Thursday, October 9, 2008

Mystery Building Part 2

Could the mystery be solved?? Maybe!
Thanks to Elsie for sending this along to us.

The "Clax Rice Shanties"
The attached photograph appearing in the Maryland Independent 12/11/69 for whatever reason was printed in obverse (hold it up to a mirror for the correct perspective). It show the Baptist Chapel and the first of the "Clax Rice shanties" as they appeared in the early 1940's. R. Claxton Rice, a local brick mason, worked on converting the South Wing of the original 1819 Courthouse into the Baptist Chapel, as shown in the photograph, around 1906. He obtained part of the Courthouse lot and sometime thereafter constructed his first shanty from original materials in the North Wing which was demolished. This first shanty stood somewhat in front of the original North Wing.

In 1947, the site of the first Rice shanty was obtained by Robert T. Barbour and his wife Phyllis, and later transferred to the Society for the Restoration of Port Tobacco. The first Clax Rice shanty was dismantled and rebuilt on the far west side of the old Jailhouse lot and beyond the original Jailhouse foundation. The Jailhouse lot and second "Clax Shanty" was obtained by Robert T. and James L. Barbour in 1960 and later demolished. Consequently, the two "Clax Rice Shanties" were built and demolished in the 20th Century and would not appear on any of the earlier maps of the village. The foundations of these two buildings should not be confused with the foundations of the original Courthouse or Jail even though the original bricks and other materials from such buildings may have been used in the "Clax Shanties."

The Baptist Chapel, built in 1906 from the original South Wing of the Courthouse was deeded to the Society for the Restoration of Port Tobacco in 1949. It was later dismantled and incorporated in the present restored 1819 Courthouse.

Prepared by: James L. Barbour, 10/23/07

(Society for the Restoration of Port Tobacco)
I fooled with the image a little bit to show you both the original picture as it appeared in the Maryland Independent (left side) and as it was originally shot (right side). The building in question is circled in red and although its hard to make out, it looks like the Chimney House in the background.

- Peter

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