EASTON — If you’re been out late in town for the last few nights and seen the flashing yellow lights, police car activity, teams of workers under spot lights and informational road signs, then you’ve probably noticed something else: a giant manor house on wheels is dominating the landscape.

The 255-year-old Galloway mansion is being moved from where it has been the centerpiece of a large Talbot County farm since colonial times.

A private family has purchased it and is moving the historic mansion to serve as their home at a new location in Queenstown.

The house has spent centuries down a long driveway off Chapel Road.

It was built when the United States was still ruled by the British, the manor house of a 600-acre farm that is believed to have been a wedding gift to William Nicols and Henrietta Maria Chamberlaine Nicols sometime between 1760 and 1764.

Inside there is a wide, three-story staircase with fluted posts, 6-panel doors, 11-foot ceilings and raised paneling that is characteristic of a stately Georgian-style home of that period.

Over the centuries, the house has had many owners and supported many types of farming, including very recently the base of operations for Murdoch Florists.

In so much time, the property has eventually been whittled down to 20 acres with the 5,040-square-foot manor house.

Marjorie Murdoch sold it to Charles C. Neeley of Washington, D.C. last year, according to Maryland property records.

In order to get to Queenstown from Chapel Road, the mansion has been lifted, placed on wheels and is being moved over Route 50 to the Easton Parkway, Route 322 to Easton Point. From there, it will be loaded on a barge and floated 50 miles to Queenstown.

The move is being handled by Expert House Movers, the same company that moved the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse on the Outer Banks in 1999.

Road closures and detours are being handled in coordination with the Maryland Department of Transportation.

Moving is planned to happen in the middle of the night, from about 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., for the most part.

Monday night the house was moved from Chapel Road to Paper Run Road, closing Paper Run Road all night.

Tuesday the moving started about 9 p.m. with crews spending quite a bit of time building a ramp across the hardest part of the median strip of Route 50 near the northern end of the Easton Parkway.

After it cleared Route 50, the manor house was moved down the Easton Parkway, past the intersection at Airpark Drive and beyond, while crews worked diligently to move electric lines out of its way as it passed.

Wednesday was planned to be a layover day before a long night of moving Thursday night into Friday morning.

Tonight, Thursday night, the moving is planned to begin earlier, at 8 p.m. and the building will continue to move down the Easton Parkway, Route 322, passing through the intersections of Glebe Road, Marlboro Road, St. Michaels Road, Bay Street and to Port Street.

According to the move website, Route 322 will be closed to all traffic as the move proceeds, but detours will be in place for traffic incoming or outbound to the peninsulas.

Friday night from about 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Saturday morning, the manor house will be moved down Port Street to Easton Point and the waiting barge.

Port Street will be closed to traffic in both directions as the house travels the road Friday night, with no detour available.

Dates and times may change depending upon weather and the ease of progress. For general information about the house and move, visit https://eastonhousemove.com/.

Follow me on Twitter @chrisp_stardem. Email me at cpolk@stardem.com.

(1) comment


neat story about "how things can 'get done'"

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