An 18th-century home that originally housed a tavern and inn for travelers is for sale in Buckeystown.
The house at 3624 Buckeystown Pike is the oldest structure in the village, according to Charlie Jamison, the real estate agent for the home.
The property was originally owned by John Buckey, the village’s namesake, in 1788. Buckey was the tavern keeper and blacksmith, according to Nancy Bodmer, a local historian and author of books about the history of Buckeystown.
Construction on the house began the same year. There are no known documents stating when the home was completed, but tax records for the property date back to 1795, Bodmer said.
From the time it was constructed until about 1870, it was known as Buckey’s Tavern, a tavern and inn often used by people traveling from Pennsylvania to Virginia. After that it was converted into a private home.
“When you think about a tavern, it was bustling,” Bodmer said. “There was very little [elsewhere]. There might have been something in Frederick, but for people who were traveling, this was it.”
The home, which is made of limestone, has huge chunks of the rock rising up from the basement floor as Bodmer explained that the structure was built directly on a block of it.
The first floor was used as the tavern; the second floor and attic were used as rooms for the inn.
“It’s hard to believe what an enterprise this was,” she said. “This is more than a Holiday Inn.”
The house is being sold by Margaret and Paul Conway, who live right next door.
Margaret’s mother-in-law, Carribelle Conway, bought the property in 1997. The couple inherited the house after Carribelle died in 2014.
Carribelle, who lived in Silver Spring, bought it as a second home where she could spend time with her grandchildren who lived next door.
“Some older people have second homes in Florida. She wanted an old home from the 1700s,” Margaret Conway said.
The house was in disrepair when Carribelle bought it and ended up putting in more than $200,000 worth of restorations and upgrades. Original features in the house include six fireplaces, the limestone siding and cupboards in a room on the first floor.
The basement also has original beams and doors and an original wooden step that’s worn down from horses and people going back and forth through the doorway where the old kitchen was.
“After all the restorations were done, her health started to decline,” Margaret said of her mother-in-law. “So she never did live here.”
Since inheriting it, Conway has let family and friends stay in the home for short periods of time but ultimately doesn’t want to be responsible for two houses.
“We’re not just going to keep an empty house,” she said.
The house is 2,568 square feet, not including the basement, and has two summer porches, two stairwells, four bedrooms, two full bathrooms and central air. The property sits on .82 acres.
There’s also a workshop behind the house with central air.
The house is listed for $489,900. Conway hopes to find the right buyer.
“There’s a bit of sadness, for sure,” she said of selling the home. “But it’s just not practical to own an empty house. I’m just praying that the right person is out there who wants an historic home.”
Follow CJ Fairfield on Twitter: @FairfieldCj.