Cameron Mill House, Circa 1797: At Walker’s Switch, Parkton
Hot House: Cameron Mill House, 19503 Cameron Mill Road, Walker’s Switch, Parkton, MD 21120
Historic stone mill house, over two hundred years old, renovated in 2002. 2,703 sq. ft., with six bedrooms, 3.5 baths, four fireplaces, gourmet kitchen, family room with vaulted ceiling, timber beams. Landscaped gardens, waterfall, converted smokehouse, views from two story front porch, country setting with 4.24 acre property, large parking area: $739,000
What: An unusual and evocative house, dramatically set on a pretty parcel of land. Built into the side of a hill, close to the road, it appears on a 1798 tax list as “a house and sawmill belonging to Daniel Walker, well watered by numerous streams and the Little Gunpowder Falls.” By 1862 the mill was advertised as a “lucrative business,” and Walker’s Switch was a spur on the North Central Railway (now the NCR trail, which runs close by). In 1877, Daniel Walker Cameron inherited the property, with assets including the improved “mansion house with outbuildings,” as well as “six silver spoons worth a total of $4.50.” At some point in the 1940s, the mill, which was across the road from the house, burned down. It was never restored, although the overgrown foundation remains. The house was placed on the Baltimore County Landmarks List in 1977, and restoration was begun. In 2002, the house was completely and historically renovated by its current owner, and 2013 finds it rock solid and comfortably modernized. On the ground floor gallery, the front door opens into a large unfinished basement, which may have once housed livestock. The main living floor is accessible from the basement, or up a short flight of exterior stone stairs. The cozy front rooms are dark, because of the porch overhang, but a well-integrated wood frame addition at the back brings light and space into a high ceilinged family room with beamed ceiling and a great kitchen. The wooden countertops are reclaimed 1920s bowling alley floors, and the cabinets are handmade in rubbed cherry. Narrow stairs take you upstairs to the bedrooms, but once you’re there, it’s roomy and bright. Views from the bedrooms, through old wavy glass, are spectacular. There are hardwood floors throughout, four fireplaces, forced air heat, oil furnace, alarm system and central air. Water is from a well.
Where: Parkton is 27 miles due north of Baltimore City, a straight shot up I-83 to exit 33/Parkton. There’s not much traffic past the Hunt Valley/Shawan Road exit, and the trip takes just about 40 minutes from downtown. It’s also about 30 minutes to York, Pa. and just 4.5 miles to the Mason-Dixon line (in case your allegiance changes). From Exit 33/Parkton, take a left onto York Road. Drive .4 miles and turn left onto Stablers Church Road, which becomes Cameron Mill Road. Number 19503 is on the right. Parkton has a true rural feeling, with the odd McMansion development scattered through the fields. Hereford public high school is one of the nation’s top-ranked high schools, according to the Baltimore Sun. Hunt Valley is probably your closest big shopping area, but don’t underestimate the appeal of Wally’s Country Store and BP on nearby Middletown Road.
Why: House breathes history. The view is unimpeded, except for the occasional car passing by, and it could easily be 1797 out here.
Why Not: Parking is across the road from house.
Would Suit: Historians in all their guises …antique shop owner, professor, trusts and estates lawyer, Civil War reenactor, etc.
NB. Small, ancient family cemetery is located on the property. If you like the house, you could stay…forever.