Mansion move causes road closings in Easton

One of the great mansions of Talbot County, the 255-year-old Galloway manor house, has been mounted on wheels and will slowly make its way from Chapel Road, across U.S. Route 50, down the Easton Parkway and Port Street to Easton Point in a four-day night-time odyssey that begins Monday night.

EASTON — Night-owls who travel the roads this week may find themselves delayed and may even get an eyeful.

One of the great mansions of Talbot County, the 255-year-old Galloway manor house, has been mounted on wheels and will slowly make its way from Chapel Road, across U.S. Route 50, down the Easton Parkway and Port Street to Easton Point in a four-day night-time odyssey that begins Monday night.

The old manor house is being moved by a private family to serve as their home at a new location in Queenstown, according to a website devoted to describing the move, eastonhousemove.com.

After its 6-mile journey through town to Easton Point, the massive brick structure will be loaded onto a barge and floated for 50 miles to Queenstown.

Since colonial times, the Galloway Mansion has lent its stately presence as the centerpiece of an enormous farm, one of many in Talbot County that helped define the Mid-Shore.

The mansion was built about 10 years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, 1760 to 1764, for the newly married William Nicols and Henrietta Maria Chamberlaine Nicols, according to the Easton move website.

The original property included 600 acres and was thought to be a wedding present by the Chamberlaine family to the young couple. They had four children, but for whatever reason, both parents died by 1788.

The historic, classic Georgian home features raised paneling, six-panel doors, a wide, three-story staircase with fluted posts and 11-foot ceilings and shows the traditional Flemish bond brickwork.

A 1798 tax assessment reports outbuildings such as a kitchen with covered passage, “foul” house, carriage house, smoke house and slave quarters.

According to the Maryland Historical Trust, by 1798 Henry Nicols, Jr. owned the property and by the 1880s Howes Goldsborough owned it.

In the July 1916 issue of Country Life in America the farm was advertised for sale as including more than 340 acres, about 30 farm buildings, a herd of Guernsey cows, registered Yorkshire and Berkshire hogs and about 800 Leghorn chickens.

By the late 1960s the farm was owned by the Murdoch family and they ran their florist business in large greenhouses and plant nurseries behind the old manor house for more than 50 years.

Marjorie Murdoch sold the property, totaling 20 acres, and the manor house, which totals about 5,040 square feet, to Charles C. Neeley of Washington, D. C. last year, according to Maryland property records.

The Galloway mansion is being moved by Expert House Movers, the same company that moved the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse on the Outer Banks in 1999.

The move includes road closings, and the re-routing of traffic on a rolling basis. Traffic is being closely coordinated by the Maryland Department of Transportation.

All the action will take place while people in town are presumed to be sleeping. Move times begin at about 10 p.m. and stop at about 6 a.m., for the most part.

Monday evening, Sept. 9, until about 5 a.m. Tuesday morning, the manor house will be moving from Chapel Road from Paper Run Road. Both Chapel and Paper Run Roads will be closed to traffic in both directions at Paper Run Road.

Tuesday evening, Sept. 10, to about 6 a.m. Wednesday, the manor house will be moving across Route 50 and down Route 322 to just after the Washington Street intersection. Rolling closures of Route 50 in both directions and detours onto the bypass will be in effect throughout those hours.

After the manor house clears Route 50, Route 322 will close to traffic through the Washington Street intersection.

The evening of Wednesday, Sept 11, is planned to be a layover day, with no movement.

Thursday evening, Sept. 12, beginning 8 p.m. the manor house will continue to move down Route 322, passing the intersections to Glebe Road, Marlboro Road, St. Michaels Road, Bay Street and to Port Street. Route 322 will be closed to all traffic as the move proceeds.

Detours back to Route 50 will be in place for traffic incoming or outbound.

The last day of the move, Friday, Sept 13, from about 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, the manor house will move down Port Street to Easton Point and the waiting barge.

Port Street will be closed to traffic in both directions as the house crosses the road. No detour will be available.

Dates and times may change depending upon weather and the ease of progress. For general information about the house and move, visit eastonhousemove.com.

Follow me on Twitter @chrisp_stardem. Email me at cpolk@stardem.com.

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