Cove House



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2,400 sq ft: 3 bedrooms, 1 library/office with art table and futon couch, 2 1/2 bath, porch/dining room, 3 patio areas, 5 acres of waterfront


  • Master bedroom: king-size bed
  • Master bathroom with shower and tub
  • Library/Office with art table, TV/VCR, and futon couch
  • Powder/bathroom
  • Dining Room
  • Kitchen
  • Living Room
  • Porch and other dining area


  • The Captain’s Room: double bed plus two cozy nooks for small children
  • The Crow’s Nest: queen size bed plus single bed
  • Bathroom with shower and tub

About the Cove House and Co-Taj

Nancy and Dick Graham had dreamed for years of finding a place where they could enjoy sunsets over the water facing west and sunrises over the water facing east. Their wish came true in 1979 when they found the property on Broad Creek in Royal Oak, which faces west to where James Michener’s mythical island would be in his “Chesapeake” novel, and east over the beautiful cove and marsh lands.

Still living and working in DC at the time, their weekends were spent salvaging building materials for the house they had designed around their finds: railroad ties for the main beams, salvaged windows, tiles from along roadsides. While they were building the house, they lived in an old oyster boat they had hauled up on shore, adding a wood stove, double bed, fridge, camper stove, and a screened in deck for the summer.

Somewhere along the way, they built an addition that included a larger kitchen, dining area, and master bath and bedroom from which they could watch the sun rise and set over water. And a few years later, they built the swimming pool and guest house, affectionally named the Taj MaGarage or the Garage Mahal — the Taj for short. 

You will find evidence of Dick Graham’s whimsical and inventive mind — in the sinks and faucets, the camouflaged washer and dryer, the beds and cupboards built to fit odd spaces. And you will see furnishings, artwork and artifacts that Nancy and Dick collected over their years of overseas travel and work with Peace Corps in Africa, the Middle East, and Europe.

Dick Graham’s last building project was the Co-Taj (“cottage” next door to the Taj guest house)–nicknamed the honeymoon suite. He had always loved the view of the cove facing east and converted a small shed to a romantic one-room, barely big enough for a double bed and a bookshelf overhead. His 10-year old granddaughter Molly helped him build the brick step up to the entrance. The co-Taj has no running water or electricity, and is tucked away in the woods, with a spectacular view.  It is our artist friend Carien Quiroga‘s favorite place to sleep.