If not for a dream

When father and son Paul and David Waybright purchased 246 acres of farmland in 1979, they had no interest in saving the ramshackle house on the property. The brick structure was in such disrepair that it hardly seemed worth keeping. Tearing it down would make a bit more land available for agriculture. Fortunately, Paul’s wife, Mary, disagreed. Shortly after its purchase she began extensive research on the house and learned how historically interesting it was. She insisted the house be restored, and outside work on the stonework began in 1979. Restoration was slow. Not until 1990 were the Waybrights able to begin work on the interior. They hand-dug out the basement and removed interior walls made of brick. To their surprise, they discovered a fifth fireplace in the Pennsylvania-side kitchen after removing plaster from a wall. They also ... found the date 1761 carved into one brick in an upstairs fireplace. Paul and Mary moved into the house in 1991, and lived together there until Paul’s sudden death in 1995. Mary would remain in the home until she passed away .in 2007. Her final wish was that the history and beauty of the house continue to be shared. With that wish in mind, Bea and David Waybright opened Mary–Penn Bed & Breakfast in 2008 in memory of David’s mother, Mary Waybright.

If not for a dream   ...When father and son Paul and David Waybright purchased 246 acres of farm......land in 1979, they had no interest in saving the ramshackle house on the .............property. The brick structure was in such disrepair that it hardly

On the Mason–Dixon Line

Walk about the Mary–Penn B&B and you will move from Pennsylvania to Maryland and back to Pennsylvania. That the Mary–Penn straddles the border of two states is undoubtedly its most unique and historical feature. Its location was not intentional, however. An early settler by the name of John McKinley simply built a house sometime in 1743 on land deeded to him in an area referred to as Transylva or Transylvania — which is thought to mean “through the forest.” Between August 30 and September 4, 1763, the surveyor Mason and Dixon traveled through this part of Adams County marking the Pennsylvania–Maryland border. Their notes read, “At 78 miles, 6 chains [from the starting point in Delaware] crossed Rock Creek .running south. 2 chains to south of where we crossed Rock Creek, Marsh Creek joins it.” On August 24 they noted, “Passed John McKinley’s house and crossed Marsh Creek.” When their survey was complete, it was found that  about two-thirds of the house is in Pennsylvania and the other third in Maryland.





Early construction

The original house was only one story with a thatch-straw roof. It was built of native field stone, mostly red shale. Nothing is known of its interior appearance. In 1783, the house passed from McKinley to William J. Stewart, who — like some subsequent owners — reputedly kept slaves on the Maryland side of the house. Ten years after purchasing the house and farm land Stewart removed the leaking thatched roof and added a second story built of bricks and a cypress shingle roof. A tablet near the peak of the roof reads “W.J.S. 1793,” testifying to the date of the addition.
Interestingly, the bricks used in Stewart’s construction are different from other bricks used in local construction. Records show that Stewart owned a grain storage business in Baltimore, and it is speculated that he used bricks that had previously been used as ballast in ships that traded in the Baltimore harbor.



To the present

Following Stewart’s death, ownership of the property again changed hands, going first to a man named Watterson, then passing to William Walker, who rented the house to a variety of people.
Around 1854 the house came into the possession of Joseph Walker Witherow, who lived there until his death in 1890. A year before his death he replaced the cypress shingle roof, which had lasted for 96 years. According to Witherow’s will, the farm passed in equal shares to his ten children, one of whom, Sarah Elizabeth, eventually bought the shares from the other nine. “Sally,” as she was known, remained unmarried and lived all but six of her ninety-four years in the house. A sister, Anna “Annie” Marie, married William Fleming “Flem” Hoffman in 1890, and a few years later they joined Sally in the house. They lived there until their deaths in 1937 and 1955, and the house became known locally as the Hoffman House. Annie and William had two children, George and William, who with their wives would also live in the house as part of the extended family. They had no children. Flem Hoffman was known as a lover of animals. In addition to the usual farm animals of cattle, horses, pigs, sheep, goats, and chickens, he raised peacocks and had pack of dogs that number 80 to 100. The sound of Flem’s dogs barking at evening feeding time was heard throughout the countryside.


Mary–Penn today

Bea and David Waybright opened the Mary–Penn Bed and Breakfast in 2008 after renovations to enhance the comfort of its guests.
The house consists of three bedrooms upstairs — two in Maryland and one in Pennsylvania, which has access to a smaller room with a single bed.
A newly remodeled bathroom includes a whirlpool tub with shower.
The first floor features a charming parlor, breakfast room (perfect for
family-style dining), kitchen, bed room and a full bath and a large family room added in 1990 that overlooks Marsh Creek. A basement with a large, stone fireplace on the Maryland side is used as a sitting room and game room and has access to the outdoors. The house itself is situated on the back 200 acres of the 900-acre Waybright family farm at the end of a one mile lane.



A Ghost of Gettysburg

The Mary–Penn Bed & Breakfast is the site of a Gettysburg ghost story, which .has been written about in Mark Nesbitt’s Ghosts of Gettysburg series and retold in the television program Ghosts of Gettysburg II.