Naval hero's house was B&B;, now private again

The Commodore Joshua Barney House in Savage has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1978, a big white house at the center of an estate that is enveloped in towering trees.

The home, which Susan Betts turned into a bed and breakfast, has been the scene of weddings, family gatherings and overnight stays, a setting that seems a world apart from the bustle of its location in the midst of the Baltimore-Washington corridor.


Betts was captivated by the house's historic and architectural interest -- the home of a naval hero, a foyer featuring a broad arch, high ceilings with deep moldings and chair railings, random width wood plank floors -- as well as the challenge of modernizing it while meeting historic standards.

"It has the ambience and the provenance of history with all the bells and whistles of a new home," Betts said.


After buying the house eight years ago, Betts set about restoring, repairing, remodeling and enlarging the structure and its additions, and transforming the slopes around it into lush gardens. Now, Betts said, she's looking forward to less work, and the seven-bedroom home is being sold as a residence.

"It's a lot of house for me. It's a lot of property," Betts said.

About the house --Barney, a Baltimore native, served with distinction in both the American Revolution and the War of 1812. The original three-story brick home was built around 1760; later, it was owned by the family of Barney's wife, Harriet Coale.

When Betts bought it, the house had additions from the 1940s. She remodeled those as she extended the house, adding three terraces and a second interior staircase.

The house has six fireplaces, three wood-burning and three gas.

All bedrooms are on the second and third floors. They include two master suites and a bedroom with a sitting or dressing room. Laundry rooms are in the basement and on the second floor.

An in-law suite or apartment has a separate entrance.

Address --7912 Savage Guilford Road, Savage, 20763


Asking price --$1,999,900

Taxes --$ 9,978

Size --The home is more than 7,500 square feet on 6.7 acres.

Features --The house has eight full bathrooms, half of them new; two first-floor powder rooms replaced a small kitchen.

Betts built two new kitchens, one a household kitchen with an island, Corian countertops and stainless-steel appliances; and the other a kitchen used for catering.

One master suite, which Betts added, has floors with radiant heat and a bathroom with a whirlpool tub. The dining room includes a wet bar.


The house has a shaft for an elevator, though Betts is using the space for storage.

Betts landscaped the property around the home to include a four-tiered, stacked-stone waterfall and lily pond. Near the waterfall stands the steel section of the 1960 destroyer commissioned in Barney's name, removed after the ship was decommissioned.

Listing agent --Gary Gestson, Long & Foster Real Estate, Gaithersburg, 301-975-9500.