View Photo Gallery: The Washington Post’s picks of distinguished homes on the D.C. area market.

In this week’s featured house, historic comes with modern touches.

No one knows when the Lower Marlboro home was built, but it is believed to be the oldest one in town and close to 300 years old. The British, who anchored their warships in front of the house on the Patuxent River during the War of 1812, burned down the Calvert County courthouse, destroying any records of the home.

For most of its existence, the house served dual roles — post office/general store and residence. After the post office was closed and the postmistress moved away, the home languished for several years before developer Perry Van Vleck renovated it. He christened it the Harbor Master’s House.

The pre-Revolutionary War home is roomy enough for entertaining but cozy enough for family living. The great room, which was formerly the country store, has one of the five fireplaces in the house. The gourmet kitchen has 21 feet of windows overlooking the river. The master bedroom has five closets.

Four years ago, the owners installed geothermal heating and air conditioning and added additional insulation. As a result, their electric bill averages less than $350 a month.

“One of my friends walked in the other day and said this is the only historic home I’ve ever been in that doesn’t feel that it would be hard to live in,” owner Jo Ellen Hayden said. “It just doesn’t have the issues that you sometimes associate with historic homes.”

The 4,200-square-foot home is on 1 1 / 2 acres and has 200 feet of waterfront shoreline. The 80-foot pier has two private boat slips.

For more information about the home, which is on the market for $1,199,999, visit

Listing: 4215 Chaneyville Rd., Owings

Last week’s House of the week

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook