THE HOLLINGSWORTH HOUSE
The Hollingsworth House is the centerpiece structure of what we call “Elk Landing”. This stately mansion was built and occupied by several generations of Hollingsworth’s. Today, it presents a glimpse of life as it was in the 19th century.
Early historians date the construction of the manor house to the latter part of the 18th century. The parcel was originally purchased by Zebulon Hollingsworth, Sr. in 1735. This purchase constituted the first of four land purchases between 1735 and 1752. It was Zebulon, Sr. that christened the property “Elk Landing”.
After his death in 1763, the property was divided among his heirs. Zebulon Jr. and his brother Levi assumed ownership of the original parcel. Zebulon Jr. bought out his brother’s share to become sole owner, and it was he who built the manor home at Elk Landing during the later part of the 18th century.
The house was severely damaged by fire in 1848 when occupied by Mary Hollingsworth (Zebulon Jr. died in 1812) and at least one of their children. This house, it is believed, looked different than it does today. Originally, it was thought to be a two-story structure with a separate, unattached, kitchen structure. Mary rebuilt the house into what we see today. A third story was added, as well as a dining room that attached to the kitchen. A porch was added to the new structure.
Mary E. Hollingsworth, wife of William (a son of Zebulon Jr.), was the last Hollingsworth to own Elk Landing. At the time of her death in 1871, the property passed to relatives not bearing the surname.
The house has served as a residence through the 20th century, and at one time was the site of Elk Dairy. After the last residents left, the house fell into disrepair. When the property was purchased by the Town of Elkton in 1999, efforts were made to repair and restore this grand structure.
The lower floor has been restored to represent 19th century life. In addition, an upper bedroom shows what it was like in a more private section of the house. A second bedroom is the “museum room” and contains many interesting artifacts and representations of historical significance. This includes copies of a Thomas Jefferson letter found in the basement in the early 2000s as well as artifacts found on the property from archaeological investigations.
Additionally, two dioramas show the property, including the manor house and other structures, an earthen fort that played a significant role in the defense of Elkton in the War of 1812, and an early 20th century boatyard that lined the property shoreline are on display. Timelines and pictures tell a compelling story of the historic significance of Elk Landing.
Contact us if you would like to tour the house (currently by appointment), or tour the grounds yourself. We are working on a virtual tour and hope to have that available in the near future.