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Cleridge, Frederick & Clarke Cos.

Cleridge dates back to circa 1790, the construction date of the main house, a Flemish- and American-bond brick, Federal-style dwelling believed to be the earliest brick house in Frederick County. The house features a parlor chimneypiece with Chippendale fretwork, an oval center medallion, and offset Wall of Troy molding. Early 19th-century stenciled artwork survives in the master bedroom. The cellar with broad archways in a brick partition and a closet in a chimney foundation seems to have no regional precedence.
   Cleridge boasts an important agricultural legacy beginning with Charles Clevenger, who increased the farmís tillable acreage while raising dairy and beef cattle and small livestock. Clevengerís total estimated value of overall farm production in 1879 surpassed every other farmerís in Frederick County, except two with larger farms. He documented his experimentation with various fertilizers after their increased availability in the U.S. from 1876 through 1893 and when largely favorable wheat prices placed Cleridge in the top three producing farms in Frederick. Clevenger's successful agricultural activities gave him the necessary capital to add a harmonious two-and-one-half-story brick rear wing onto the Federal-style manor in 1882-83. In 1940-41, Cleridge was a model for soil conservation. In addition to its main house, Cleridge features a stone and frame icehouse, a frame carriage house, poultry house, and a mill site. The property occupies 389 acres along the Opequon Creek in northeastern Frederick County and 202 acres of farmland in Clarke County.