Yesterday my fiancé, Crystal, and I visited the historic home in Trappe, Maryland, in which my grandfather, Charles Diefenderfer, was born in 1924. The circa 1790s house, known as Katling’s Plain according to the Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties, appears to have been owned by Edward Stevens in 1858 (the house is labeled “E. Stevens” on a map from that year) and by an “M. Merrick” in 1877 according to the Lake, Griffing, and Stephenson Atlas. Subsequently the house was owned by generations of the Diefenderfer family. Though I haven’t taken the time to research the history of the property beyond looking at the aforementioned maps, I’ll probably do so in the future.
The following photo of the structure is dated 1977 and credited to Merry Stinson in documentation prepared by the Maryland Historical Trust at that time. All other photos were taken by Crystal Stanley on April 27, 2019.
Front view of the structure in 1977.
The grand old home is in poor condition, but is strikingly beautiful nonetheless.
The roof line of a long-vanished front porch is still faintly visible on the bricks.
With two stories, an attic, and tall chimneys, the house looms above the visitor.
The front door. Note the “D” for Diefenderfer.
The kitchen door.
The back yard.
The back door.
– Chris Slavens
The Nanticoke Historic Preservation Alliance invites the public to its annual Chicone Village Day, which will be held on Saturday, April 29th, at its Handsell property in Dorchester County.
From their site:
The NHPA was formed in 2005 to purchase and restore one of Dorchester County, Maryland’s most interesting and intriguing historic structures, an old ivy-covered brick building located in the middle of what is known as “the Indiantown”. After just a little bit of research, we knew we were on to something BIG. As the layers of the story unfolded, through research in archives, deeds, Wills and historic family letters, a better yet not fully complete story emerged of native people, licensed Indian traders, English settlers, British attacks, merchant activity and structural devastation.
The location is notable for its connection to all three of the major groups to call the neighborhood home during the colonial era: Nanticoke Indians, free and enslaved blacks, and English settlers. Since purchasing the property, the NHPA has worked to restore the brick house, and has erected authentic native structures.
For more information, visit restorehandsell.org.
– Chris Slavens