Sunday, October 12, 2008

A visit to the Sherrick House

Everyone loves this beautiful red brick house situated on the south end of the battlefield overlooking the road to Burnside Bridge. I've wanted to get into this seldom-opened building since I started at the park two and a half years ago.

Built around 1835, and owned by Joseph and Sarah Sherrick at the time of the Battle of Antietam, the house was in the direct line of advance of the 9th Corps Regiments of Colonel Benjamin Christ's Brigade. The house was acquired by the park in 1964 and is in very good material condition and is, aesthetically, a real treasure.

Last week, Ranger Brian and I were driving by and saw this:

If that's not an invitation, I don't know what is!

Upon entering, we were greeted by the newly installed faux marble floor cloth. Very cool.

While Brian distracted the restoration workers, I bolted upstairs.

And I was rewarded with elegantly simple high ceilinged rooms, all undergoing restoration.

The closets are very narrow.

The windows are very large and let lots and lots of light, and view, in.

That little brick building is the original smokehouse, also present at the time of the battle.

Another door leads to another room...

and lots of beautiful,

and simple, details.

The back stairs lead down to one of the parlors.

The inviting light flooding through the doorway caused me to step out...

on to that spacious and high veranda overlooking Burnside Bridge Road.

More detail, nice scrollwork on the staircase,

and a close up of that painted floor cloth.

The restoration artist applies faux marble painting to one of the fireplace surrounds.

Hey! more stairs. These lead down to...

a surprisingly bright and dry basement.

The very thick walls and a spring that runs naturally through the cellar keep the lower level very cool year-round.

Through a door on that lower level I entered the half of the cellar used for long-term food cooling by the Sherrick's.

I always had to imagine what the interior of this elegant Valley home was like. The reality turned out to be even better than the picture in my head.

There's always something wonderful to visit,

at your National Battlefield.



Anonymous said...


I always enjoy these visits to the places most of us never get to see.

It seems there is a lot of ongoing restoration work at several sites around the battlefield. Is this the norm or has Antietam been especially "blessed" with some extra funding this year?

It is rewarding to see these historic sites being preserved.

Thanks Again,


Mannie Gentile said...


Thanks for the kind comment. I'm glad you enjoy exploring the battlefield with me.

No, we've not been showered by a windfall, we're simply frugal, we have good friends (SHAF and others), and pennies are pinched until they are bruised.

The folks in charge here must make a very compelling case for these irreplaceable structures, once they are gone they are gone. They are big, tangible, beautiful reminders of an important event and a continuum that we are a part of, and perhaps for that reason their care strikes an empathetic chord in the hearts of charitable people and organizations.

It is rewarding.

Best wishes,


Anonymous said...

Thanks Mannie. I believe the first posting of yours I commented on was regarding Sherrick as well. As I told you then, this house is just something special and I appreciate your letting us share with your adventure inside.
Will there be times that it will be open now that the restoration work is being carried out? There could be some slick as heck living history programs done on that property.

Mannie Gentile said...


I'll find out what the long-term plan is for the house and post on this blog.

Thanks for the comment!


Skies of Blue and Gray said...

Wow, what a treat! I didn't think I'd get to see any inside photos of the Sherrick house, my favorite on the Antietam battlefield. Such a beautiful place, and so historic! Thanks for this very special post.