This is one of the oldest and most unique surviving houses in Sussex County. In 1696, James Cannon received a patent for 112 acres at this location from the Proprietary Government of Maryland. He named the tract "Ickford." When James died in 1712, the land was inherited by his son, Thomas, who built the house in 1727. An addition was added in 1733.
It has been called a Maryland house in Delaware by historians of eastern shore architecture because it is only one and a half stories, not two stories, like homes during this time period in Delaware. Also, it is located in what was once Dorchester County, Maryland. After the Mason Dixon Line was completed in 1767 and the boundary dispute was resolved in 1775, the land became part of Delaware.
Its one room and a loft floor plan is typical of a building known as a Resurrection Manor. It is probably the only example of this type of architecture in Delaware. It reflects the architectural traditions of an early Chesapeake Bay region brick plantation house.
The Flemish bond pattern of bricks with glazed headers was used during construction. At each gable end is a remarkable chevron pattern. It is thought to be one of the finest examples of the chevron pattern in the U.S. and possibly the only example in Delaware. The bricks were kiln on site; fired either close to the house or near the creek.
The house has wide floor boards, deep recessed windows, a narrow enclosed staircase, and interior chimneys. The fireplace is large enough to roast a whole pig.
The property remained in the Cannon family until 1851 when it was sold to Halsey H. Maston. Mr. Maston owned it for 39 years. The land was conveyed several times from 1851 until 1962 when Mr. and Mrs. John H. Litchford, Sr. acquired the house and 60 acres of land.
The house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, and it is part of the Western Sussex Byway. The house sits on a two-acre parcel that is part of the 58-acre tract purchased jointly by Sussex County and the Sussex County Land Trust that includes farmland, a working mill, a wooded area, and known Native American sites. The Seaford Historical Society will partner with the land trust to develop tours and interpret the site.
The Seaford Museum
The Main Office for the Seaford Historical Society
are located at
203 High Street
Seaford, Delaware 19973