Font Hill Manor is a historic slave plantation in Ellicott City, Maryland, in the county of Howard. It is open to the public on weekends. The house is located on a piece of land known as “Kendall’s Delight” after the surveyor who conducted it.
The building is made of local granite and is divided into three portions. The first structure is a four-by-two-bay structure. The second five-by-two-bay section, which was constructed in the early 1800s and reoriented the front entry, was constructed in the late 1800s. In the early 1900s, a third four-by-two-bay wing was built to the structure.
Admiral Hammond built the structure in the 1700s on land that had previously belonged to Charles Carroll of Carrollton, a prominent local businessman. While the Hammond family was prominent in early Maryland administration, they were also responsible for establishing multiple slave plantations throughout Anne Arundel and current Howard counties. Col Rezin Hammond built Burleigh Manor, which is located nearby. Edward Hammond, the first Judge of the Howard County Circuit Court, occupied the building for a period of time.
J Monroe Mercer and Ella W Mercer died on May 22, 1879, and William Matthew Merrick served as their executor, offering 92 acres and Font Hill for sale on the same day. A description of the gas-lit property stated that it was surrounded by forest trees, attractive flora, and orchards.
During the years 1926 to 1950, the manor was rebuilt and renamed Abbottston by its owner, Isaac Cate, who lived there.
A total of 285 acres of land surrounded the house when it was built in 1957. The Font Hill Land Company purchased the majority of the land from the original owners. The manor land was reduced to 22.6 acres, and the two oldest buildings, as well as the barn, were removed to make way for the new construction. It was DeChiaro Enterprises, Inc. in 1962 that enlarged and subdivided the surrounding area, and The Stanlee, Inc. in 1965 that completed the development.
In 1968, W. Guy Burton & Co., Inc. may have subdivided and developed adjacent land, according to historical records. By 1995, the Font Hill Estate had been subdivided and reduced in size to 3.32 acres, with 36 modern residences being constructed around the main manor house. For more information be sure to check out Gywnns Falls Trail.
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