Aged Treasure: Sussex County’s Cannon-Maston House is a Historic Prize

From on January 08, 2010 in General Remodel

Sussex County has a treasure. A really, really old one. This treasure, a pre-revolutionary-war-era farmhouse was, built in 1727. A house like this really is a gem, especially since it is one of the few houses that contain architectural details from that time in American history. Located in Sussex County, it still sits on its original foundation, and is surrounded by 112 acres of farmland.

sussex county remodel

In its day, the Cannon-Maston house, named after its original builder, Thomas Cannon, and subsequent owner, Halsey Maston, was a veritable mansion back in the day. The spacious house was built with two large rooms downstairs and two rooms upstairs. It has been uninhabited since 1960.

It wasn’t hard to determine when the Cannon-Maston House was built. One unique feature of the home’s design is the tilted false palate, an architectural technique that was used in the framing of other period Delaware and Virginia homes. On one of the exterior bricks, the date “1727” is clearly inscribed. There are no questions about the home’s original owners and builders, either. Thomas Cannon and wife, Catherine Smith, have their initials engraved as a permanent legacy, also contained on an exterior brick.

The house stands in its original location, situated on the farmland which has been in continual use since 1696 . The National Trust for Historic Preservation is keenly interested in the project. Other historical groups, such as the Archeological Society of Delaware, the Seaford Historical Society and historical planners of Sussex County, are joining the investigation of the home’s fascinating past.

Although remodeling accretions have disguised much of the interior woodwork, there are unmistakable original elements still displaying much of their former glory. The foot-wide hardwood floors, exterior bricks, and of course, most of the framing are bona-fide 1727 materials. Who knows what other treasures the historical societies will find?