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Brecknock (Howell's Mill Seat)
This historic farm and millseat on Isaac Branch (a stream) was converted into an eighty-six-acre county park through the generosity of its last occupant, Elizabeth Goggin, descendant of a man who bought it in 1761. English-born mariner Daniel Toaes acquired the 600-acre tract called Brecknock in the 1680s for payment of one white servant and 4,000 pounds of tobacco in casks. Subsequent owners enjoyed prosperity from milling; fragments of Howell Mill, described in an insurance policy of 1851 as two stories of frame on a brick footing, are visible from the park's nature trail. The centerpiece of the park is Brecknock house, one of the oddest colonial dwellings in Delaware, a conglomeration of four sections built at different periods. The first part is especially enigmatic, a somewhat crudely built brick shed that Camden-based architect George F. Bennett thought was seventeenth century, though its common bond would surely rule this out. A larger brick addition (c. 1740) is also shed-roofed, a rare form for the state; it contains fine paneling around its fireplaces, which are, exceptionally, placed in the corner. Heavy stair balusters suggest a date before 1750. The last two additions (mid-eighteenth century and 1880s) are frame. One of these transformed the c. 1740 addition into a gabled house; the other is a one-story lean-to in the right-angled space between the two brick sections.
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