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St. Mary's City in St. Mary's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Why Is This Barn Here?

 
 
Why Is This Barn Here? Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, August 30, 2019
1. Why Is This Barn Here? Marker
Inscription.  This building before you is one of the oldest standing wooden barns in Maryland. Known today a the Mackall barn, artisans built it in 1785 for John Mackall. After the capital moved to the Annapolis in 1695, John Mackall was the first in a family dynasty that came to own all of what had been St. Mary's City. For nearly two hundred years, this structure's primary use changed back and forth from storing grain to curing tobacco. Its last use began in 1946 as a stock barn for cattle. The most recent owner of the barn was Mr. J. Spence Howard, a relative of John Mackall. Historic St. Mary's acquired this land from the Howard family in 1980.

No 17th-century barns survive in Maryland today. A few from the 18th century, including the Mackall barn, are still standing. Those from the 19th and 20th centuries are far more numerous but many are in poor repair. In 2001, a state "buyout" program encouraged farmers to stop tobacco cultivation. This left many barns, which are an important part of the Southern Maryland landscape, standing empty and decaying.

[Captions:]
Harvesting tobacco in St. Mary's County.

Threshing
Why Is This Barn Here? Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, August 30, 2019
2. Why Is This Barn Here? Marker
wheat on John Guy's farm near Loveville, Maryland, ca. 1925.

No longer standing, this mid-1800s tobacco barn near Morganza, Maryland, was similar in form to the Mackall barn.

Tobacco was harvested when it was still green. It was then hung in a tobacco barn to cure.


[Aside:]
Ownership Through Time

1723
John Hicks arrives in Maryland.

1753
John Hicks dies. William Hicks inherits the property.

1774
William Hicks sells the property to John Mackall, Sr.

1813
John Mackall, Sr. dies. John Mackall, Jr. inherits the property.

1815
John Mackall, Jr. dies. His daughter, Margaret Mackall Brome, inherits the property.

1816
Margaret Mackall Brome dies. Her husband, James Mackall Brome, inherits the property.

1823
James Mackall Brome dies. His widow inherits the property.

1840
Dr. John Mackall Brome comes of age and inherits the property.

1887
Dr. John Mackall Brome dies. His son, James Thomas Brome, inherits the property.

1910
James Thomas Brome dies. His daughters,
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Susette and Jeanette, inherit the property.

1949
Susette Brome Bennett dies. Her share of the property goes to Jeanette Brome Howard.

1967
Jeanette Brome Howard dies. The property is inherited by her children, Thomas B. and J. Spence Howard, Jr.

1980
The state of Maryland acquires the property for Historic St. Mary's City.

 
Erected by Historic St. Mary's City.
 
Location. 38° 11.018′ N, 76° 25.797′ W. Marker is in St. Mary's City, Maryland, in St. Mary's County. Marker is on Point Lookout Road (Maryland Route 5) east of Old State House Road, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 16721 Point Lookout Road, Saint Marys City MD 20686, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Land in Need of Labor (a few steps from this marker); Carpenters' Marks (within shouting distance of this marker); How Old Is This Barn? (within shouting distance of this marker); Constructed With Colonial Ideas (within shouting distance of this marker); Tree Growth Rings (within shouting distance of this marker); To Market! To Market! (within shouting
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distance of this marker); What Happened Here After 1695? (within shouting distance of this marker); A Pressing Situation (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in St. Mary's City.
 
Categories. AgricultureColonial EraSettlements & SettlersWomen
 

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Credits. This page was last revised on September 2, 2019. This page originally submitted on September 2, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 26 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 2, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.
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