Stafford Hall

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Stafford Hall is an early 19th-century Federal-style mansion near Clear Spring in Washington County, Maryland, United States.[1][2] Stafford Hall was the residence of John Thomson Mason, Jr. (May 9, 1815 – March 28, 1873),[3][4] a U.S. Congressman from Maryland, representing the sixth district from 1841 to 1843.[4]


Stafford Hall is a large two-story 36 room brick and stone mansion with nine double chimneys built around 1835 by John Thomson Mason, Jr.[1][2] Mason named his property after Staffordshire, a homeplace of his great-great-great-grandfather Colonel George Mason I (5 June 1629–1686).[5][6] Stafford Hall was later purchased by Mason's law classmate and Governor of Maryland, William Thomas Hamilton.[2] Hamilton resided at the property for almost 50 years.[2] In 1920, Stafford Hall was bought by the Leo Cohill family.[2]

Stafford Hall had one of the largest apple orchards in the surrounding area.[7] Its orchard produced more than 50,000 bushels of apples a year and employed hundreds of area residents.[7] Nearby canning corporations including Musselman purchased apples from the Stafford Hall orchard.[7] Stafford Hall Apples were shipped all over the United States, and to England and France.[7] In the 1930s, lightning struck the packing house killing two workers.[7]


Local legend asserts the existence of a secret hidden room at Stafford Hall and that anyone discovers the room dies shortly afterwards.[1][2] Legend also holds that a prominent magistrate from Hagerstown found the room in 1924 and died within the year.[1][2] In 1926, Leo Cohill's nine-year-old daughter Margaret became ill after finding the room and admitted what she had done on her deathbed, begging her family members to not seek out the room.[1][2]

Coordinates: 39°39′50″N 77°54′26″W / 39.66389°N 77.90722°W / 39.66389; -77.90722[8]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Federal Writers' Project. Maryland: A Guide to the Old Line State. US History Publishers. ISBN 1-60354-019-9. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Renasoft. "A SECRET ROOM, HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND-32 DEGREE". The Mystery Network. Retrieved 2009-03-28.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  3. Gunston Hall. "John Thomson Mason, Jr.". Gunston Hall. Retrieved 2009-03-07.  External link in |publisher= (help)[dead link]
  4. 4.0 4.1 The Political Graveyard (June 16, 2008). "Mason family of Virginia". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 2009-03-07.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  5. Gunston Hall. "George Mason I". Gunston Hall. Retrieved 2009-03-21.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  6. French Family Association (2008). "Children of Dennis French, A.2". French Family Association. Retrieved 2008-03-21.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Cheryl Weaver (March 3, 2009). "Around Clear Spring: Did You Know?". The Herald-Mail Company. Retrieved 2009-03-28.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  8. "Inventory of Historic Properties". Maryland Historical Trust. Retrieved 4 August 2012.