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Local landmarks page 5

Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information



One hundred and fifty-two years ago in the City of Cumberland, Maryland, Captain David Lynn built a large brick home which he named "Rose Hill." It was the third brick house erected in Allegany County, and is now the oldest brick home in Cumberland.

Captain David Lynn was the son of Judge David Lynn of Frederick County and came to Cumberland sometime after the close of the Revolution. During the Revolution, he served with distinction in the Continental Army, and was one of the outstanding officers of the Maryland Regulars. Upon settling in Cumberland, he soon became one of its leading citizens and one of the largest landowners. His holdings consisted of thousands of acres and his "Rose Hill" estate extended from the Potomac River to Wills Creek in the Narrows. On November 18, 1790, he received a patent from the State of Maryland for a tract of land on a bluff overlooking the Potomac River. On this tract he built his home in 1801 and called it "Rose Hill"— so named from his favorite flower which adorned the grounds.

In April of 1795, Captain David Lynn married Mary Galloway who bore him ten children. He died at "Rose Hill" on April 1 1, 183 5. "Rose Hill" remained in the Lynn family for over three quarters of a century, and then passed into the Schley and Gephart families in 1882 after the death of John Galloway Lynn. In 1904, "Rose Hill" was purchased by Colonel John W. Avirett, Editor and Founder of the Cumberland Evening Times. Colonel Avirett lived at "Rose Hill" until his death in May, 1914, when the property passed to his widow, Sarah Donnell Avirett who later married James Walter Thomas. Mrs. Avirett-Thomas continued to live at "Rose Hill" until her death in 1942. "Rose Hill" is now owned by her son, James Alfred Avirett, a Cumberland attorney, who resides there with his wife and three children.

Turning to the house itself, perhaps one of the most interesting facts is that in the past one hundred and fifty-two years there have been only two structural changes. The first was made in 1905 by Colonel John W. Avirett who added a large front porch and enlarged the openings into the drawing room and library. The second structural change was made in 1950 by James Alfred Avirett who added a new dining wing in place of the old double porch-on-porch.

The first item of interest is the brick work. The bricks themselves were made on the grounds. The brick work in the front of the house is of Flemish Bond where every other brick is laid with the head facing out. The side and rear of the house are of different construction with five rows laid with the side facing out and the next row with the heads facing out. The walls are of solid brick and are eighteen inches thick.


James Alfred Averitt


Collection Location:
Ruth Enlow Library, Oakland

Original Size:
22 x 15 cms

Editor: Felix G. Robinson

Maryland, History


Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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