“Avalon Farm”
Carroll County Times for 13 January 2002
By Jay A. Graybeal

Avalon, a Federal-style brick residence near New Windsor, has been a distinguished country property for nearly two centuries.   In 1814, Francis Hollingsworth sold the property to Jesse Slingluff, a Baltimore merchant who moved his family out of the city during the War of 1812.  Following Slingluff’s death in 1836, there was a dispute over the property and the Court of Chancery decreed that the property be sold at public auction.  The upcoming sale was advertised in the Carroll and Frederick County newspapers by Trustees Charles D. Slingluff and A. Ferree Shriver.  The advertisement provides a detailed description of the property including houses and outbuildings, water resources, and how the land was being cultivated:

“In pursuance of a Decree of the Court of Chancery the subscribers, as Trustees, will sell at Public Sale, on the premises, on Tuesday the 26th day of December, [1837] that valuable and highly improved


known as ‘Avalon Farm’ late the residence of Jesse Slingluff, dec’d, lying in Carroll County, State of Maryland.  This property is situated on the waters of ‘Little Pipe Creek’, about 6 miles from Westminster, the seat of Justice of said county, 1 mile from New Windsor and about 35 miles from Baltimore.  The whole tract contains


85 acres of which are well-timbered.  The land is all first-rate Limestone, well adapted to the growth of clover, timothy and all kinds of grain.  This farm had always been considered one of the very best in the state of Maryland.  It is handsomely situated and possesses advantages calculated to make up a very desirable country residence.  The improvements are extensive and elegant, the situation healthy and good water abundant.  A portion of the land consists of fine Meadow, the balance is in a higher state of cultivation and is divided into convenient fields with running water in each; all under good fencing, part of which is post and rail—Dickerson’s Branch, a fine stream and a tributary of Pipe Creek, passes through the farm, on which is a good Mill Seat with a fall of 14 to 15 feet.  The force of water is sufficient for a Common Grist Mill, or almost any kind of machinery.

The above property will be sold entire, or, to suit purchasers will be divided into the following Tracts, to wit,


more or less, including about 45 Acres of Good Timberland.   On this tract is situated the MANSION HOUSE, a very large and elegant building.  It is built of brick, is laid off into convenient apartments, and has attached to it extensive back buildings.  There is a fountain of fine water at the door, and all other conveniences at hand.  The Garden is extensive and highly improved.  The other improvements are a large Switzer Barn of brick, extensive Wagon sheds, Plough house, Carriage house, stabling and all other necessary out-houses.

There is also an extensive and very convenient dairy, from which issues a very strong stream of limestone water; the stream flows through the barn-yard, and affords to the stock, a constant supply of water both winter and summer.  There are two orchards, containing choice fruit trees, of both summer and winter kinds.  There is also a good Lime kiln on the premises, and a Quarry of Limestone very convenient.


more or less, including about 30 acres of good timberland.  The improvements are a comfortable


built partly of brick; a hog Barn; never failing spring and a good dairy, and an orchard of choice fruit.  Dickerson’s Branch passes through this tract, on which is the water fall referred to.  The land is first-rate limestone, a part consisting of fine meadow; all in a high state of cultivation, and under good fencing.


more or less, including about 10 acres of timberland.  The improvements are a good [two?] story


with a Log addition, a good Switzer barn of stone and frame, a small orchard of choice fruit, and a never failing spring.  The land which in quality is the same as Nos. 1 and 2; is in a high state of cultivation, and under good fencing.  Also, at the same time will be offered 100 acres of good


a portion of which consists of fine thrifty chestnuts, situated about 4 miles from the above tract, with a good road leading to the same.  This tract will be sold entire or in lots to purchasers.

The terms as prescribed by the decree, are–one third of purchase money to be paid on ratification of sale, with interest from day of sale, and the residue in 1, 2 and 3 years from the day of sale, to be secured by bond with security to be approved by the trustees.  On the ratification of the sale or sales by the Chancellor, and on the payment of the whole of the purchase money, the trustees to convey to the purchaser or purchasers the property in good or sufficient deeds.”

The outcome of the December 26th sale was published in the January 5, 1838 issue of the Westminster Carrolltonian newspaper and reprinted in the Frederick press.  Jesse Slingluff’s son, Isaac, purchased 162-acre parcel No. 1 for $13,850.   The relatively high cost of approximately $84 per acre reflected the value of the substantial brick house, brick barn, other outbuildings and the quality of the land.  Avalon remained in the Slingluff family until 1918 but was reacquired by the family in 1955 when the late Robert Slingluff purchased the property.  The impressive brick residence was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.  It passed out of the family again following Robert Slingluff’s death a few years ago.
Avalon, a unique Federal-style residence near New Windsor, was built shortly before the War of 1812.  Historical Society of Carroll County collection.