Guest Blog – Gardner Farm Curatorship Opportunity

By Peter Morrill, Curator Program Manager, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Gardiner Farm House

Gardiner Farm House

Do you ever dream about restoring and living in a historic house? Or living on pristine rural land within one of Maryland’s beautiful state parks?  If so, check out the Department of Natural Resources Resident Curatorship Program.  The Curatorship Program offers historically significant state-owned properties to private individuals for rehabilitation.  In exchange for rehabbing and maintaining the property, curators are given lifetime tenancy – rent free.  The Curatorship Program allows private individuals to breathe new life into significant historic properties which might otherwise be lost.

Gardner Farm Outbuilding

Gardner Farm Outbuilding

Situated on 11.6 acres of quiet, secluded land within the boundaries of Susquehanna State Park is the historic Gardner Farm.  Constructed ca. 1845, this substantially built stone structure is an excellent example of the local building traditions of Harford County and is listed in the Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties.  The house is 2-1/2 stories tall and includes six rooms and two stair cases as well as a wing which contains a kitchen, bathroom and additional living space.  In addition to the main house, the bucolic property boasts a number of outbuildings including a spring house, smoke house, barn, hog houses, garages, etc. which are available for use by the curator.

Gardner Farm Barn

Gardner Farm Barn

The DNR is looking for a partner to invest approximately $150,000 – $200,000 in the restoration of the house over a 5-7 year period. Families, non-profits, and commercial entities are welcome to apply as long as their vision for the property is in-keeping with preservation standards and the mission of the Maryland Park Service. Tours of the property are available by appointment only. Please call 410-260-8457 for additional information.

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