Judge David Lynn
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Rose Hill

Rose Hill at Cumberland, Maryland
By Vicki Lynn-Turney

Captain David Lynn was an outstanding officer of the Maryland Regulars and a close friend of General George Washington.  Upon settling in
Cumberland, he soon became one of its leading citizens and one of the area’s largest landowners.  His holdings consisted of thousands of acres which extended from the Potomac River to Will’s Creek in the Narrows.  On November 18, 1790 , he received a patent from the State of Maryland for a tract of land on a bluff overlooking the Potomac River .  On this tract of land he built his home in 1801 and called it “Rose Hill”
Captain David Lynn and his wife Mary Galloway Lynn (of Tulip Hill, Annapolis, MD) raised ten children in this house. The Captain died at “Rose Hill” on April 11, 1835 .

 Rose Hill circa 1870

“Rose Hill” remained in the Lynn family for over seventy-five years and then passed into the Schley (Capt. Lynn’s daughter, Francina Cheston Lynn married Frederick Augustus Schley) and Gephart families in 1882 after the death of Captain David Lynn’s son, John Galloway Lynn.  

In 1904, “Rose Hill” was purchased by Colonel John W. Avirett, editor and founder of the Cumberland Evening Times.  The home remained in the Avirett family until it was demolished to make way for the Interstate Highway in the late 1960’s.  It was one of Cumberland ’s horrible sacrifices to Urban Renewal.

The bricks which were used to build “Rose Hill” were made on the grounds.  The brick work in the front of the house was of Flemish Bond where every other brick was laid with the head facing out.  The side and rear of the house were of different construction with five rows laid with the side facing out and the next row with the heads facing out.  The walls were of solid brick and were eighteen inches thick.  The front door was a large batten door with black iron hinges extending its full width. 

The house itself had only two major structural changes in one hundred and fifty some years of its existence.  The first was made in 1905 by Col. John W. Avirett, who added a large front porch and enlarged the openings into the drawing room and library.  The second structural change was made in 1950 by James Alfred Avirett, who added a new dining wing in place of the old double porch-on-porch.


Rose Hill circa 1960

As one entered the old mansion, on the wall in the entrance hall hung an autographed picture of Robert E. Lee which came to “Rose Hill” through the Rev. James Battle Avirett, father of Col. John w. Avirett.  James Battle Avirett was an Episcopal clergyman, who served as a Chaplain in Lee’s Army under Stonewall Jackson and Turner Ashby.  He spent his last days at “Rose Hill”.

To the left of the entrance hall was the drawing room.  The dimensions of this room were approx. eighteen by eighteen with an eleven and one-half foot ceiling.  All of the original woodwork and mantle were intact and the original horsehair plaster which extended through out most of the house. 

Going from the drawing room into the library, one noticed the offset around the frame of the doorway.  This framework was in the form of a “T” which was characteristic of many old home of that period.  It was customary to make the mantle and the trim of each room different, and this was true of “Rose Hill”.  The hearthstones were the original square bricks which were made on the property.  This room was of the same dimension as the drawing room.  The walls were lined with old books, one of the most interesting being Washington ’s Journal. 

Going from the library back into the hall one encountered a unique stairway with a rise of six and quarter inches and a tread of twelve and one half inches which made a very easy assent to the second floor.  On the landing was a wrought iron chest which belonged to Lord Fairfax and was used by him and George Washington to keep their papers and money when they surveyed the Northern neck of Virginia .   

To the right of the downstairs hall was the new dining room which was completed in 1950.  The wood trim and doors were carefully copied from the rest of the house.  The doors were “Bible” doors with the cross upon cross.  The dimensions of this room were approx. eighteen by thirty feet.  

To the left of the dining room was the original kitchen and butler’s pantry.  The butler’s pantry was converted into a modern laundry.  The kitchen, while still the original size, was modernized to introduce the present day conveniences.  

There were four bedrooms on the second floor, three of which were of the original construction.  Above the new dining room was a large children’s playroom.  Hanging on the walls of the hall were many interesting letters and documents reflecting the role “Rose Hill” and its owners played in the life of Cumberland .  The lamp post which stands at the driveway entrance was one of the original pillars taken from the old side porch.  In the driveway stood the mounting stone which once stood in front of the old City Hall.  It was given to Col. Avirett after the building burned

Rose Hill Site Honored
By Catherine Ball

This past Sunday, July 6, 2008, at 10:00 am, the Preservation Society of Allegany County and the Cumberland Historic Cemetery Association unveiled a plaque at the site of "Rose Hill", the Cumberland estate of Captain David Lynn II (1758-1835).  The ceremony was attended by friends and members of the sponsoring societies and by citizens of Cumberland.  Mr. and Mrs. David R. Lynn and Mrs. Lynn's parents were the honored guests.

After an invocation and speeches, a flag covering the plaque was lifted by Mr. David R. Lynn, a direct descendant of Captain David Lynn II.  Mr. Lynn offered remarks on his distinguished ancestor, and the audience was able to view the very handsome plaque, which includes a miniature portrait of Captain Lynn.

The plaque is mounted on a pillar at Allegany Street and Averitt Avenue.  Two pillars are all that remains of the magnificent Rose Hill estate, which was demolished to make way for a highway.

The unveiling of the plaque was followed by refreshments, including punch and a large sheet cake.  Those attending then proceeded to rose Hill Cemetery, where an invocation was again given and a wreath was laid at the grave of Captain David Lynn II.  At the conclusion of the ceremony, the family viewed the many family graves in Rose Hill Cemetery, including that of Mary Galloway Lynn, Captain Lynn's wife, who is buried next to him.

American Revolutionary War

Capt. David Lynn

May God Have Mercy on the Holy Souls of all men that fought & died in our nation's first war of independence.  We honor these great heroes for their sacrifice in history.  God bless the United States of America. Amen.

     This stone column, a lone survivor of progress, marks the entrance to one of Cumberland's most historic estates.  In 1801, Capt. David Lynn II, an outstanding officer of the Md. Regulars, built a home, and called it "Rose Hill".  Capt. Lynn served in the Continental Army under Gen. Washington & was discharged in 1783.  Capt. Lynn married Mary Galloway in 1795.

     Mary Galloway Lynn donated the first four acres of land to Emmanuel Episcopal Church to be used as a cemetery.  She requested that it be called "Rose Hill' after her beloved home.  Capt. Lynn died at his Rose Hill estate on April 11, 1835.  He was re-interred and buried next to his wife in the rose Hill Cemetery.

     Capt. Lynn's son, John Galloway Lynn and his wife, Rebecca Singleton had three sons.  During the Civil War 1861-65 all three sons jumped into the Potomac and swam across to join the Confederate Army of Northern Va.  Son David Lynn served on the 18th Va. Cal., the Partisan Rangers and the 19 Va. Cal.  Sons John Lynn II & Sprigg Lynn served with Jesse McNeil's Rangers.  In Feb. 1865, Union Generals Crook & Kelley were captured and kidnapped by the rangers.  At the end of the Civil War, Gen. Lew Wallace kept Md. under Marshall Law & would not allow Confederate soldiers bank into Md.

     In 1904, Rose Hill was purchased by Col. John W. Avirett.  The Aviretts held a reception to honor the WWI hero, Gen. John J. "BlackJack" Pershing in 1921.  As one entered the old mansion, on the wall in the entrance hall hung an autographed picture of Robert E. Lee which came to "Rose Hill" by the Rev. James B. Avirett, father of Col. Avirett.  Rev Averitt served as a Chaplain in Lee's Army under Stonewall Jackson.  He spent his last days at "Rose Hill".  Rose Hill was demolished in 1968 to make way for the Md. Interstate Highway.

     This plaque is presented on July 6, AD 2008 by Preservation Society of Allegany Co. founded in 1970, and Cumberland Historic Cemetery Org. founded in 1983.  The two non-profit historical organizations are dedicated to protecting and preservation of the true US history, landmarks, grave sites, western culture, and the principles of Americas Founding Fathers for future generations.  All with private funding.  The grave site of Capt. David Lynn is a protected & designated site of the Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization.


Left to Right: The Wingards, David & Cynthia Lynn and members of the sponsoring societies.

Maryland Has Eight Rose Hill Estates

By Vicki Lynn-Turney

 In a newspaper article written in the 60’s by Katherine Scarborough she mentions that  “From the beginning, it has been a custom in Maryland to give lands and houses names.  Today there are at least eight Rose Hills .”

The article further states that these estates are scattered throughout Maryland .  One is in Charles County , two on the Eastern Shore , one on the outskirts of Baltimore and another in Frederick .  There is a Rose Hill in Boonsboro and one near Hagerstown .  Then there was the Lynn Family Rose Hill in Cumberland , the only one that was demolished to make way for an Interstate Highway 

Almost all the Rose Hills were built pre or during the Revolutionary War.  Almost all were visited by George Washington.  One must wonder what the significance of name “Rose Hill” represented.  Cynthia Lynn, wife of David R. Lynn a descendant of Capt. Lynn, has come up with an interesting theory.  Keeping in mind the fact that George Washington was a Mason and it was recorded that all his officers and close friends were Masons, Cynthia Lynn believes that “Rose Hill” was a code word for “Safe Haven” in those dangerous times for the Revolutionaries as well as the Masons.  From the Latin “sub rosa” translates to “under the rose”.  In the Middle Ages a rose suspended from the ceiling of a council chamber pledged all present (those under the rose) to secrecy.  

            Today, the Lynn  descendents have carried on the “Rose Hill” tradition by incorporating the name “Rose Hill” in the naming of their properties.  Such as, David (descendent of John Galloway Lynn I) and Cynthia Lynn owners and builders (1996) of the prestigious Bed and Breakfast Inn in Columbia, MD which they named “The Inn at Peralynna Manor of Rose Hill”.  Another Lynn descendent, South Trimble Lynn (son of David Lynn IV, Architect of the United States Capitol) and his wife Joanne have named their farm in Darnestown ,MD , “Southland Farm at Rose Hill”.  

            The carrying on of this tradition has proved invaluable especially to me, Vicki Lynn-Turney (daughter of David Lynn V) of California .  In the attempt to discover my family history I was able to track down my long lost relatives and my marvelous heritage through researching the name “Rose Hill” on the internet.