Historic Holland-Claggett Farm c.1830
This is an extraordinary restoration opportunity in historic Brookeville Maryland. Considered one of Montgomery County’s most significant historic farms, beautiful historic Holland-Claggett Farm includes 11.36 private acres, house, a tenant house and a caretaker’s ranch house, pastoral views, rolling fields, mature woods and adjoins a park. The house, with the original detailing, and out-buildings are in need of restoration & designated by Montgomery County for preservation. Set on a hill overlooking Hawlings River Valley, this is a rare opportunity to restore a historic estate, a horse farm, or family compound, just minutes from downtown DC.
Maryland Historic Sites Inventory
This farm house overlooking the lovely Hawlings River Valley between Brookeville and Brighton is associated with the Holland family, who first bought land in the area from Richard Simmons in 1742.
Grafton Holland, who is traditionally considered the builder of this home, was born in 1800, the son of James Holland. In 1834, Grafton and his brothers and sisters, Charles, Lemuel, Philip, Sarah, Ann, and Mersy Ann, divided the estate of their late father according to his oral will. The three girls were to get the mansion house of James Holland and 369 acres, and the boys were to get their own farms. At that time Grafton received 92 acres of “Bordley’s Choice” with buildings and improvements.
It is probable that Grafton Holland built and expanded his home at about the same time of his inheritance which was also shortly after his marriage to his wife, Ellen, and shortly before the birth of his first child, Thomas J., in 1835. He seems to have been an industrious and successful farmer…by 1841 he had additional 100 acres of farm land; by 1850 his worth was given as $10,000 in the Census Record, and by the 1854 tax assessment his property includes 100 acres of “Bordley’s Choice” and 344 acres of part of “Rum Punch” and part of Dublin.
Following Grafton’s death in 1863, his son Thomas J. inherited 99 acres of Bordley’s Choice with the home and 49 acres of Gittings HaHa property. He and his wife Charlotte apparently had no children, and they sold his land to his nephew, James C. Holland, in 1900 for $5,863.37. His son Willie Grafton Holland inherited the property in 1929 and immediately sold it to Gertrude Doyle, who retained ownership until 1953. The old Grafton Holland farm is now owned by Joseph Solem, a Washington, DC, attorney.
TOWN OF BROOKEVILLE
The Town of Brookeville played a significant role in history, as United States Capital for a Day on August 26, 1814, during the British occupation of Washington. On this day, President James Madison and his staff sought refuge in the Brookeville home of Caleb Bentley (now known as the Madison House) following the British invasion and burning of Washington.
Brookeville is a historically significant 19th century rural settlement in Upper Montgomery County, Maryland, approximately 18 miles north of the District of Columbia. Covering approximately 60 acres, the Town consists of 55 individual properties and has an estimated population of 135 residents.
The Town was founded in 1794 by Richard Thomas, on land inherited by his wife Deborah Brooke from her father Roger Brooke IV, son of James Brooke, an influential Quaker settler and the largest land holder in what was to become Montgomery County. Early houses were notably the Caleb Bentley House (now known as the Madison House), the Blue House, and the Valley House. To this core, Thomas laid out an additional 56 – acre lots sited along two major streets (Market & High) and two side streets, (North and South). Brookeville was incorporated by the Maryland General Assembly in 1808 which appointed three town commissioners – making Brookeville the oldest incorporated municipality in Montgomery County.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY PRESERVATION SUMMARY
The Master Plan for Historic Preservation and the Historic Preservation Ordinance, Chapter 24A of the Montgomery County Code, are designed to protect and preserve Montgomery County\’s historic and architectural heritage. When an historic resource is placed on the Master Plan for Historic Preservation, the adoption action officially designates the property as an historic site or historic district, and subjects it to the further procedural requirements of the Historic Preservation Ordinance.
Designation of historic sites and districts serves to highlight the values that are important in maintaining the individual character of the County and its communities. It is the intent of the County’s preservation program to provide a rational system for evaluating, protecting and enhancing the County’s historic and architectural heritage for the benefit of present and future generations of Montgomery County residents. The challenge is to weave protection of this heritage into the County’s planning program so as to maximize community support for preservation and minimize infringement on private property rights.
Once designated on the Master Plan for Historic Preservation, historic resources are subject to the protection of the Ordinance. Any substantial changes to the exterior of a resource or its environmental setting must be reviewed by the Historic Preservation Commission and a historic area work permit issued under the provisions of the County’s Preservation Ordinance. The environmental setting for each site is the entire parcel on which the resource is located. The environmental setting of a historic resource can be modified at a later stage, generally when the property is subdivided.
Maryland Historical Trust – Holland-Claggett Farm M:23-82
Historic Resources Plan – Olney/Brookeville Historic Sites & History
Montgomery County Historic Districts – Montgomery County Planning
Preservation Loans – Maryland Historical Trust
MHT Easements – Information about easements
Preservation Map – Designated preservation area for Holland-Claggett Farm
Aerial Plat – Aerial boundary View
Montgomery County Historical Society – All about the history of the county (22 min.)
Updated on April 1, 2021 at 12:30 am