Ancestral Homes · Warfield Forest (Oakley Farm)

Warfield Forest (Oakley Farm)


Immediately east of the village of Lisbon, fronting on the north side of the National Pike (now Rt. 144), is located what remains of the old land grant, Warfield's Forest, known as Oakley Farm until 1953, when most of the land passed from family ownership. The earliest record of the property is a patent dated May 27, 1760, in which Seth Warfield (1724-1805), great grandson of Captain Richard Warfield, the Founder and progenitor of the Warfields of Maryland, registered his ownership of a 700 acre tract entitled Warfield's Folly. On July 4, 1794, Seth Warfield registered a patent for Warfield's Forest, an 1800 acre tract, the property being a resurvey of Warfield's Forest, Warfield's Folly and vacancies, one of the largest patents in western Upper Arundel. A portion of the land remains in family ownership to this day, continuing testimony to the family's boast that no one had owned that land but "God, the Indians and the Warfields".

Seth Warfield had married Mary Gaither and was the father of 10 children. Typical of many family farms of its time and place, Warfield's Forest, or Oakley Farm as it became better known, contained an ancestral burial ground, some 40 feet east of the house. Believe to be buried there are Seth Warfield, his wife, Mary Gaither and many of their descendants. One of the descendants, James Thomas Henderson, was a forceful southern sympathizer in the crisis of 1861 when he chose to honor the cause of southern rights in the formation of the Confederacy and who vehemently opposed the presence of Massachusetts troops on the streets of Baltimore.

Oakley Farm was a focal point for extensive family gatherings, family reunions for the Burgesses, Dorseys, Hendersons, Hollands, Howards and Warfields. Converging from across the nation, "each was treated to the bounties of the farm: home-smoked hams, fried chicken, hand-churned butter, Maryland beaten biscuits and a wide variety of vegetables grown on the place greeted the welcomed travelers. Cakes and pies were family specialties, the aroma permeating the house from the kitchen's large iron stove. For many of the visiting relatives the hospitality proved irresistible, as their 'brief' visits occasionally extended to several months!"

Excerpts taken from "Old Homes and Families of Howard County Maryland, Celia M. Holland", 1987, p 267


Acknowledgements | Mission

©2005 George A. Scheele MD