Yes, you read that correctly: an Easton, Maryland mansion built in the early 1760s was picked up and moved– first by flatbed truck and then by barge– up the Eastern Shore to Queenstown this week.
It was a spectacle for anyone near the Tred Avon River Wednesday, a 400-ton literal “house boat” on a barge with tug. The Town of Oxford, Md. posted video on their Facebook page, taken from the Oxford Bellevue Ferry. Watch below:
The historic Galloway house, a Georgian mansion built from 1760 to 1764, was built as a home for newlyweds William Nicols and Henrietta Maria Chamberlaine Nicols on their 600 acre plantation in Talbot County, according to the owners’ website, eastonhousemove.com.
The Neeley family, which owns the Galloway house, says on the site that it had a bleak future, “facing years of unoccupied neglect and the endless march of suburban sprawl.” They came up with a plan to move it six miles by road to Easton Point, then launch it onto the Tred Avon River for a 50-mile trip up the Bay to Queenstown. That’s where the mansion will be properly restored.
Galloway house’s journey started September 9, as Expert House Movers of MD Inc. moved it through four legs of the road trip over four nights, to get to the Talbot County dock at Easton Point. The house, on its very slow-moving flatbed truck, had to cross Route 50 and travel on Rt. 322. The water portion of the trip was delayed by problems with the barge’s ballast, so it didn’t leave the dock until Wednesday September 25th.
A live post from Expert House Movers showed a TowBoat U.S. boat standing by to offer local insight to Northstar Marine’s tugboat captain, helping to avoid navigational hazards like sandbars.
After a 17-mile ride down the Tred Avon, the barge’s route would take the mansion around Tilghman Island and up through Eastern Bay to the Wye River, for a total of about 50 miles.
It’s a sight the town of Easton– and anyone traveling the Bay at the time– won’t soon forget.
-Meg Walburn Viviano