded edge stiles and rails. The hearth is framed by a molded surround topped by a molded shelf, while the enclosed stair is fixed in the southwest corner.  To the east of the chimney pile the niche was filled with built-in cupboards. The doors as well as some of the rails and stiles have been removed. The upper floor of the kitchen is partitioned into two rooms. Interestingly a section flat-panel wainscoting was nailed to the south end wall and topped by a hand-carved mantel shelf. In addition a crossetted door surround removed from the main house was used around the door opening of the partition.

Standing directly behind the kitchen is a pyramidal roofed hewn log smokehouse. Supported by the remnants of a continuous brick foundation, the smokehouse is covered by a pyramidal asphalt shingle roof. The exposed logs were finished with a beaded edges, and the corner notching was covered with beaded edge boards. Piercing the east side is a large board door with long spade-tipped strap hinges. Along the inside edge of each strap hinge a tangent section of iron curls out to add further support for the door. The door is framed by a molded surround. The cornice above the door is boxed. The side walls consist of stacked hewn logs with beaded edges, while the west (rear) wall is pierced by a small window opening framed by a molded surround. Two sets of iron bars crisscross the window opening which is covered by a board shutter hung on long strap hinges.  The interior has a loose board floor.

Significance - The "House of the Hinges," also known as the Manning House, is one of the best known historic dwellings in Dorchester County. The two-and-a-half story Flemish bond brick dwelling was built on an ambitious scale with a generous four-room plan. The interior Georgian and Federal influenced woodwork equals any similar work known to exist in the area. Attached to South gable end is a story-and-a-half kitchen that boasts an engaged tapered post porch with a brick paved floor and a vaulted ceilings. Standing behind the kitchen is the structure that inspired the name of the property. The hewn log smokehouse displays unusually long strap hinges. The beaded edges of the logs, the beaded edges of the surface trim, and rare construction features make this turn of the nineteenth-century smokehouse a highly unusual survival on the Eastern Shore.

The property was held by the Manning family for much of the nineteenth-century. In addition to the credit for erecting the house, members of the Manning family also operated a hotel in this building through part of the late nineteenth century. Currently, the house is undergoing an extensive restoration that is focused on returning the house to its early appearance.