La GrangeLa Grange

LaGrange is a large, two-story, gable-roofed frame house with brick ends and four large exterior chimneys, typical of 18th-century Georgian-style homes. It is located on the west side of La Plata, near Port Tobacco. The clapboarded principal façade faces east and has a central, Palladian-style, pedimented pavilion with a stone-lined cellar. There is a detached kitchen on the south side. The significance of the house is its formal treatment of the principal façade, and its use of combined brick and frame construction, one of the few in Charles County built this way.

Born in Scotland near Dumfries in 1730, Dr. James Craik came to the colonies in 1750 after receiving his education in medicine. Dr. Craik moved to Charles County in 1760 and built La Grange in 1765. He had a medical practice in Port Tobacco. Craik served in the French and Indian War and as a physician for the colonial troops under the command of George Washington. During his military service he became Washington’s personal physician and friend, visiting him at Mount Vernon on many occasions. We find this line in George Washington's Last Will & Testament, dated July 9, 1799: “To my compatriot in arms and old and intimate friend Doct’r Craik I give my Bureau (or as the Cabinet makers called it Tambour Secretary) and the circular chair, an appendage of my study.” James Craik was one of three doctors attending Washington when he died on December 14, 1799.