|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
The Jarvis Hill farm located off of rt. 343, just west of Cambridge Maryland is the oldest farm traceable to the LeCompte family of Dorchester County. It was originally part of the vast holdings of Anthony and Esther LeCompte who came to this region from Picardy, France in the mid sixteen hundreds.
Their land would eventually take in a large part of what is now called, 'the Castle Haven Neck district'.
Jarvis Hill was originally a 300 acre farm which was assigned to Anthony's first son John. The house was built in the mid 1730 for John LeCompte. I assume this was the son of John 1st or the grandson of Anthony and Esther. It was a masonry/ frame home built in true colonial style with walls that were eighteen inches thick and oak floor joists spaced at about one foot intervals. It was said that these early LeCompte settlers would have violent gun battles with some of the local indian tribes. This might have been some of the reasoning for building Jarvis Hill so soundly.
Interiors; The south end of the house was two and a half stories high and bricked half way up. The smaller section was one and a half stories with two dormer windows. There were a total of three large fireplaces in the home.
Entering the front door there was a spacious stairway leading to the upper floors. The large room to the left was the original brick building. The massive fireplace mantel was paneled from the floor to the ceiling. The panels were configured in such a way that they tapered with the narrow panels closer to the floor. All the door jambs were a foot and a half thick and all were paneled as were the window jambs in typical colonial styling.
The basement had stone walls and oak floor joists that were spaced at one foot intervals. Many years later when alterations were made to these buildings the carpenters would complain that it was nearly impossible to saw through these timbers.
To the south of the home there was a stone barn that was built into a hill with a basement that could be used to house sheep or cattle. There was a stone ice house next to a creek that lead into the Choptank River.
The grounds were no doubt quite beautiful in their day. There were a variety of different trees and shrubs, many of which are still here after the passing of two hundred and fifty years. I located an beautiful little fishing pond and some trails which lead all the way to the Choptank river.
To the north of the home there is an elevated cemetery that has a creek winding around it. Many of the stones have been knocked down or removed. The oldest resident is Caleb LeCompte who purchased the property in the early 1800s and died about 1848. The farm was then assigned and divided between his two sons William and Thomas. Our family line continues through William and his wife Mary who are both buried in this cemetery. William was a combatant in the war of 1812. He and Mary had four children, it was their daughter Rebecca who would later marry a cousin, Stephen Barnett LeCompte and these were our g-g grandparents. Our mother was named after Rebecca who grew up and courted Stephen B, here at Jarvis Hill.
Rebecca died in 1868 of tuberculosis at age thirty nine. Her son William who was just two years old, died a few months earlier, possibly from the same disease. They are interred at the East New Market cemetery.
There is a slaves graveyard about a hundred yards to the north of the family cemetery. I'm going back to find it as soon as the ticks have moved on.
In the will of William G. dated February 15, 1858, there is a provision made for his slaves.
It reads; To my son William G., I bequeath my negro woman Jane, to be freed the 31 day of December, 1865.
Also her infant daughter Mary, to serve till the 31 day of December, 1880, and then to be free.
Also, my negro man Joseph Wing to serve till the 31 day of December, 1874, and then to be free.
...I give and bequeath to my beloved wife Mary E. LeCompte, my colored girl Sophia, to serve until December 31, 1867, and then to be free.
By 1865, after the Civil War, all of the slaves would have been freed, however it is interesting to note that some the servants remained at Jarvis Hill until their deaths.
Jarvis Hill would stay in the LeCompte family until the early nineteen hundreds.
By Dave Woodward
My grandmother, Tallulah Williams LeCompte Reeder, stated that the original buildings built by Anthony LeCompte had firing portholes higher than the doors to defend the house and family against Indian attacks. She was very afraid of possible Indian attacks and would not relocate to Oregon where my family lived when my father retired from the USCG. My father finally moved her, via airplane, to Portland and she found out that Oregon was not the wild wild west any more.
John Frederick LeCompte Reeder