Beatty-Cramer House on Video
After being saved in 1987 from being burned to the ground in a firefighting exercise, the historic Beatty-Cramer house on Md. 26, next to Israel Creek, became the property of the Frederick County Landmarks Foundation. Through the years, sporadic work has been done to the property and last year it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. More recently, the two-story farmhouse became the star of a video.
The video, which presents a virtual tour, was produced by Frederick resident Reiner Prochaska—who is also an actor, author, director, playwright and screenwriter—with filming and production assistance provided by Ken Poisson. The video was funded by a 2021 Frederick County Bounce-Back Grant for nonprofits affected by the pandemic.
The video allows viewers to see the home’s history through the eyes of owner Susannah Beatty, as portrayed by Anita Beatty-Hoffman, an archivist at Heritage Frederick and a Beatty family descendant, and Judge Thomas Beatty, played by Douglas Claytor, a historical reenactor and heritage craftsman, who worked on the Beatty-Cramer house and at Schifferstadt, another Landmarks property.
“This is a chance to open the door and peek inside,” says Joan Deacon, past president of the foundation now headed by Jennie Russell, who says “there are a couple of things we are waiting to hear about” concerning plans for the property.
Joe Lubozynski, director of the Beatty-Cramer property, has been a friend to the house since 1987 and notes that “restoration requires and deserves careful planning. Understanding how this house came to be in Frederick County, and how it was built, is critical to planning its restoration and future use. It took years of research to begin understanding the Beatty-Cramer House.”
A portion of the circa-1732 house is the oldest known house in Frederick County and one of the earliest in the state, according to foundation research. It features a mixture of Dutch, English and early American carpentry techniques. It’s thought the original structure was likely a tavern or meeting house.
Stabilization efforts took place from 1996 to 2006, Lubozynski says, and the exterior of the spring house was restored. Festivals and other events were held on the site, as well as tours. More recently repairs were made to the back wall of the house.
Release of the 38-minute video, which can be viewed on the Landmarks Foundation website, www.fredericklandmarks.org, ties into the organization’s 50th anniversary this year.