Location: First Street at Severn Avenue
For nearly 100 years the house at Site 7 belonged to the Williams family.
Jonas and Louisa Williams and their eight children moved here in 1876. They used the first floor as a grocery store, selling homemade sauerkraut to neighbors. After she was widowed, Louisa offered her front parlor as a school and a polling place. The house stayed in the family until 1972.
For all of its years, the Williams House has been a landmark. Today, it is a bed & breakfast inn and still retains much of its original charm and architectural character.
Here on the corner of First Street and Severn Avenue is the site of perhaps the oldest house in Eastport. For over 100 years the house remained in the Williams family.
Jonas Williams and his wife, Louisa, first occupied this dwelling in 1876. Williams had married the young German immigrant and widow — Louisa Bushe Dufonta — and became father to her infant son. They eventually had eight children.
Many changes were made to the house over the years, including the addition of a rear porch and the expansion of the kitchen. At one point, the second floor served as an apartment they rented out. Note the two front doors. One of them provided access to the apartment.
During the 1880s, part of the first floor was used as a grocery store catering to the increasing number of families moving to the Horn Point community. Old-time Eastporters remember the homemade sauerkraut Louisa sold here.
The house served as the community’s first polling place, the Baptist church started here in the parlor, and a school was operated here at one time.
Jonas Williams died in 1905, leaving all of his property to Louisa. She remained in the house until her death in 1928, at the age of 86.
In 1949, Alice Barnes, a descendant of Jonas Williams, inherited the house and lived here for 20 years with her cousin Dorothy Rosenbloom. Alice was the last family member to occupy the home. The dwelling was sold in 1972 and remained in a state of disrepair for several years. By the early 1980s, there was a tree was growing in the front room!
Today, the Williams House has taken on a new life. With extensive interior remodeling and additional exterior work, it serves as a modern Bed & Breakfast — yet it still retains much of its original charm and architectural character.
In many ways the history of this house echoes the history of Eastport. Built at the beginning of residential development of the peninsula, its early environment was quite rural. The landscape included open meadows punctuated with occasional barns. Livestock grazed in the fields that bordered the Severn River. After World War II, young people left the peninsula, old people passed away, and many buildings were rented out or were left in disrepair. Today, Eastport is revived and thriving.