There is a hidden secret in the small town of Barton - a majestic, authentically-preserved mansion... handsomely-built and wonderfully- handcrafted in 1872 - and most of all - well-respected and ever-loved all of its life.

By Trish Morgan
For the News Tribune
There is a hidden secret in the small town of Barton - a majestic, authentically-preserved mansion... handsomely-built and wonderfully- handcrafted in 1872 - and most of all - well-respected and ever-loved all of its life.
Shaw Mansion is a registered historic residence - with 20 rooms and featuring 11 working fireplaces - one in each bedroom and even two in the basement. The mansion, built by hand by the founding family of Barton, Maryland, is nearly 6,000 square feet and sits on six acres of lush, green, woodsy grounds. Shaw Mansion is nestled in the beautiful Georges Creek region of Allegany County, Maryland.
Here is some history of the Shaw family, as well as a little about how and when Shaw Mansion Inn was built.
Taken from an excerpt written in 1924, and taken from a book titled "Allegany County History.”
ANDREW BRUCE SHAW - The term pioneer citizen may well be applied to Andrew Bruce Shaw of Moscow, Allegany County, Maryland, because he was not only born and has spent his whole life there, but his father and his grandfather before him lived and died there, and his family has been identified with that section for more than a century.
Major William Shaw, father of Andrew Bruce Shaw, was born near Cresaptown, Maryland, on Dec. 2, 1794, and was a son of William Shaw, a native of Barton, and settled near Cresaptown upon Humber, England, when quite a young man
Major William Shaw, grandfather of Andrew Bruce Shaw, married Charlotte Trimble of near Frostburg, Maryland. Mr. Shaw was a Methodist minister, traveled from place to place in the then sparsely-settled region of Allegany County, preaching and ministering to people of that faith.
Major William Shaw, son of William and Charlotte Trimble Shaw, was born in 1794 at Cresaptown, and was a farmer by occupation. He received such preliminary education as the county schools of that time afforded, and enlisted and saw active service in the war with England in 1812-1814. At the close of the war, he settled in Westernport, where he married Patsy Elliot Burns on Nov. 30, 1817. East of Westernport, in the Georges Creek valley, he acquired large holding of real estate to the amount of several thousand dollars in the neighborhood of where Barton and Moscow were later established. Later on, these lands were discovered to be underlaid with valuable seams of coal, and these coal deposits secured the early and rapid development of that section.
The upper or 14- foot vein was soon opened up for four miles east of Westernport on the Shaw lands, and Mr. Shaw laid off fifty one lots for the establishment of his father's nativity in England. The rush into this new coal field soon resulted in the establishment of a thriving village on the Shaw property, and Mr. Shaw settled there and built his home on the north side of the valley near the Swanton mine.
The Swanton mines were the first open, followed closely by the Caledonia, Pickelle, Barton and Potomac. The lots laid off by William Shaw were soon built upon the land, and in 1868, Andrew Bruce Shaw laid off an addition to the town of 66 lots, and Barton soon became an active mining and business center.
In 1830, Major William Shaw, who owned two extensive tracts of land known as "Balls Good Luck" and "Flowery Meads", augmented by the number of military lots and other holdings, built his mansion house on the site where now stands the residence of Andrew Bruce Shaw, near the confluence of Laurel Run and the Georges Creek, and began the extensive farming and stock raising activities that occupied the greater part of his life.
Major William Shaw and his wife Patsy Elliot (Burns) Shaw had a large family of children as follows; James Shaw, who married Sarah Combs; William Burns Shaw, married to Laura Koontz; Patsy Elliot Shaw, married to Miller Stewart; Benjamin Burbridge Shaw, who married Sarah Catherine Kalbaugh; John Scott Shaw, married to Ruth Myers; Henry Clay Shaw, who married Mary Ellen Boak; Andrew Bruce Shaw, subject of this notice, who married Mary Martha Dawson of Springfield, OH on September 15, 1868; Margret Ann Shaw, who married Samuel S. Rees.
All but Andrew Bruce Shaw, the subject of this sketch, are dead.
Andrew Bruce Shaw received such education as was possible in the country schools, and when only fourteen years of age, he began to clerk in the store of his father at Barton. After spending some time at this occupation, he entered Fairmount Academy of Fairmount, WV, one of the best schools of that day, where he spent a short term, and his training there was supplemented by a course in surveying, at which he is adept.
Major William Shaw died May 2, 1867, and Andrew Bruce Shaw became the executor of his father's will, and settled up his large estate. He then acquired, by purchase from the other heirs, all the realty holdings of his father and the stock and fixtures on the place.
On his succession to this large landed estate, Mr. Shaw continued the farming and stock raising activities begun by his father on what was one of the best farms in Allegany County. He replaced the barn by a fine large structure, sufficient for his increased needs.
The old mansion house was removed to another site, and on its original location he constructed one of the finest brick residences in the county. It is large and commodious, of attractive architectural design, and contains more than 20 rooms. It is strictly modern, with steam heat, running water from his own supply reservoir constructed high up on the mountains, with ample pressure, and he has his own electric lighting plant to illuminate his home and grounds.
The bricks for his building were made by Mr. Shaw of material of his own clay bricks, the lumber and millwork from his own mills, which he had installed to better market his large timber resources, and all of the work was done under his immediate supervision. More than three hundred thousand bricks were used in the building, which is stone trimmed, slate roofed, and the interior finished in hard woods, walnut and ash predominating.
Andrew Bruce Shaw and his wife, Mary Martha (Dawson) Shaw, had six children, namely: Willie Dawson, born Aug. 19, 1867 and who died May 28, 1896 unmarried; Alleda Orpah, born Feb. 17, 1871, who married Ross A. Snyder June 2, 1893 (Mr. Snyder died Dec. 25, 1895); Lloyd Bruce, born Sept. 19, 1873, married to Mary Allison Lauder of Riddlesburg, Pennsylvania; Margret Ann, born Dec. 24, 1875, married May 29, 1900 to John Slone Arnold; Patsy Elliot, born July 6, 1882; and Mary Martha, born Aug. 16, 1885; both unmarried and residing at home.
Mary Martha Shaw, wife of the subject of this sketch, died Nov. 6, 1919, at the age of 26 years. She was a devoted wife and mother and an exemplary and benevolent Christian lady. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Barton.
Andrew Bruce Shaw has reached the ripe age of 86 years, and is hale, hearty, erect and sprightly as a man of sixty.
He is a man of many activities, and besides his farming and building pursuits, he is engaged in the mining and shipping of coal from the seams underlining his property. He is widely read and well informed on general topics, and numbers his friends by the thousands. His beautiful home during the lifetime of Mrs. Shaw was a center of hospitality and social activity second to none in the country.
Mr. Shaw is identified with the Methodist Episcopal Church of Barton, and has been for many years a trustee of the property. He is a Mason, affiliated with Allegany Lodge #157 A.F&M of Barton, and is a Republican in politics. He has held public office but once, that of county commissioner from 1875-1877.
His father, Major William Shaw, was a member of the Maryland Legislator for the session of 1863-65.
Visit: for more information. If interested in a personally guided tour by owners Connie and Scott Waterfall, call 410-274-6367. They will be happy to set a time when you can come and visit the mansion in the afternoon or early evenings before it gets dark. There is no charge for the guided tour, but both Connie and Scott hope that you will perhaps come and stay a spell - enjoy the wildlife, the gorgeous property, the gracious hospitality, the old-fashioned splendor of their historically authentic mansion.
Located at 18311 Laurel Run Road SW, Barton, visitors and overnight guests will be impressed and "WOWED" by this diamond. And, you will also have the chance to meet the mansion's gentle and huge Belgium horses. You might even see a large variety of other wildlife and critters such as birds, squirrels, deer and maybe even get a glimpse of the mysterious mountain bobcat!
Inside the inn, guests will find original 150-year-old doors, the original cabinets and radiators and woodwork. This mansion was built specifically for the Shaw family - with custom designed, hand-forged cast iron fireplace mantels - not generally seen in that time period. It is evident that Mr. Shaw had the means to customize his family home, but it is also evident that he took great pride in the details that made his mansion a home, as well.
The Waterfalls purchased the mansion property in 2011, while both Scott and Connie were still working in the Baltimore area. Scott is still working there yet, but Connie retired a year ago and has since moved into the mansion.
They both continue with upkeep and maintenance of the mansion, and certainly hope to be able to welcome even more guests to see this grand old place. They are getting into their busy season, and in fact, they are full this weekend.
Each morning, Connie prepares the guests a delicious traditional, full breakfast that includes eggs, french toast or blueberry pancakes, sausage or bacon, home fries, fresh fruit, juice and coffee.
Furthermore, guests are offered a variety of local activities to consider: tourist attractions, ideas for favorite restaurants, antiquing, kayaking and canoeing, visiting Deep Creek Lake and all it has to offer, local parks and recreation, theatre productions and many other events and activities as they may be scheduled. Connie told me she had one guest who was a first-time guest to the area, and that guest took Connie's list and did EVERYTHING in one day! The guest came in that evening, told Connie how exhausted she was - but totally impressed with the area!
In addition to Shaw Mansion Inn offering daytime and evening adventures, they offer night-time bonfires for guests' relaxation, and in the near future as business increases, Connie hopes to add special features such as snacks, wine, specialty coffees and more.
Connie also provides the mansion as a summer spot for small parties of twenty or less such as clubs, church groups, sleepovers, birthday parties and anniversaries, teen parties, and small special events. The rental fee for the mansion is $100, and the party provides its own food or outside catering. This party venue has proven to be very successful for the Waterfalls, and if interested in booking your event, I would encourage you to call soon to get in their calendar.
The mansion, at this time, has three rooms available each night that can sleep two adults and perhaps one or two small children. And you know what?  It doesn't matter where you live. You can live right in the town of Barton and make reservations to stay at the mansion. People do that all the time. It's not just out of area or out of state people who enjoy lodging at our local gems.
Call Connie. Arrange for a guided tour. No obligation. But once you see this grand, red brick architectural beauty, you will dream of a night or two there. Stay there by yourself and have a "pamper you day!" Stay there with your favorite person and enjoy small town hospitality. Stay there to renew, to take respite from the busy, busy lives we live. Sneak away from life and share secrets with the Belgium horses. Roast marshmallows around the bonfire.
Right there in Barton, Maryland…town of 500 or so. Shaw Mansion Inn...since 1872, and still standing as proudly and as grand through trials and triumphs of its life.
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