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BALLESTONE-STANSBURY HOUSE

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House History
 
Early History
 
The land upon which the Ballestone-Stansbury House stands was first patented in 1659 by Walter Dickenson, who named the property after himself.  On October 30th 1663, the land track known as "Dickenson" was sold to Daniel Jones, who then sold the property to John Dixon in 1664.  The land passed from Abigail Dixon Scudmore to John Hayes.  Hayes willed it to his son-in-law, Thomas Stansbury, in 1725.  Stansbury had the property then referred to as "Dickerson" resurveyed and named "Stansbury's Claim". 
 
The first residence built on Stansbury's Claim no longer remains.  In the 1760s, a Stansbury family cemetery was established and was where Thomas and his wife Jane were interred.  Although relocated in the mid-20th century, their headstones remain on the property today. 
 
It is believed that the earliest portion of the current farmhouse was built by another generation of Stansburys - that of Isaac Stansbury who recorded $200 worth of improvements on the 1813 tax list.  In 1836, the trustees of the the late Isaac Stansbury advertised the the property as a two-story brick house on a 180 acre track.  Sometime afterward, the house acquired a 1-1/2 story brick wing addition.
 
In 1855, Edward Miller purchased the property after having passed through several additional owners.  It was likely the Miller family who expanded the farmhouse to a full 2-1/2 story dwelling as well as added the front porch that we see today.
 
                                           Ballestone in the early 20th century.
 
 
Restoration
 
In 1969, Baltimore County purchased the property from the Millers to develop it as a park.  The deserted farmhouse fell victim to vandals.  The Heritage Society of Essex and Middle River campaigned for the house to be saved.  Adoped by the Essex-Middle River Bicentennial Committee, restoration began in 1974.
 
      Back of Ballestone prior to restoration.               Front of Ballestone during restoration.
 
The house has gone through many name changes throughout its long history, additionally known in earlier days as the Cedar Point House and the Miller Farm.  The house received yet another name in 1976 in fervor of the 1776 Bicentennial.  In recognition of a believed George Washington connection, the house became known as Ballestone Manor after Washington's great-grandfather William Ball.  By the summer of 1977, the restoration was complete and Ballestone Manor was ready to receive visitors.
 
 
 
Present Day
 
A surveying mistake was made in 1659 when Lord Calvert granted land to William Ball.  A 1671 correction to the location of the Ball property reinforced by a surviving stone marker proved that Ball never owned Ballestone Manor.  Since two versions of the deed existed, the loss of identity and resulting confusion was considered and it was decided yet another name change was in order.  It seemed prudent to incorporate the erroneous name "Ballestone" while recognizing the longtime landowners of the past.  In 2006, the house became known as the Ballestone-Stansbury House. 
 
The Ballestone-Stansbury House is administered by the Ballestone Preservation Society.  Listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NR-307), Ballestone is significant for being one of few remaining early farmhouses to survive in the area.
 
We welcome you to step back in time and visit the Ballestone-Stansbury House.