At the intersection of River Road and Seven Locks Road in Potomac, Maryland, a tiny cottage still stands on the same small parcel of land, once known as Magruder’s Honesty, where it was originally constructed in the mid-1700s.
The shop is believed to be the handiwork of Ninian Magruder, Sr., according to a historical marker that stands adjacent to the building. Also, his initials are carved into the chimney. An outside fireplace used by the blacksmith has long been covered over and hand-forged nails have been found on the grounds, evidence of this landmark’s storied past.
The two-level home, constructed of rubblestone, features an all-purpose room and kitchen on the main level, along with a single bedroom and bath on the top floor.
Current owner Gus Stefanou purchased the building and set about restoring the structure, but the copper roof and vinyl windows he installed resulted in a “Stop Work” order from the county Historic Preservation Office.
Stefanou is working diligently with county officials to obtain approval to resume work, including replacing the copper roof with a wood shake roof and other modifications designed to maintain the use of historically appropriate materials for the restoration.
Know Before You Go
This restoration project is still in progress as of April 2021 and the building is behind a chain-link fence but is easily visible on River Road. The shop is on the right side heading north just beyond the I-495 exit.