New Windsor's Dielman Inn on list of endangered historic properties

A New Windsor tavern turned inn, dating back to the early 19th century, is among the state's "endangered" historical properties, according to Preservation Maryland, a statewide advocacy group.

The Dielman Inn in New Windsor, located at Main and High streets, is described by the group as "a 42-room amalgamation of a number of early 19th century buildings."

The inn has been mostly vacant since 2004, and much of the structure has fallen into disrepair. The Town of New Windsor bought it in early 2011, and is seeking proposals for development. But if no proposals emerge, the town may sell the site, and currently has it on the market.

Dielman Inn is among 10 locations listed on the 2012 Endangered Maryland list of threatened historic properties, released March 15 by the nonprofit Preservation Maryland.

A panel of preservationists selected the list from nominated properties and assessed the level of threat, historic and architectural significance and community support for preserving the site.

The program's purpose is to generate public awareness of Maryland's threatened historic properties, generate possible solutions and serve as a call for action.

Records show the tavern that eventually became Dielman Inn — founded by New Windsor founder Isaac Atlee — was on the site from 1815 and possibly earlier, growing and expanding over the years, and at one time including boxwood gardens that were an attraction throughout the region.

The crossroads where the inn stands was considered a major thoroughfare of the day, and an article on the New Windsor Heritage Committee website notes that, "The inn played host to countless visitors from the big cities seeking relief from the summer heat."

New Windsor was also popular in the late 1800s and early 1900s because of a nearby sulphur spring, and guests stayed at the inn during vacations to soak in the spring waters.

It was owned by the Dielman family, who operated the property from 1864-1927.

Preservation Maryland is the state's oldest historic preservation organization. Founded in 1931 as the Society for the Preservation of Maryland Antiquities, the group works to preserve Maryland's historic buildings, neighborhoods, landscapes and archaeological sites through outreach, funding and advocacy.

The program, Endangered Maryland, is sponsored by Coakley & Williams Construction Inc., which recently completed the renovation of the Maryland State House.

Other locations on the list include the Pest House, a Cockeysville building that was once a home for people with communicable diseases; Bostwick, a Prince George's County site that was damaged in last year's earthquake; a Silver Spring church that could be leveled to make way for a new house of worship; and "Superblock," a section of Baltimore's west side that the group says has redevelopment threats to its "outstanding collection of historically and culturally significant buildings."

This year's list also names a working class category — "Maryland Watermen" — as being endangered as well due to declining oyster populations.

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