Robert and Maxine Walker lived and worked for 35 years in downtown Washington, D.C. near the White House, where they enjoyed the graceful dignity of American freedom that is captured in our Nation’s capital with its monuments, museums, and memorials. They also benefited greatly from the fine arts and cultural opportunities as well as the city’s wonderful restaurants and theaters, all located near their row house in Foggy Bottom on the campus of George Washington University.
After raising their two daughters, the Walkers realized it was time for a change and pursued their dream of living in the country. It did not take long to find Harwood Farm as they had passed the property for many years while on weekend visits to relatives who lived nearby on a cattle farm.
The Walkers purchased Harwood in 1994 and since that time, they have made many significant restorations to the property while maintaining its historic natural beauty and its agricultural heritage.
History of Harwood Farm Circa 1840
Harwood Farm faces north on the south side of Jennings Chapel Road, two miles west of its intersection with Route 97. It sits on a hill overlooking corn and soybean fields and features a three-acre pond northwest of the house.
Agriculturally, this land has been, and continues to be under cultivation of some sort for over 100 years . The plat of 1857 indicates orchards northeast and southwest of the house and there is evidence indicating that perhaps tobacco was once grown on the property.
Harwood is a good example of frame, nineteenth century, vernacular architecture with German siding, in Howard County, Maryland. The history of the property can be traced back to the Warfield family, a family whose members have served both in Annapolis and Howard County in positions of trust and authority.
The property once consisted of some 635 acres of land, called “Warfield’s Connection Enlarged,” then owned by Charles Warfield and his wife Catherine. They had six children, all of whom are mention in an 1857 equity legal dispute between Mortimer Dorsey and Kitty Warfield. They were: Presley, Felder, Rachel, Kitty, Amelia, and Eleanor. The equity action cited a series of events and their consequences and due to the complicated nature of the proceedings, the case in equity was initiated by Mortimer Dorsey.
The result was a division made of the 635 acre tract of land. Lot 2 (226 1/4 acres of that tract, comprising the house and its outbuildings) was sold to Mortimer Dorsey. After he died, his youngest daughter, Rebecca, married Horatio Griffith. Together, they had held, with her father Mortimer, the land and premises, along with other real estate as tenants in common, subject to the right of dower of Ann, widow of Mortimer. Rebecca Griffith held this property until 1900 when she sold it to W.Harvey and Anne E. Davis. It was acquired twenty years later by Joshua N. Warfield Jr. and after several transactions, became the property of Edwin Warfield Jr. in 1927, and in 1950 of Edwin Warfield III. In 1966 Mr. and Mrs. Edward Harlow acquired 146 acres of the original Lot 1 from the 1857 equity settlement, and named the property “Harwood Farm.”