this old house

Under $100K Sunday ~ Save This Old House on 9.25 Acres $65K ~ Eastern Shore MD ~ Off Market

Nelson Homestead/Elisha Riggin House,  Crisfield, Maryland     $65,000 ~ Off Market

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Save this old house on 9.25 acres in the beautiful Eastern Shore of Maryland. The property also includes a guest house, and is approved for use as a campsite rental.

William Nelson and his wife Ellen Riggin purchased the property from Elisha Riggin in 1843. It stayed in the Nelson family until 1966. The current owner, Jennifer Smith, a member of the band Naked Blue, was attempting to rescue the building and re-purpose it as an artist retreat, music education and heritage tourism site. Apparently, that plan fell through.

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*9 rooms
*3 bedrooms

*1,776 sq ft.
*9.25 acres
*Build date 1836
*Google Map
*Property Listing
*Realtor: National Trust

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Save This Old House ~ An Extremely Rare and Lovely Historic Property

The Nelson Homestead is an Eastern Shore Jewel. It has been designated one of the top 10 most important endangered sites in Maryland by Preservation Maryland. It is tucked away on a very private 9.25 acres of meadow, woods and marshland, and is considered architecturally significant because of its fine craftsmanship and the fact that 90% of the original structure and millwork are still intact. It is on the National and State Historic registers. An 11 x 14 clapboard gabled frame building with chimney accompanies the house. Located at the east side of the property is a Riggin and Nelson family cemetery fenced with Victorian period railing. Grounds have been approved by as a campsite rental if you are looking to generate income.

This is an extensive rehabilitation PROJECT. The building will require foundation framework repair/replacement, septic/plumbing/bathroom installation, and more. Owner can provide architectural and soil engineer reports, scope of work plans, surveys and existing bids for rehabilitation work. I am hoping to find the next steward who can rescue this wonderful, one-of-a-kind property. Serious inquiries only.

Architectural Description (by Paul Baker Touart):

The Nelson Homestead / Elisha Riggin House is a c1836 telescope style frame house that stands on the northeast plot of ground at the intersection of Cash Corner and Old state Roads near Crisfield. the three part frame house faces south with the gable running on an east/west axis. The entire house rests on a minimal brick pier foundation and is sheathed with narrow weather boards (cyprus/cedar) while it is covered with a medium to steeply pitched series of asphalt shingle roofs. A large brick chimney rises from the east end of the main block and a smaller stack protrudes through the east end of the kitchen wing.

The first floor room of the main block is the most elaborate room with a raised panel end wall and raised panel wainscoting. The pine paneling retains a finish of yellow-brown tiger maple graining. A forest green chair rail molding tops the wainscoting and is embellished with gougework detail. The focal point of the room is the east end wall paneling and an ogee molded cornice with a bold dentil row under the ogee A partially enclosed stair was formerly located in the northeast corner of the room and is marked by a ghost on the flooring.

When the stair was relocated in the middle room the three originally exposed steps were removed and the old stringer was moved against the adjacent wall surface. Two raised panels were made to fill the open space below the stair door the four panel stair door was left on its hinges and opens into the remaining steps. A ghost on the adjacent door stile indicates the profile of the now missing handrail. Immediately right of the old stair is a Four-panel door that opens into the space below the stair.

The mantel is a curious combination of Federal and Greek Revival elements. Framing the hearth is a molded surround which visually supports a three-part frieze and molded mantel shelf. The frieze is decorated with a variety of reeded and applied ornament. Centered in the frieze is a fan-shaped reeded block, and located to each side are small decorative wooden figures in the shape of crows feet. The cornice molding is broken out at each end and the shelf oddly extends out to incorporate flanking turned posts with chevron reeding in the top blocks. Above the mantel the space is marked by four rectangular raised panels. To the right side of the chimney breast the space is similarly paneled while one panel is a small cupboard door.

Immediately south of the chimney breast is a six-panel door that opens into the middle room. The middle room is also distinguished by intact end wall paneling and wainscoting. However the wainscoting consists of flush boards topped by a simple early 19th- century chair rail. The west end wall is distinguished by the decorated hearth wall. The hearth is framed by an intricately molded surround that supports a simple board shelf. In contrast to the main room the overmantel is finished with flat paneling divided by four vertical stiles trimmed with slight inset cavetto strip molding. To the right (north) of the hearth is a divided closet with a nine-pane door on the top and a board door below. The top three panes of the glazed door have arches. The l933 stair has a square newel post and square balusters that support a simply molded handrail. Naturally, the stair provides access to the second floor rooms over the main and middle sections. The second floor of the main house is divided into three rooms. The primary room was provided with a small hearth while the other two rooms remained without a direct source of heat. A small very late Federal style mantel surrounds the firebox. Plain pilasters support a single-panel frieze which is topped by a molded mantel shelf. Rising in the southeast corner of the room is an enclosed winder stair that provides access to the attic. The stair is enclosed with beaded boards.

The kitchen retains almost all its early features. In this instance the east end wall is treated with a Federal period mantel and paneled overmantel. The room is also fitted with plain board wainscoting and a simple chair rail. Overhead the first floor joists are treated with a slight bead. The wall surfaces above the wainscoting are plastered. The large firebox is framed by a similarly molded surround while supporting a five-part frieze with reeded frieze blocks. The molded shelf is broken in a consistent line with each frieze block. Located to the right {south) of the hearth is a built-in glazed cupboard with two eight-pane doors with arched top panes. An applied molding with rounded ends divides the glazed doors from the two flat panel doors below. Fixed in the northeast corner is an enclosed winder stair with three exposed steps. The balance of the stair is behind a flat four-panel door. A narrow two-panel door opens into the small space below the stair. As in the middle room the space above the mantel is paneled and divided in this case with seven vertical stiles that have a slightly molded edge. The second floor is divided into two rooms by a plastered stud partition. The molded door surround remains, but the door has been removed. A wooden keeper for a door latch remains on the north door surround while screw holes for the hinges mark the south surround. The remaining feature is a circa 1933 replacement balustrade with a rectangular newel post and rectangular balusters.

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