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1948. 2191 Cedar Rd.

This progressive bayfront community was established in 1935 by G. Flippo Gravatt and Annie E. Rathburn, a husband-and-wife team of forest pathologists for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, who conceived of it as a summer colony for scientists. The bylaws called for the construction of wood houses—many of which were built in rustic fashion from the blighted chestnut trees located on the property—and protection of such landscape features as the cliffs and ravines, trees, and other indigenous plants. Like the founder’s own Chestnut Cabin and the guest quarters, Flippo’s Cabin, the Community House was erected of logs milled on-site, tightly joined, and held by simple saddle notching. The low gable-roofed building features an ironstone foundation, fireplace, and chimney. Emblematic of the numerous bayside summer communities built during the first half of the twentieth century, Scientists’ Cliffs now includes over two hundred mostly rustic-style houses.

Writing Credits

Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie



  • 1948


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Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie, "SCIENTISTS’ CLIFFS AND THE JOSEPH P. FLIPPO COMMUNITY HOUSE", [Port Republic, Maryland], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Maryland, Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2022, 44-44.

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