The first building when you enter the property, the Blacksmith Shop was an integral part of the plantation until the end of its agricultural use. Because of the intense heat, it is built on a sandstone and brick foundation. It is believed that all of the original iron that remains on the property originated from the blacksmith shop. The shop houses two rooms, with separate entrances. The original gabled roof was replaced by the Engh family for aesthetic reasons.
This is one of three buildings used to quarter the slaves who worked the land. In the last hundred years, two of the houses have been razed due to disrepair/lack of necessity. The standing building was originally subdivided into two quarters, and was transformed by the Engh family into a usable guest house with working kitchen and bath. The fireplaces are original, as are many of the pots and iron works in the building.
Click here to see a survey conducted as part of the Virginia Slave Housing Project.
The Smokehouse, like the Blacksmith Shop, has an interior close to the original and because of its volatile use, is built upon a heavy brick foundation. The interior still contains charred timbers, meat essence, and the original hooks. Look closely and you’ll see a great irony of the property. The hooks are made of tree branches rather that the traditional iron.
An original. It is argued that what is now our Koi pond was originally the first cement swimming pool in Virginia. It is nine feet at its deepest. The pool and surrounding grounds have been totally redone by the Effingham team and stocked with different breeds of Koi, most notable are the Kohaku (the medium sized orange fish) and Bekko (the larger Yellow and or Red variety).
A highlight located at the rear of the Manor, the triple level garden is the first in Virginia. Currently used for our guests to enjoy, or perhaps as a backdrop for a wedding, the leveled gardens were originally intended to help herd and contain cattle. Each level drops to another point in history.
The Western Red Cedar tree that sits on the Northwest corner of the property is one of two living trees brought back from the Lewis and Clark expeditions in the early 19th century. It was a gift from the explorers to their friend William Alexander. Monticello, Mount Vernon and Saginaw, Teddy Roosevelt’s residence in New York, all claim grafts from the westward expansion, but Effingham and the Maryland Historical Society are home to the only original plantings east of the Mississippi.