WILLOW GROVE Circa 1770-1790
Willow Grove is situated inland from the major waterways of the county. It is one of the major dwellings of the county and resembles in plan two other dwellings in Talbot County: Pleasant Valley, built in 1774, and Galloway, built around 1780. Col. Matthew Driver constructed the mansion and had the surrounding lands surveyed in 1795 under the name "Willow Grove."
The plan of the stuccoed five-bay dwelling consists of four rooms on each floor plus a wing. One of the major rooms houses a great delicate stair with paneled spandrel; the secondary stair, in the southeast room, is also intact. Eachh of the other rooms retains original mantels, trim, and paneled chimeny breasts. Both facades of the building have semicircular transoms above the broad paneled doors.
Driver was a significant figure in early Caroline County and one of the first Justices of the County Court in 1774. He later served as a member of the Committee of Observation in 1775. Continuing this tradition of public service, his heirs subsequently filled several positions pertaining to the military and political life of the early county. Later owners of Willow Grove include the numerous and prominent Horsey family.
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