PAINTING above and STORY below
by Jane Wassmer
On a beautiful September afternoon the Wassmer family found that the Sill House was for sale. We went to see the house and found that it was set back in a stand of old trees and was in very shabby condition. Even in its shabbiness, there showed through the promise of real elegance. This writer, much to the dismay of her husband, fell in love with this grand old house. It was a real challenge that I could not resist, and we needed a home. The proper authorities were contacted and the wheels of real estate began to roll. The date, 1972 ..
The house was ovvned by the West Nottingham Academy and was used as a dormitory to house 18 girls and a house mother, Mrs. Lois Groff. The back section of the house had been her apartment The girls were transferred to the \tViley dorm on the comer of the Academy, so the Academy decided to sell Sill House.
Walter and I started the task of remodeling the house. Gallons of paint were purchased and room by room the job was finished. A mural for the living room wall was a gift trom Ralph and Eleanor Hicks tram Elkton, Maryland, and was put on by Mr. Hicks and my husband. Mr. Brumfield trom Rising Sun was hired to wallpaper the family room and halls along with an upstairs bedroom. This was done in good German bonded wallpaper. Gold wool carpet was ordered to cover the living room and halls, and green carpet was ordered for the family room.
In 1973 a new back porch was added, half of which was turned into a small store in 1977, called Creative Arts and Gifts. It was operated for about six months, but due to the area being so rural, we closed it dovvn and made it into a den and library.
The outside of the house was painted by my husband when we moved in. Old shutters were purchased and repaired to fit the era of the house. Brass coach lamps were added to the tront of the house when my husband again painted in 1978. We installed a new steam heater system and oil hot water system so that the steam system could be shut dovvn in the summer months. We also had new blacktop placed on the driveways and in 1976 we added new storm windows all over the house. In 1977 we had Mr. Alexander and his son from North East, Maryland, install a new brick fireplace in our family room. My husband installed a new Franklin stove that winter and in the spring he and his dad remodeled the kitchen dining area and put in glass sliding doors to the back. Hea'v}' panelling was placed in this room and all of the cupboards were covered with this hea'v}' wood. The floor was covered with carpet in this new area.
In 1978 due to a tree falling on our garage, we had to replace same.
This was all done with new siding and new overhead doors. A new roof was also put on the greenhouse which is attached to the rear of the garage. In 1978 we also had a new roof put on the back part of the house.
Each Christmas Eve we have open house at Sill House for all of our friends and for all of the State Troopers and Deputies in the County who are in the area. The house is lighted with a white spotlight afJd we have candles in every window which looks lovely when passing by.
We have done so many things to the house to improve it over the past years that it is really hard to count them all. I believe that the house today is at its most beautiful state and we feel that if its first owners could see it now, they would be just as proud as they were over one hundred and twenty three years ago.
Our two sons, Frederick Wayne and Kenneth John Wassmer, my husband Walter, who is a Trooper with the Maryiand State Police, and myself. Laura Jane Wassmer will always remember Sill House and the wonderful house that it is. The house just seems to have a magic about it that cannot be described in words.
To whomever buys and owns Silf House in the future, may you love and care for it through the years and it will always house you graciously.
The Wassmers sold Sill House back to West Nottingham Academy for service once again as a dormitory.
In 1990 it was sold to George Remhof and it is a private residence once more.
Back to Wassmer Page