May 18, 2022

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ALLEGANY Magazine AUGUST 2021: The Grand Tour — When Background Will get the Royal Therapy — An distinctive pictorial tour of lifetime inside of the Gordon Roberts Home | Allegany Magazine

4 min read

The Grand Tour


When Record Gets the Royal Procedure


An unique pictorial tour of daily life inside the Gordon Roberts Property

Pictures by Carisa Fazenbaker, Shane Riggs and Karen Morgan for Allegany Magazine 



You use servants who are living and do the job out of your basement.  You have one big room of your home – surrounded by solar porches – which you only use to entertain corporation on distinctive situations like get-togethers and massive dinners.  Your young children are tucked absent in non-public nurseries as you love a brandy by one particular of your quite a few fireplaces.  Nearby, a lively recreation of checkers from imported actively playing items is using place in a sitting down area and abruptly, you listen to the strains of violin coming from the third ground.  You get that walking stick you obtained on just one of your several abroad visits and wander the tapestry coated corridor to board your private manually operated elevator to examine.

And nonetheless, even with an opulent home like this, you are still thought of middle class.

This kind of was life once in what is now a single of Allegany County’s most prestigious and wonderful museums – the Gordon Roberts House in Cumberland.  Designed shortly soon after the Civil War for Josiah Hance Gordon, this stately mansion by today’s criteria sits at 218 Washington Avenue.  A outstanding legal professional and eventual president of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Gordon and his household lived in the dwelling upon its completion for only 20 many years.  In 1889, W. Milnor Roberts purchased the residence and moved his family members within.  For the upcoming 60 a long time, Roberts – an novice violinist and operate traveler – brought his very own touches into the household – like electric power and fashionable plumbing.   Numerous porches were being enclosed and designed into further rooms.  The kitchen in the cellar was introduced upstairs for benefit sake and the household built this their household right up until 1953.

For the following 3 several years, the amazing manor sat empty and on your own.  Then in 1956, the Allegany County Historical Culture neatly bought the property and began the perform of turning it into an amazing vacationer attraction. The moment known as History Property, the Gordon Roberts Residence – as it is known now – functions a glimpse at what lifetime and decorating was like 100 many years in the past. 

On arrival these days, attendees are greeted by just one of two costumed docents who provide up freshly steemed tea and cookies before winding via the Victorian era home.

The drawing space and the ballroom – with its antiqued pink carpeting – is initially.  The space functions tow move down home windows that allowed friends a centennial in the past and right before there had been French or sliding glass doorways to stroll onto the facet porch.  The ballroom also attributes a Knabe piano.  Built in Baltimore, the piano for the duration of its heyday was second in class only to a Steinway.  There are family members portraits below of equally the Gordon and Roberts family members, and two paintings of Maryland Governor and Initially girl Lowndes.  Lowndes was the only Governor of the No cost Point out from Cumberland. 

Winding by means of the house and viewing it as a warm living room and not as a historic landmark, the home furnishings and equipment are remarkable.  From dolls to guides, doilies and quilts, pillows to tablet bins, the collections and their positions in the home are real to their time time period and thoughtfully arranged.  It appears as if the Roberts spouse and children is basically away on a vacation to Europe and owing back again at any moment.

A gaming sidebar with massive carved animals sits in a foyer.  A silver serving established in the dining place was when owned by the Shriver relatives in Cumberland – yes, it’s the exact Shrivers associated to the Kennedys.  A girls sitting area off the master suite on the 2nd floor incorporates a rare kettle desk.  The basement scullery wherever the servants lived and labored has china parts made use of on the B&O which includes a platter depicting a scene from the Narrows.   The property has at least two glassware collections from Western Maryland’s numerous glass factories and a floral urn in the garden exterior is from the former Queen Metropolis Station.  Without a doubt, the backyard is surrounded by a brick wall designed as a gift from the Boy Scouts 25 years in the past.  Just about every brick was recycled from a previous Cumberland beer brewery. 

The Gordon Roberts Property stays not just a making containing critical treasures that talk to Western Maryland’s earlier but is in actuality a a few dimensional image postcard of a way of everyday living typically well worth a second, 3rd or fourth go to. 

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