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Rose Hill, page 3

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made on the property. This room, like the drawing room, is eighteen by eighteen with eleven and one-half foot ceiling. The walls of the room are lined with old books, one of the most interesting being Washington's Journal.

Going from the library back into the hall, we come to the staircase. This stairway is unique in that it has a rise of six and a quarter inches and a tread of twelve and a half inches making a very easy assent to the second floor. On the landing one will find a wrought iron chest which belonged to Lord Fairfax, and was used by him and George Washington to keep their papers and money when they surveyed the Northern Neck of Virginia.

To the right of the downstairs hall is the new dining room which was completed in 1950. The wood trim and doors were carefully copied from the rest of the house, the doors being Bible doors with the cross upon cross. The dimensions of this room are approximately eighteen by thirty feet.

To the left of the dining room is the original kitchen and butler's pantry. The butler's pantry is now converted into a modern laundry. The kitchen, while still the original size, has been modernized to introduce the conveniences of the present day.

On the second floor there are four bedrooms, three of which are the original rooms. Above the new dining room there is a large children's playroom.

Hanging on the walls of the hall are many interesting letters and documents reflecting the role "Rose Hill" and its owners played in the life of Cumberland. One letter, written in red, dated in Hell and singed around the edges, is a memento of Colonel Avirett's successful fight to bring pure water to the City of Cumberland. Another is a letter from General John J. Pershing and one from his aid-de-camp, Major George C. Marshall, who later became Commander of the American Armed Forces in World War II and later Secretary of State, when they were guests at "Rose Hill" at the time George Washington's headquarters were given to the City of Cumberland by James Walter Thomas. The story of "Rose Hill" would not be complete without at least some mention of the distinguished guests who have been entertained there. Shortly after the turn of the century, Colonel Avirett had as his guest William Jennings Bryan who was twice a candidate for the Presidency of the United States. The story is told that on the day when Mr. Bryan came out to "Rose Hill" carpenters were laying a new porch floor. In order to enter the front door, it was necessary for Mr. Bryan to cross a rather narrow plank. When Mrs. Avirett greeted Mr. Bryan she apologized for the plank to which Mr. Bryan replied that he was not in the least inconvenienced as he was accustomed to straddling planks.

As one leaves the premises and passes by the large bay window in the new dining room, we find other echoes of the past. The lamp post which


Editor: Felix G. Robinson


Collection Location:
Ruth Enlow Library, Oakland

Original Size:
22 x 15 cms

Maryland, History

Western Maryland, 1750-1963

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

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