27. Webb Cabin

Typical African-American Home

James H. Webb, a free African-American farmer, built this hand-hewn log home around 1852 and lived here with his enslaved wife and their four children – Charles, Elizabeth, John and Ann, and Webb’s father, Henry. The family were members of nearby Mount Pleasant Church. The one-room home, with its “potato hole,” open fireplace, and loft accessed by a crude ladder, was built of materials found nearby. It sits on its original ballast-stone foundation from ships that plied the Chesapeake Bay.

Typical of housing for most African Americans at the time, this cabin is a rare survivor today. It also represents the kind of housing that sheltered many poor white families during the early and mid-19th century. Harriet Tubman’s father and mother, Ben and Rit Ross, probably lived in a very similar structure at nearby Poplar Neck.

The lack of resources and primitive characteristics of such buildings have long precluded preservation of many structures like this one. Webb’s cabin has been preserved for generations and utilized for a variety of purposes. The structure is owned and maintained by the Caroline Historical Society and sits on a one-acre plot of land owned by Caroline County.



Grove Road
Preston, MD 21655

GPS Coordinates: 38.755608,-75.892793

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