Dr. Robert F. Kennedy purchased the 194 acres of land & cottage from Antietam Iron Works in 1852. Soon after, he had the current one story-high stone foundation built and raised the one-room cottage onto it, then added a larger, two-story wing to the northeast. Kennedy died seven years later, and his farm was empty. John Brown, at the time calling himself Isaac Smith, rented the place for $35 in gold from the trustee of Kennedy’s estate. He lived there while gathering troops & training his men for the abortive raid on Harpers Ferry.

The Federal Government has deemed the house a National Historic Landmark- the government way of saying that this house played a significant role in the history of the United States. The old farmhouse has been completely restored with the use of federal, state and philanthropic funds under the direction of the Maryland Historical Trust at Annapolis, Maryland.

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