Springland (Henry Hatch Dent House)

One of a very few antebellum structures remaining in the former Washington County, this brick house is a notable example of the vernacular country house architecture of mid-19th century gentleman builders.

The Springland house circa 1845 is positioned on a hill surrounded by numerous mature trees on .93 acres of land sloping down to the entrance to the house on the north and away from the house to the south. The house is constructed of brick with a slate roof. A wooden porch extends across the width of the south facade of the house. A substantial one bay addition to the house circa 1891 to the east consists of a brick basement and first floor with a second story of wood construction.

The original 1845 farmhouse was a simple 1 and 1 half-story structure, symmetrically arranged with gable end chimneys. During the middle of the nineteenth century the vernacular porch was added extending the width of the south facade of the house. According to descendants, the house was altered and added to in the 1890s when Reverend James Macbride Sterrett and Adlumia Dent Sterrett moved to Washington at\d settled at Springland with their five sons. Another remodeling, primarily on the interior, took place in 1929 when the Reverend Henry Hatch Dent Sterrett and his family moved into Springland. The last exterior change was the replacement of the front porch in the late 1920s.

The existence of Springland contributes significantly to our understanding of this area's history during the nineteenth century before the growth of the surrounding suburbs. It is unique in retaining its original character and function amidst sufficient grounds to evoke the mid 19th century setting. When the District of Columbia was established in 1791 it included Washington City, the new federal city, designed by Pierre Charles L'Enfant and the surrounding Washington County, all within the ten mile square.

Springland exemplifies the pattern of extended family life in the mid-nineteenth century. It was built just across the fields from Ann Maria Adlum's mother, Margaret, who continued to live at the Vineyard following the death of her husband John Adlum in 1836 and after the Vineyard estate was deeded to Ann Maria in 1841, four months prior to her marriage to H.H. Dent.

Springland's architectural significance is unique in that it is the only one of several country houses built in Washington County outside the new federal city in the 19th century to remain a private residence on an ample wooded lot without the addition of institutional buildings. The house retains its integrity as a vernacular structure which has been altered and added to in response to the needs of the inhabitants and the changing technological advances in heating and plumbing.

Built circa 1845, with an addition circa 1891
DC Inventory: November 8, 1964
National Register: August 9, 1990



3550 Tilden Street, NW