“Hard Lodging Near Union Bridge”

Carroll County Times article for 7 September 1997

By Jay A. Graybeal

Perched upon a limestone outcropping near Union Bridge, Hard Lodging is unique in local architectural history. Solomon Shepherd (1751-1835) is believed to have built the house by the first decade of the nineteenth century. He was the son of William and Richmonday Wood Shepherd (born c.1751), Scotch-Irish immigrants to Monallen, York County, Pennsylvania. The Shepherds were members of The Society of Friends or Quakers. Prior to 1774 Solomon was a member of the New Garden Meeting in Chester County, Pennsylvania. He came to Frederick County and joined with the Pipe Creek Meeting in July 1778.

Solomon Shepherd married Susanna Farquhar (1753-1834) on October 27, 1779. Susanna was the youngest daughter of the late William (1705-1778) and Ann Miller Farquhar. William Farquhar had been the leading Quaker landowner in the Pipe Creek area. At his death he bequeathed two tracts of land to Susanna, one being parts of “Deer Park” and the “Resurvey on Mount Pleasant”, containing 271 and one-half acres, and the second tract being parts of “Rockland”, “Deer Park” and the “Resurvey on Forest in Need”, containing eighty acres. Allen Farquhar, who patented “Rock Land” in 1734, undoubtedly named the property after the distinctive “cleft of limestone” mentioned in the certificate of survey for the property.

Sometime after his marriage to Susanna Farquhar in 1779, but before 1798, Solomon constructed a water-powered fulling mill on his “Rock Land” property. The Shepherds may have been encouraged and assisted by the Farquhars who had built a nearby flax seed oil and saw mill complex at about the same time. The mill site, located several hundred yards northeast of the rock cliff where he later built his brick home, was in a direct line with the main flow of Little Pipe Creek. A hand dug head race carried water from the creek to a water wheel; a tail race returned the water.

Solomon Shepherd’s brick residence differs significantly, in terms of design and site, from those built by his neighbors. Shepherd chose the exposed rock cliff overlooking his mill complex as the site for his new home. His choice required a partial excavation into the limestone cliff for a foundation and a cellar under the main portion of the house. Most local farm houses were sited on the south side of a hill to provide protection from winter storms. According to a nineteenth century family tradition, Shepherd’s neighbors dubbed the new house “Solomon’s Folly”.

After passing through several generations of the Shepherd, Wood and Haines families, the property was acquired by F. Earle (1890-1951) and Thelma Walden Littlefield Shriner (born 1895) on 20 June 1941. F. Earle Shriner was a descendant of several eighteenth century Pennsylvania German families who settled in the Union Bridge area. Mrs. Shriner was the daughter of Frederick (1867-1946) and Minnie (Walden) Littlefield (1867-1943) of Brookfield, Middleburg, Md. Mrs. Littlefield’s father Robert Wyndam Walden (1844-1905) was a horse trainer of world renown. His home and training farm Bowling Brook was adjacent to Brookfield.

Thelma Littlefield first became interested in the “Haines Place” in about 1910 while a student at Blue Ridge College in New Windsor. Each day she passed the “big old red brick house that rose from a ledge of solid rock” and became determined to one day own the property.

The house was in poor condition when the Shriners acquired the property and Mrs. Shriner recalled that her husband wanted nothing to do with the restoration perhaps because sheep and chickens were living in parts of the house. Mrs. Shriner persisted but her husband dubbed the project “Dolly’s Folly”.

Mrs. Shriner became a student of early American architecture during the restoration. During their research they found a packet of eighteenth century deeds in a Chippendale desk which had descended in the Shriner family. Several deeds mentioned a nearby tract of land called “Hard Lodging” which the Shriners selected as the name for their newly acquired property.

Mrs. Shriner furnished the house with family antiques and had several tenants in the restored house. She also constructed a pool and pool house below the house and landscaped the grounds. Since she desired to visit the house periodically, she enlarged the former frame addition into a small apartment with a kitchen and a bathroom. She later added a sun porch with a folding Murphy bed for overnight use.

Mrs. Shriner donated Hard Lodging and nearly forty acres of surrounding farmland to the Historical Society of Carroll County in 1986 to ensure its long term preservation. The furnishings became a bequest to the Historical Society in 1994.

Photo caption: Hard Lodging near Union Bridge was built upon a large limestone outcropping and once overlooked a textile and saw mill complex built by the Shepherd family. Historical Society of Carroll Country Collection. Bequest of Mrs. Thelma Walden Littlefield Shriner, 1994.
Side bar copy: Hard Lodging will be open to the public on Sunday October 5, 1997 for the New Windsor Heritage Homes Tour. For more information please call Leonor Pisano (410) 875-4115 or Barbara Duree (410) 875-2087.