June 17, 2021 at 2:00pm | Melanie Wood

Ten things I love about TentHouse

By Mark Plaster

1.  Being surrounded by the history and beauty of TentHouse Creek
We begin and end every day with coffee or cocktails on one of the many porches overlooking TentHouse Creek. We see the first light of sunrise through the trees and see the shades of color change as the sun rises higher. Then in the evening, we hear the 6 pm bells of the Galesville chapel that has been in existence for over a hundred years. Then we watch the colors across the creek and southern sky change by the minute until the lights of the town mix with the stars in the sky. Our home’s name, TentHouse, is not just for the creek, but for the Quakers who came here in the 1650s to erect their summer encampment ’tent house' for praise and prayer after feasting on all the game and fish that are still so abundant in the surrounding forest and waters.

2.  Deep, protected, private water.  This boater's dream.
We looked for years to find just the right combination of privacy, deep water dockage, and protection from storms. So often we found one or two of the three. Deepwater, maybe even protected. But crammed between other houses and docks. No, thanks. But TentHouse provides the ideal place to dock my 51’ sailboat, a lift for my powerboat, with another slip for a third boat or visitors. The dingy dock even provided space for smaller crafts. Six and a half acres and a thousand feet of water frontage assure me that I will have the privacy I desire. And wide-open access to the West River and the Chesapeake Bay is just around the corner of Bayfields Point.

3.  The sheer scale of the house
Over the years TentHouse has hosted hundreds of midshipmen, guests from around the world, political events, and an annual fundraiser that helped build a children’s hospital in Kenya. The privacy of the master suite and the privacy of three more suites plus a detached guest quarters has given privacy to all our overnight guests and family. Our small grandchildren have loved playing hide-and-seek in all the nooks and crannies of TentHouse or playing on the swings and rock wall in their bunk room. The beautiful mahogany paneled theater is another favorite of all our family and friends.

4.  The swimming pool
TentHouse has a pool complex that would rival many resorts, not just a swimming pool behind the house. The pool itself is 1700 sq feet with a 10’ depth throughout the deep end and a solar shelf that allows sitting in the pool on an Adirondack under an umbrella. The rock waterfalls blend perfectly with the forest behind giving the feeling of swimming in a beautiful clear woodland pond. Plus the rocks are a wonderful place from which to dive or jump. The pavilion is post and beam, with three huge fans, an antler chandelier over a table for 12, and a full kitchen with granite counters, three under-counter refrigerators, ice maker, beer tap, dishwasher, and grill. The huge stone wall with an oversized fireplace and oversized heaters for the pool makes the pool/pavilion complex a true three-season facility. And of course, the bathhouse with a bathroom, two changing rooms, outdoor shower, and large storage room complete the complex.

5.  The Wyeth kitchen
Having lived for over 25 years in Andrew Wyeth country, near Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, we designed the kitchen to have the feeling of history and warmth. The full couch in front of the fieldstone fireplace was salvaged from the house that had been on the location for over 60 years. The large cutting block island, quartz counters, country kitchen sink, glass front custom hoosier cabinets, side by side full-size refrigerator and freezer, and Wolf stove make a large but warm and efficient 'cook’s kitchen’. The breakfast bar and dining nook, and antique hutch make it easy to eat fresh off the stove. The butler’s pantry makes entertaining so easy with a second refrigerator, sink, dishwasher, and microwave and lots of room for glasses and food.

6.  The spacious master suite
With over 1200 sq ft, the master suite is more than a bedroom. Its own foyer leads in three directions. To the spa-like bathroom (steam shower for two, large soaking tub with jets, separate sink areas) all with water views. The separate walk-in closets with dedicated laundry and mini-gym are perfect for a morning work-out and drop off the clothes in the washer before heading to the shower. And the large bedroom with a sitting area, large screen TV, and gas fireplace makes a great place to wind down after a long day. The bonus is two covered porches off the bedroom that look over TentHouse Creek and the 1/2 acre pond. Both protected from the weather, they make a difficult choice as to where to start and end the day.

7.  The best office in town
The full wall windows to the north and west allow me to ‘work’ at my desk while dreaming of being out on my boat. The wall of pictures and diplomas reminds me of my blessings. The bookcases remind me how I got here. The attached half bath allows me privacy without leaving the office.

8.  The bunk room
Five built-in bunks and a hidden toddler’s playhouse are embedded in the memories of our grandchildren. But the highlight of the room is the swings, in the middle of the room, that they run to when they come in the front door. The dedicated nursery with a camera security system is perfect and appreciated by our kids with babies. The suite of rooms has two additional adult rooms with king beds. And a large bathroom with a shower and soaking tub that holds lots of little ones with rubber ducks.

9.  The mother-in-law suite
This beautiful 1000 sq ft suite with a king bedroom, wheelchair accessible tub and shower, heated floors in kitchen and bath, and living room with ample bookcases and fireplace made the transition from independent living to aging in place an easy move. The irony is that it probably has the best sunset view in the house.

10.  The peaceful surrounding
              Coming off Muddy Creek Road onto Cumberstone Road causes one to breathe a sigh of relief as the trees arch over the road.  A small horse farm to the left, a small hay farm to the right, and the historic road winds onto Bayfields where you have another peaceful mile of woods and hidden homes on acreages.  One of the homes found relics of Native Americans and the first settlers when they dug the foundation for their barn.  The peninsula is deed restricted and cannot be broken up into small plots.  And the peninsula itself is virtually surrounded by the Smithsonian Conservation Area which will never be developed.  So often beautiful waterfront homes are surrounded by the congestion of dense development.  But TentHouse is located at the end of a peaceful, winding road that meanders through fields and forests with sneak peeks at the water to right and left before coming to our gate. 


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