When Roger Brooke Farquhar built Rock Spring in 1879, it was considered very grand for its time. The Queen Anne farmhouse in Rockville, Md., had 12 rooms, five fireplaces, an indoor bathroom and running water. It was the first Montgomery County home with modern plumbing.
The Farquhars were prominent members of the Quaker community, prosperous farmers and early settlers in the county. Farquhar was deeded the property by his mother. The land had been purchased by her father, Robert Brooke, a Quaker preacher and farmer.
Farquhar was described by his son, also named Roger Brooke Farquhar, in his book, “Old Homes and History of Montgomery County, Md.,” as “a progressive farmer and public-spirited citizen.” He ran his dairy farm for more than 50 years. His wheat crop in 1884 was thought to have been a record yield for the county.
In addition to being a successful farmer, Farquhar was a well-respected civic leader. He was president of the Rotary, a charter member of the Enterprise Club, president of the horticulture society and director of the Savings Institution of Sandy Spring for 50 years. Maryland Gov. Edwin Warfield appointed him to the school board. Farquhar, who was an early and vocal opponent of slavery, worked to amend the Maryland Constitution to abolish slavery.
Many prominent Washingtonians visited the home, including Ainsworth R. Spofford, Librarian of Congress.
Farquhar remained at Rock Spring until 1913. His son wrote in his book that the farm “meant to innumerable people a home of peace and plenty, of bountiful and charming hospitality.”
In 1965, Marcus Schwartzman sold the land to Manor Lake Corp., which subdivided it into a housing development. Three years later, Schwartzman and his wife, Adele, repurchased the small tract containing the original farmhouse.
According to a document prepared by two historic preservation consultants and filed with the Maryland Historical Trust, “Rock Spring is a fine example of a frame Queen Anne farmhouse which retains most of its original fabric and distinctive detailing, including original stickwork under the gables, slate roof and German siding, as well as original flat-muntined windows in the front section.”
The older section of the house has a rock foundation; the newer, rear sections have brick foundations.
The 3.11-acre property, which includes a garage/pool house with an indoor swimming pool and a two-bedroom, two-bathroom guesthouse, backs into the north branch of Rock Creek Park.
The six-bedroom, four-bathroom, 6,660-square-foot house is listed at $1.45 million.
Listing agents: Heather Davenport and Matthew McHugh, Washington Fine Properties
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