A Comparative Study of Cremona Farm's Antebellum Tobacco Barns and Outbuildings as Resources in Regional Context
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A 2019 University of Maryland Historic Preservation Program study at Cremona in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, uncovered the potential historical significance of an assemblage of antebellum domestic and agricultural outbuildings. Other well-preserved layers of architectural and landscape history exist at Cremona, creating an exemplary confluence of continuity and change. After a detailed examination of Cremona’s antebellum resources to establish the integrity of these structures, this paper details the results of two related yet distinct lines of inquiry to ascertain the historic significance of Cremona’s outbuildings as contributing resources. Detailed architectural investigations of three, dated barns at Cremona serve as a starting point for comparisons with other period (1797-1833) Southern Maryland barns. The paper particularly focuses on the functional details related to sheds, doors, and transverse intermediate sills. Cremona’s place in Southern Maryland’s antebellum era outbuilding landscape is investigated. After establishing statistical outbuilding use via 1798 Federal Direct Tax records, this study identifies comparable, extant outbuilding assemblages in the region in order to determine the significance of Cremona’s outbuildings.