The Woods Place offers quiet escape in memory of founder
— If you didn’t know it was there you could easily miss The Woods Place.
At the end of Patrick Ward Drive, nestled in a grove of trees near North East is the conference and retreat center operated by The Anthony E. Weymouth Foundation Inc.
Bill Machold is the manager of the 23-acre nonprofit estate and Weymouth was his cousin.
“He built this place in 1996,” he said. “He wanted a retreat center to do peerto-peer counseling workshops.”
Weymouth, known to his many friends as “Sandy,” died in 2014. A 1964 graduate of Harvard University, Weymouth traveled various career paths but always came back to his passion for helping others, Machold said.
“He gave voice to the issues,” he said. “Once a month, he’d have a group of friends come down and spend a weekend here.”
Aided by the peaceful nature of the property, Weymouth would help friends talk out their problems from the current to the deep-seated. Away from the main house is a small round building, which Machold said would be used for intense one-to-one sessions.
In his March 2014 obituary in the Cecil Whig, Wey-
mouth was described as a “vigorous national leader of the “feelings catharsis” primal therapy movement.”
“It was Sandy’s enduring belief that an inherent shortcoming in our country’s emotional makeup was the self-inflicted restraint in expression of one’s deeply seated feelings. An immediate relief was to engage in a communal or personal primal scream as a method to reach the wounds inflicted upon us in the earliest years of our lives, not only to bring relief, but optimism going forward,” the tribute read.
In his own words, Weymouth said his goal was to reverse the modern culture of suppressing one’s feelings.
“Here are the four things I want to spend the rest of my life promoting: Emotional work, emotional work interaction, emotional work group living, and emotional work culture.”
Now two years later, Machold said The Woods Place is being made available to small groups such as businesses or other nonprofits for meetings or retreats. With a 2008 addition to the structure, Machold said the capacity of the 2,500-square-foot building is 25 people. The basement is set for group gatherings and bunkhouse-style sleeping. Upstairs are several bedrooms and baths plus a kitchen.
“Bring your own food and use the kitchen,” Machold said. “This is perfect for smaller groups.”
A photography workshop, for example, used the retreat center for a dawn-todusk study of nature.
“It’s good for outdoors people, but also good for those who like indoors too,” he said.
In spite of being near Cecil County Dragway, Machold said indoor meetings would not be disrupted. The basement meeting room is naturally soundproofed below ground, he added.
At a recent Rising Sun Chamber of Commerce meeting he invited the chamber members and the Rising Sun Arts Alliance to consider it for future events or meetings.
Machold said the cost to nonprofits to use the facility would be negotiated, adding the goal is to break even, not make money. Do- nations to the foundation are also accepted.
“The intention is to keep The Woods Place going as long as it is used by the community,” Machold said.
To get more information on The Woods Place, contact Machold at 410-2873103.
A view from the rear of The Woods Place near North East. Bill Machold, manager of the nonprofit conference and retreat center said the 23 acres is perfect for a small group meeting.