Maryland Historic Homes: "Headwaters" 11 Shallow Brook Court Olney, Maryland

Real Estate Agent with Washington Fine Properties - Washington DC Area Real Estate



Historic Property Headwaters 11 Shallow Brook Court Olney, Maryland

About Headwaters

For all you Montgomery County, Maryland history buffs and Maryland Historic Property enthusiasts - do we have a house for you!!! Headwaters is a historically significant Manor Home located 15 miles just north of Washington D.C. Headwaters, an Olney Homes For Sale and a significant and beautiful 3 story colonial home located on over 2 acres in Olney, Maryland is listed at $1,399,000 and shown by appointment only.


Click here for a virtual tour: Headwaters

Maryland Historic Homes


A History Lesson:

Headwaters was built between 1924-1925 by Sears Roebuck Company and is likely the largest home ever designed and built by Sears architects and craftsmen. Just five years later the same team from Sears' Home Construction Division that built Headwaters was chosen to create an exact replica of Mt. Vernon for the 1931 Paris Exposition.

President Herbert Hoover personally made the decision that the United States would be represented at the exhibition with a Mt. Vernon display. Headwaters figured prominently in the Hoover's selection of Sears as the home was offered as surrogate for the government to review.

Headwaters was purchased by Harold Ickes, Secretary of the Interior in 1931. Ickes was one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's most trusted "New Dealers, and Icke's published diaries document many Roosevelt visits to "the Farm." Headwaters remained the home of Ickes and his wife, Jane, until he sold the property in the early 1970's.

Today, the architectural design and integrity of Headwaters remains almost completely original and intact. Virtually every door and window in the home is as built and installed in 1925. All of the brass hardware and hinges are original, as is most of the oak flooring.

Fortunately for preservationists, Headwaters has had relatively few owners. Lionel Probert, the first owner and a bachelor, lived in the home for only a few years. The Ickes family owned the property for the next 40 years, and other than building the bookshelves in the living room in the 1930's, made no changes to the original Sears design or construction.

Two subsequent owners began renovations in the early 1980's Mr. and Mrs. Ray Martin in particular owned Headwaters for the next 25 years and completed the "first round" of renovations. This included the installation of copper plumbing systems, new HVAC, and new boilers for radiator heat. Most importantly, the Martins completely stripped all of the paint from painted surfaces, especially doors, window frames, sashes, and baseboards to assure the integrity new paintwork.


Maryland Historic Homes

Headwaters is a special property - from the lush green gardens and beautiful pool and guest cottage to the beautiful interior and flow of the house. For more information, please contact Betsy Schuman Dodek of Washington Fine Properties at 301-996-8700.

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The Schuman Team at Washington Fine Properties

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Comments (9)

Rob & Jeannie Steward - Realtors®
RE/MAX Advantage - Nashville, TN
We Work TWICE As Hard For You! - Ashton Group

This is an absolutely fascinating property! Maryland has so many hidden treasures we so often take for granted. Great posting Betsy!

Jul 22, 2010 03:36 PM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Betsy, this one looks like it should be staged in hoop skirts!  It's lovely - and so is it's history.

Jul 22, 2010 03:36 PM
Dan and Amy Schuman
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Solon, OH
Luxury Home Specialists

What an unbelievable property. We also appreciate the history lesson, very interesting.

Jul 22, 2010 04:07 PM
Connie Lou Barnett
Real Living/Home Realty - Owensboro, KY

Oh my, what a gorgeous home.  Perfect setting for this stately home. LOL

Connie Lou

Jul 23, 2010 04:28 AM
Betsy Schuman Dodek
Washington Fine Properties - Washington DC Area Real Estate - Potomac, MD

Rob & Jeannie - Thank you for stopping by and taking a look. I just realized I forgot to add a virtual will do so pronto!

Pat - This one is so pretty!!! I like a good history lesson every once and again!

Dan & Amy - Thanks for reading my blog. It's a fascinating story and always a neat connection to a house that we are selling.

Connie - Wait til you see the full virtual tour that I am about to add. The grounds are gorgeous!


Jul 23, 2010 08:42 AM
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

You just became my BFF with your great history post on this home!

Aug 22, 2010 10:36 PM
Betsy Schuman Dodek
Washington Fine Properties - Washington DC Area Real Estate - Potomac, MD

Thanks Russel! That's quite a compliment!

Jan 13, 2011 06:45 AM

Remember walking to Ickes pond when it had a lot more land back in the sixties.   The memories of a cold winter night, camp fire and ice skating.   Truely a wonderful location and oasis.   I wonder if the pond still exist?  A real taste of what old Olney was like.   A tragic loss when they bulldozed the old Olney intersection instead of having the foresight to make it like a small town Occoquan.  But this peice of old Olney is like a preserved snapshot in time.  Whomever gets it will have something special.

Sep 08, 2011 08:53 AM
Lori Witt

I remember walking through the cornfield to the pond. We as kids used the think the mansion was haunted. I met Mr. Martin's son Steve as a teenager and we became friends. That year they were throwing a Halloween party and Steve invited me. It was the first time I had been inside. Wow!! I love old houses. The party was awesome too. If you still talk to the Martin's, tell Steve that I said hi.

Mar 19, 2020 08:47 AM

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