Taylor’s Island Phoenix: Waterfront Farmhouse Rises from the Ashes

In November, 2014, the two and a half story frame, farmhouse built in at least two stages during the early and mid-nineteenth century on a seventeenth century patent known as Oyster Creek Farm, on Taylor’s Island in Dorchester County MD, was tragically consumed by a fire, and was deemed to be too far damaged to be repaired. In February 2015, I was brought in by the builder, Rick Batton, of FC Batton & Son, Inc. (http://www.battonandson.com/) to assist the Owner in rebuilding the house. Because the original structure was located in the first 100′ of the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area, the footprint of the rebuilt house was required to more or less duplicate  that of the original. In addition,  the rebuilt structure had to be elevated above the Base Flood Elevation for that area of Dorchester County. To further ensure protection from flooding in the future, the new first floor will now be over five feet above the original first floor, requiring all Porches and decks be constructed on masonry piers. The house will now have views of the Chesapeake Bay beyond, that it never had previously.



Drawings were submitted for permitting, and approved in November. Rick Batton began site preparation and foundation layout, and poured the footings in December. By mid January, the poured concrete foundation was complete.


MARCH, 2016

Weather was not particularly cooperative in February, but by late March, the first floor deck had been framed, and a few of the first floor walls had been stood up. Porch and deck masonry piers were in place.

JUNE 2016

All exterior walls, and most interior partitions  had been framed, and roof was sheathed by mid-June.  Foundation walls above grade were brick faced.


Rough-ins for electrical, HVAC, and plumbing are all underway. Decks, waterside porches, and screened porch have all been framed, and are ready for roofing panels. Brick end chimneys have been extended above the roofline.


Porch roofs and ceilings completed,  and standing seam metal roof is being installed; windows and exterior trim installed and complete. HVAC, plumbing, and electrical rough-ins completed. Three gas fireplaces and flues installed. Exterior garden walls begun.


Insulation completed, gypsum wallboard hung, taped, and blocked. Hardieplank siding is underway. New stairs in place connecting all three levels.