East New Market

Property Reports

House of the Hinges

More than one property called House of the Hinges?

House of the Hinges MeathouseA December 1936 photo by E.H. Pickering for the Historic American Buildings Project of the National Park Service, labels the "Brick Hotel" at 34 Main Street as "The House of the Hinges".  Currently this is the first time known to be documented that this property has been called "The House of the Hinges".  Books, newspaper accounts, historic sketches, and public records prior to 1936, do not refer to this property as the "House of the Hinges".  The house was commonly called the Brick Hotel, the Old Brick Hotel, the Manning House, or the Temperance House.  After 1936 (1940, 1955, the 1970s, etc.) the property was frequently referred to as "The House of the Hinges" in printed documents.  The property was called this because of a meat house with very large hinges at the rear corner of the main house.  The meat house is still standing today, but is in bad shape due to neglect by the current owner.

In 1930, Arthur Laskowski wrote the Laskowski Papers, which were a collection of stories detailing the history of many old properties in Dorchester County.  He wrote a story about the Mitchell-Hubbard House at 2 Linkwood Road and referred to the property as the "Old House of Hinges".  He also wrote a story about the "Brick Hotel" at 34 Main Street and referred to the property as "The Old Manning Property".   For the Mitchell-Hubbard House, Mr. Laskowski wrote that "a small, old five-room house near Friendship hall was moved up to the original house and was called the "annex" and it was from this annex that the house received the name of House of Hinges as most of the doors had big old-fashioned, hand wrought hinges.  Regrettably this old annex in the process of modernizing was moved back and is now used as a garage – but unfortunately the hinges have disappeared."

Perhaps the hinges reappeared in the 1930s and were put on the meat house of the "Brick Hotel".   Or perhaps, locals liked the name "Old House of the Hinges" and found another property in town with large hinges to give that label. 

Mr. Laskowski did not always get all the facts right will all his stories.  However, when he was wrong it was usually because his sources did not know the facts themselves or they were telling him a story that had changed over the years.  Sometimes it appears Mr. Laskowski stretches to relate two unrelated facts or finds an unrelated record to support his conclusions.  Despite the shortcomings in some of his writings, his collection of papers are an extremely valuable resource for researching local history in Dorchester County.  After reading the Laskowski Papers and knowing where he sometimes errs, I believe his writing about the Mitchell-Hubbard House at 2 Main Street is very likely an accurate retelling of a story told to him by the current owner at that time, William Hubbard, and a descendant of the first owners, Mr. E. L. Hooper.  The Mitchell-Hubbard House was very likely once known as the "Old House of the Hinges".  Thus East New Market has two properties that at one time used the name.