DOWNES/ Circa 1785
Hillsboro, located in the midst of a particularly rich farming area, has
been an agricultural trading center since earliest times. Easy access
to the Bay, via the navigable Tuckahoe River, aided its development.
Perhaps the two most influential figures in the town's formative years
were Francis Sellers, who emigrated from Glasgow to Maryland in the last
quarter of the 18th century, and his wife, the former Elizabeth Downes.
Elizabeth's father, Henry Downes, was a figure of some prominence.
He had served on committees to found the Alms House, to supervise the building
of a bridge across the Choptank, to organize the early Methodist Church
in the area, to located temporary quarters for the newly formed county's
first courthouse, and so forth.
Sellers and his wife built a brick warehouse near the river, conducted
a mercantile business, and prospered. "With the natural characteristics
of a Scotsman, Mr. Sellers was energetic and thrifty in business and active
in the advancement of his community along educational and religious lines.
It seems that he must have amassed a considerable fortune." (History
of Caroline County.)
Doubtless some of the business profits went to the building of this two-story,
three-bay-by-two-bay, gable-roofed dwelling, which the late Eleanor Horsey
dates to the period 1784-1787.
About one hundred years later, the house's then-owner apparently grew dissatisfied
with the Federal style building and decided to bring it up to date.
To this end, he covered the brick pile in stucco, strung a spindled and
bracketed porch across the front, and added a long clapboard wing, complete
with two-story hexagonal bay window, to the rear.
Sites | Home