Frederick County is committed to identifying and preserving the rich historic and cultural resources of the unincorporated areas of the county. County staff is available to assist property owners in researching their property history, identifying ways to preserve the property, determining eligibility for Historic Preservation Designation, and identifying Historic Preservation financial resources.
For information about the Historic Preservation Commission, please visit this page.
Owners of historic properties share a responsibility for helping to maintain the distinctive qualities that allow Frederick County’s historic properties and districts to retain their character and integrity. In return, owners enjoy the advantages of increased property value and protection from inappropriate changes or new development. Exterior building or site work on properties listed on the Frederick County Register of Historic Places, that is more than routine maintenance, requires a Certificate of Appropriateness.
A Certificate of Appropriateness is not required for routine maintenance. View the list of items the Historic Preservation Commission considers to be routine maintenance. Routine Maintenance List
Certificate of Appropriateness (CoA)
A Certificate of Appropriateness (CoA) is required for all proposed exterior alterations, new construction, site work, and demolition within a designated historic property, with the exception of interior alterations, routine maintenance that will have no effect on the exterior fabric or features, or paint colors.
Administrative Approval for Certificates of Appropriateness
Residents and owners of properties designated to the County Register of Historic Places may obtain administrative approval from Historic Preservation Commission staff for selected building and site work projects. The Historic Preservation Planner, as qualified under the Secretary of the Interior's Standards and Guidelines - Professional Qualifications Standards (Professional Qualifications - 36 CFR Part 61), will base approval on the Historic Preservation Commission's Design Guidelines and The Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Rehabilitation of Historic Properties.
Projects that do no meet the criteria for an administrative approval, will need to complete a Certificate of Appropriateness application to be scheduled for a public hearing before the HPC. The application process is outlined below.
Certificate of Appropriateness Application
The HPC will review the proposed work and determine if it meets the Historic Preservation Interim Design Guidelines. These guidelines are based on the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.
All applications to appear before the HPC should be accompanied by appropriate supporting materials at the times specified. Appropriate supporting documents include photographs, site plans, construction drawings, and material samples and specifications. Late or incomplete applications cannot be placed on the HPC agenda. The applicant bears the responsibility for ensuring that all applications are complete and on time. The agenda is set two weeks prior to each meeting. It is not uncommon for applicants to appear before the HPC at two or more meetings. This may be necessary if documentation is inadequate or substantial design revisions are required.
Types of Review
The HPC conducts two types of review - informal and formal. The HPC will review development concepts or proposals and give general guidance at an informal "workshop" session. There is no formal recommendation made by the HPC at a workshop session and the only requirement for supporting materials is that the proposal be clearly presented whether in written form, drawings, or other graphic form. Supporting documentation may be provided to staff prior to the meeting but this is not a requirement for a workshop session.
When the HPC formally reviews more fully developed and detailed proposals, every aspect is considered in terms of protecting the heritage resources and historic character of the property or district. In addition to exterior architectural design elements - such as form and material - elements to be reviewed could include plans for site design, grading, clearing, parking, travel ways, access points, landscaping, outdoor lighting, signage, fences, walls, and other site features. As a practical matter, all elements of a proposal need not be reviewed at the same time. This is the choice of the applicant. When the formal review of each element of the proposal - site design, architectural design, landscape design - is completed, the HPC will recommend approval, approval with conditions, or disapproval. Its recommendation and comments will be recorded in the minutes of the meeting or meetings during which the review takes place.
Materials to be Submitted
A package containing a completed application form and a description of the proposal should be submitted by the applicant to the Planning Staff at least 30 days before the meeting at which the applicant wishes to present the proposal. Some proposals are more complex than others and the documentation presented should reflect this. At a minimum, documentation should clearly communicate to the HPC, and for the record, the nature of the proposal and its impact on the historic character of the property and/or district. If the nature of the submission makes it appropriate, copies of the following should be submitted:
Please read all instructions carefully prior to completing the form. Once the form is complete print, sign, and return to The Division of Planning and Permitting, Historic Preservation Office, 30 North Market Street, Frederick, MD 21701.
Other Related Links
Why Designate Historic Resources
Historic buildings and sites serve as important visual and tangible links to our heritage. Designation helps us protect and share our history and instill a sense of pride within our community. Designation also benefits the local economy by attracting visitors and buyers looking for unique historic homes and commercial properties.
What are the types of historic designations?
There are three types of designations for historic sites - local, state, and federal. Individual historic sites and entire districts may receive just one type or a combination of multiple designations. The Frederick County Code (Section 1-23-6) has a process for designating Local Historic Resources, which can include either individual sites or a collection of properties.
The Maryland Historical Trust (the State Historic Preservation Office) manages the Maryland Inventory of Historic Places and the State designation process. The National Park Service manages the National Register of Historic Places and the National designation process.
How does property become designated to the County Register?
The Frederick County Code Section 1-23-6 explains the local historic designation process. The property owner, an individual with the property owner’s written consent, or a group of property owners can nominate a property or district for local historic designation.
The nomination and any supporting material would be presented during an official public hearing of the HPC. If the HPC recommends historic designation, the request goes to the County Council. The County Council has the final authority for designating a historic property or district.
Local Historic Resource Nomination Application
Requests by property owners, or representatives of property owners, for the review of resources for local historic designation in Frederick County must be accompanied by this completed application form (available in PDF here). Paper copies of the application are also available at 30 N. Market Street, Third Floor.
Filing Requirements and Timeline
Applications for local historic designation may be submitted to the Division of Planning and Permitting (30 N. Market Street, Third Floor) weekdays, between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Digital submittals also will be accepted via email.
The Historic Preservation planner will notify the applicant that the submission has been received, review the material, and notify the applicant if further information is required. All sections of the application must be provided. Upon deeming the application complete, staff will notify the applicant that the application has been accepted. Site visits with the HPC members will be scheduled, as well as a public hearing before the HPC. The nominated property must be posted 14 days prior to the date of the HPC public hearing.
If the HPC determines that further information or discussion is required, the public hearing may be continued to the next meeting. The HPC may recommend the nomination be sent forward to the County Council, or the HPC may make a finding that ends the nomination process.
The Frederick County Register of Historic Places (Register) is an important tool to provide public recognition and measures of protection for historically significant properties in Frederick County. Properties are designated to the Register through a nomination process which includes evaluation and determination of eligibility for listing by the Historic Preservation Commission, and further review and adoption by the Frederick County Council.
To learn more about designating an historic resource, review the Frederick County Register of Historic Places Nomination Form Instructions or contact County Staff. To designate a resource to the Register, complete the Frederick County Register of Historic Places Nomination Form.
Below is a listing of properties designated to Frederick County’s Register of Historic Places.
3739 Urbana Pike Urbana vicinity (Private property)
The Elisha Beall House, also known as Boxwood Lodge, was built in at least 3 stages beginning about 1810 and ending about 1830. The L-shaped stone house has a twentieth-century sun porch on the east side. The property includes several surviving outbuildings. A stone smokehouse and a stone building, which possibly served as a slave quarter, date to about 1810-1830. A frame stable/carriage house was erected about 1890. Several barns north of the house and other buildings were also associated with the farmstead but are now separately owned. Elisha Beall (1745-1831 or 1838) built the house, replacing a log structure on the property possibly erected prior to 1744 by Elisha’s father, Nathaniel Beall. Elisha Beall was born in the log building. Elisha became a wealthy planter who owned many slaves and generally led a privileged lifestyle. In the 1930s, the stone house was used as a tourist home intermittently under the name Gray Stone Inn. The name Boxwood Lodge became associated with the property in the 1940s. The Elisha Beall House was nominated to the County Register by the owner, Monocacy Land Company, L.L.C., and was officially listed on October 5, 1999.
3513 Urbana Pike Urbana (Private Property)
Smith’s Store and Residence is a brick structure built in 2 sections about 1830-1840. The original residence section is a 2-story dwelling with a rear wing on the east side. A 1-and-1-half-story commercial building adjoins the dwelling. The store and residence have separate entrances. The store’s double doors are still in place but are not currently in use. Thomas A. Smith, the tenant of the residence and the storekeeper, purchased the property in 1863. In the same year, the post office for Urbana was transferred to Smith’s Store from Cockey’s Store. In 1864, Smith had a narrow escape from raiding Confederate troops who took Smith and his assistant postmaster captive. The assistant was killed during the incident, according to a contemporary newspaper account. Smith continued to run the store for another 20 years, erecting a stable and other outbuildings on the property, none of which still stand. Later, the store was operated by Beverly U. Feinour until 1897. Having been a private residence for most of the twentieth century, the property was returned to commercial use in early 2000. Smith’s Store and Residence was nominated to the County Register by the owner, the Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc., and was officially listed on October 5, 1999.
8001 Green Valley Road Libertytown vicinity (Private Property)
Whiskey Ridge consists of a brick house and frame-and-stone bank barn built between 1852 and 1858 by William Jones, Sr. (1782-1869). The name Whiskey Ridge refers to a larger tract mentioned in an 1820 deed, which included this farm and several other properties in the area. The house has an original rear ell extension and 5 bays on its main elevation with a newly installed portico roof over the central doorway. In the 1970s, an extensive remodeling resulted in an originally freestanding log building, probably a smokehouse, being moved and attached to the south elevation of a new addition. In 2000, the current owner redesigned the roofline of the addition and built new additions, including a sun porch on the north elevation. Other modern additions within the designation boundary include a swimming pool and pool house, a gazebo, and a newly erected log building using salvaged logs. Also planned for construction is a new garage. The Swisser style barn, or bank barn, has a concrete-block milk house and a loafing shed, both added during the property’s use as a dairy farm in the early and mid-twentieth century. Whiskey Ridge was nominated to the County Register by the owners, Wayne and Karen Six, and was officially listed on October 3, 2000.
1213 Jefferson Pike Petersville vicinity (Private property)
The Howard Marvin Jones House is a brick Foursquare dwelling with Colonial Revival exterior details. A popular house form in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Foursquare consisted of a basically square floor plan with 4 main rooms on the first floor, a hipped or pyramidal roof, and usually 1 or more dormers. The exterior decoration often reflected a variety of historical styles. The Howard Marvin Jones House has Palladian-inspired, 3-part windows in its dormers, a strong Colonial Revival element. The dwelling was built in 1913-14 by Dr. Samuel Claggett (1873-1914), who died shortly after the house was completed. Howard Marvin Jones (1874-1955) purchased the property in 1920 and raised a family of 8 children there. He was a magistrate in Brunswick and also dealt in real estate. The property remained in the Jones family until 1981. The Howard Marvin Jones House was nominated to the County Register by the owners, Joan Porter and Michael Wozny, and was officially listed on January 2, 2001.
6229 Linganore Farm Frederick Vicinity (Private Property)
Linganore Farm is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The main dwelling is a large 2-story, L-shaped brick house dating from the 1850s-60s. The house displays the influence of the Greek Revival and Italianate styles. Outbuildings include the ruins of a brick smokehouse and a stone root cellar. A 2-story brick secondary house that appears to date from the early nineteenth century also stands on the property. Linganore Farm represents the heritage of agriculture and grain milling in Frederick County. The property served as the location for mills and a distillery, with at least 1 mill present by 1808. The main house was likely built shortly after 1858 during the ownership of Aaron Anders and John Reifsnider. In 1891, Henry C. Brown purchased the farm and converted it to a summer resort known as the Linganore Hills Inn, which could accommodate 45 guests. Linganore Farm was nominated to the County Register by the owners, Ivan and Norma Nottingham, and was officially listed on May 8, 2001.
1341 Jefferson Pike Petersville (Private Property)
The Petersville Methodist Episcopal Church is a 2-story building of local sandstone construction. Designed in the Greek Revival style, the structure features a front gable and 2 Doric columns at the central entrance. Former Maryland governor Francis Thomas originally constructed the building as a town hall around 1850. Governor Thomas, then owner of much of Petersville, resided at the nearby family estate, Montevue. The town hall perhaps functioned as a political gathering place as well as the social center for the rural population. The building has a colorful history of adaptive use. It was converted to a Methodist Episcopal Church in 1860 and to a Reformed Church in 1900. More changes occurred in 1938, when the church became a residence. While each adaptation resulted in dramatic interior alterations, the exterior has remained remarkably unchanged. The Methodist Episcopal Church was nominated to the County Register by the owners, Joan Porter and Michael Wozny, and was officially listed on November 13, 2001.
3447 Buckeystown Pike Buckeystown (Private Property)
The Newton Schaeffer House is located in the Buckeystown National Register Historic District. The 2-story frame dwelling was built about 1896. This late Victorian-period house features Colonial Revival and Carpenter Gothic detailing. Newton R. Schaeffer, a local carpenter and builder in the Buckeystown area, constructed the house for himself and his family on a corner town lot. The dwelling was typical of those Schaeffer had been building in the area but lacked the characteristic gingerbread trim that he often used as an embellishment. In 1911, Schaeffer erected an addition on the back of his house. Reportedly used for the Buckeystown telephone exchange, the addition was accessed from an outside porch. Schaeffer’s daughter Ada, assisted by several other local women, operated the exchange in an upstairs room. The operators provided telephone service twenty-4 hours a day. The Newton Schaeffer House was nominated to the County Register by the owners, Samuel and Ellen Pucciarelli, and was officially listed on August 20, 2002.
Thurmont vicinity (Private Property)
Thornbrook is an Italianate country "cottage" that was constructed in 2 sections: a frame section erected about 1860 and a brick addition built in 1869. The dwelling is an example of the vernacular adaptation of Italianate-inspired romantic cottage architecture, espoused in the pattern books of Andrew Jackson Downing and others. The first owner of Thornbrook was Professor George Henry Miles (1824-1872), poet and professor at nearby Mount Saint Mary’s College. Miles joined the faculty in 1858, teaching English literature. Thornbrook was reportedly built by Miles’ father-in-law, William Tiers, following Miles’ marriage to Adeline Tiers. During the Civil War, Miles (under the pseudonym Earnest Halpin) wrote "God Save the South," the first song to be published in the Confederacy. The words were set to music by Charles W. A. Ellerbrock, the arranger of "Maryland, My Maryland." Miles entertained numerous college and intellectual visitors at his home. Thornbrook was nominated to the County Register by the owners, Linda Franklin and Owen Schwartz, and was officially listed on May 12, 2003.
The Frederick County Rural Roads program was created to protect the scenic and historical qualities of gravel roads in rural areas of the county and to provide for their continued maintenance. There are currently 83 miles of rural roads in the program.
The County Executive is forming an advisory committee to redesign the program, potentially to include additional scenic and rural roads. If you are interested in serving on this committee, please contact the Office of the County Executive.
The Frederick County Rural Historic Preservation Grant Program helps fund rehabilitation, restoration, and preservation of historic properties located in the unincorporated areas of the county. Grants from the program are designed to preserve, protect, and enhance rural historic properties.
APPLICATION PERIOD WILL OPEN DECEMBER 1, 2020
The next grant workshop will be held for those interested in applying.
All workshops will be hosted online via WebEx. Registration is required. For participation links and dial-in numbers, please complete the registration form.
Lists of preservation contractors are maintained by Preservation Maryland and The Maryland Association of Historic District Commissions. Links to these lists are below: