"George Washington, Old Line and an interesting experience for me".
As you might know, my company was once named Old Line Timber Frames. We are in Maryland and so it seemed like a natural name for the business. What you might not know, is contained in the attached quote from “Archives Of Maryland Online”.
Holding the Line: “The Origin of the “the Old Line State”
Ryan Polk, Research Archivist, Maryland State Archives 2005
Maryland earned the nickname “Old Line State” in the American Revolution. The Maryland Line, Maryland’s regiments of regulars, achieved a reputation as the saviors of the Continental Army and the cause of independence. References to the “Old Line” are a tribute to the Maryland Line, but more specifically, to the first incarnation of the Maryland Line, the men who first mobilized in December 1775 and early 1776 and fought at Long Island on 27 August 1776, serving under William Smallwood, Francis Ware, Thomas Price, and Mordecai Gist. The battle-worn survivors of this regiment ostensibly reorganized in December 1777, continuing their enlistments “for three years or during the war.” But by the close of 1777, few remained from the original line Washington witnessed at Long Island. Bled weak by fighting in the vanguard of the war, they received reinforcements from the Maryland companies of the Flying Camp, and earned recognition for their sacrifices in the form of a nickname.1
Precisely attributing the genesis of the name to a single source is difficult, if not impossible. Rather, the sobriquet seems to have developed in the revolutionary generation’s colloquial language without a precisely identifiable origin. Evidence of its existence and comprehension appears in multiple contemporary sources, most notably in the writings of the commanders of the Continental Army, George Washington and Nathaniel Greene. The Maryland Line’s reputation will be forever associated with their heroic sacrifices at the Battle of Long Island and the ensuing defense covering the rear of the Continental Army as it retreated. After all of the immediate witnesses and survivors had passed, the name came to mean more as subsequent generations sought a connection to a proud past. The Old Line that once earned Maryland soldiers such an untarnishable reputation in 1776, now stands fast as a symbolic name for the entire state.
Aside from the name of my company, I have always been fascinated by the man, George Washington. A while ago, I had the opportunity to look at 2 barns that were in need of repair on an old property in Cecil County, Maryland. There is also a large home there that was built in 1683. The property is known as Worsell Manor. While I was there, the owner was gracious enough to give me a tour of the house even though it was in the midst of being restored. She mentioned to me that George Washington had slept there. I joked with her that Mr. Washington seems to have done a lot of sleeping in the area since there are an abundance of signs saying he slept here or there around Maryland and the surrounding states. She laughed and agreed and said he actually documented his stays there in his personal journal, which is very cool. I was able to go into the room he slept in on the second floor to look around. It appeared that the original woodwork and fireplace mantle were still in place as well as the doorknob into the bedroom. It was a great experience to be able to run my hands over the mantle and the brass knob that he almost surely touched while a guest there. The glass also appeared to be original in the windows and I have to say that it was quite a thrill to look through the same panes of glass that he most likely did, many years ago. I’ve attached a couple of pics to the room as it was when I visited.
I was sad when I decided to change the name of my business from Old Line Timber Frames to Wey Timber Frames; it was purely a business decision. Many folks did not remember the name so it made sense to make the business name easier to remember. My last name seems to be easier to remember than Old Line...