Hol­i­day Can­dle­light Tour of His­toric Homes Satur­day

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CEN­TRE­VILLE — On Satur­day, Dec. 8, the Queen Anne’s County Legacy Foun­da­tion will spon­sor the Hol­i­day Tour of His­toric Homes fea­tur­ing 17 his­toric sites, 11 homes, four churches and two schools rang­ing from the Colo­nial pe­riod through to the Vic­to­rian pe­riod.

Har­mony on the Bay, a lo­cal chap­ter of the in­ter­na­tional singing club Sweet Ade­lines, will per­form Christ­mas car­ols in four­part har­mony from 2 to 4 p.m. while rov­ing among the his­toric homes on the tour. There will be ad­di­tional or­gan and choir per­for­mances in each of the his­toric churches along the tour route.

In­for­ma­tion and tick­ets are avail­able on­line at QACLF.ORG and will be avail­able while sup­plies last the day of the tour, along with pro­grams, maps and wrist­bands at Tour Stop 1, Queen Anne’s County His­toric Court­house.

Tour Stop 1: Queen Anne’s County His­toric Court­house, c.1796

Queen Anne’s County His­toric Court­house erected in

1796 is the old­est, still ac­tive court­house in the state of Mary­land. The court­house green is a tra­di­tional colo­nial town square with a stun­ning sculp­ture of the county’s name­sake “Good Queen Anne.” Queen Anne is cred­ited with fur­ther devel­op­ment of the two-party po­lit­i­cal sys­tem and a love of fam­ily and an­i­mals. Look at the base of her statue and you will see her beloved dog nes­tled among her skirts. This court­house was cho­sen to rep­re­sent small town Amer­ica in the Johnny Cash video “Ragged Old Flag” in Su­per Bowl 51. This truly is the “All Amer­i­can” court­house.

Tour Stop 2: The Her­mitage, c. 1700s with an ad­di­tion c.1859

The bus to the Her­mitage is lo­cated be­side Court­house Square, for the

12-minute ride to the Her­mitage Es­tate and Farm.

The Her­mitage is one of the old­est Eastern Shore es­tates that re­mains in­tact to­day as a 900-acre work­ing farm and is an ex­tra­or­di­nary glimpse into the life­style of a suc­cess­ful Colo­nial farm.

The first owner, Richard Til­gh­man I, was granted 400 acres on the Ch­ester River in 1667, by Lord Bal­ti­more in what was called a “thumb grant.” The grantee was al­lowed to put his thumb on a map, thus own­ing the land un­der his thumb. The story goes that Til­gh­man “rolled his thumb” to ob­tain a larger por­tion of land. Richard Tighlman II and his wife Mary Ox­ley had six chil­dren be­tween 1660 and 1672.

The home has two por­tions; the orig­i­nal Colo­nial home was con­structed in the 1700s and the sec­ond part of the build­ing was added on in 1859. The home is the finest ex­am­ple of an Ital­ianate villa in Queen Anne’s County. De­scen­dants of Richard Til­gh­man live on the farm to­day.

Tour Stop 3: Wright’s Chance, c. 1744, His­toric Hol­i­day Ex­hi­bi­tion

Pre­sented by Queen Anne’s County His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety,

119 S. Com­merce St., Cen­tre­ville

On Dec. 8, the Queen Anne’s County His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety will spon­sor a spe­cial ex­hi­bi­tion in each room of Wright’s Chance and Tucker House.

A must see on the tour, this ex­hi­bi­tion will in­clude Vic­to­rian Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tion, di­verse Christ­mas tra­di­tions through­out his­tory, an­tique chil­dren’s toys and an African Amer­i­can en­tre­pre­neur ex­hi­bi­tion.

A visit to Wright’s Chance is an op­por­tu­nity to walk through an in­tact Colo­nial farm home. This circa 1744 plan­ta­tion house still has its orig­i­nal pan­el­ing with a gam­brel roof and sleep­ing quar­ters up­stairs. The beau­ti­ful fur­nish­ings in­clude orig­i­nal Wil­liam Paca chairs, Chip­pen­dale and Hep­ple­white fur­ni­ture, and a very large and com­plete, col­lec­tion of Can­ton china, the ev­ery­day china of af­flu­ent fam­i­lies in the 18th cen­tury.

Tour Stop 4: The Wal­ter T. Wright Home, c. 1893

123 Com­merce St., Cen­tre­ville

The Wal­ter T. Wright house was built in 1893 by a 29-year-old mer­chant who was a part­ner in Wright & Lowe, a hard­ware store in Cen­tre­ville. Re­stored to­day to the full op­u­lence of the Vic­to­rian era, the man­sion is one of the finest ex­am­ples of Queen Anne Vic­to­rian ar­chi­tec­ture in the county. With a dis­tinc­tive tur­ret, gen­er­ous gin­ger­bread de­tail, stained glass win­dows and a spi­ral stair­case.

The brick gate to the home is adorned with a pineap­ple sculp­ture. The pineap­ple be­came a sym­bol of hos­pi­tal­ity and suc­cess in Colo­nial Amer­ica as mer­chants re­turned from the Caribbean with sump­tu­ous new fruits. When a real pineap­ple was mounted on the gate it meant that the home was open to wel­come vis­i­tors. To­day, the stone pineap­ple re­mains a sym­bol of hos­pi­tal­ity.

Tour Stop 5: Tucker House, c. 1794

Spe­cial Hol­i­day Ex­hi­bi­tion Pre­sented by Queen Anne’s County His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety

123 South Lib­erty St., Cen­tre­ville

For the Dec. 8 tour, Tucker House will present the “Spirit of Christ­mas,” a tra­di­tional colo­nial home with a few hol­i­day sur­prises.

Built circa 1794 by James Ken­nard, this six-room house has six fire­places con­nected to one chim­ney. Built on the sec­ond lot to be sold in Cen­tre­ville, Tucker House stands as an ex­cel­lent ar­chi­tec­tural ex­am­ple of the Fed­eral pe­riod. Orig­i­nally the house was two rooms deep and one room wide.

To­day Tucker House mu­seum is home to fur­ni­ture from sev­eral pe­ri­ods, as well as ex­cep­tional Rose Medal­lion china (a must see), and a spin­ning wheel. Also of note is the post and plank meat house in the back­yard and the small gar­den that is main­tained by the Queen Anne’s County Gar­den Club.

The home was pur­chased by the Tucker fam­ily in

1898 and do­nated to Queen Anne’s County His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety in 1968.

Tour Stop 6: The Fe­male Academy “Sem­i­nary,” c. 1876

207 Com­merce St., Cen­tre­ville

The “Fe­male Sem­i­nary” two doors away from the Wal­ter T. Wright home is in the his­toric district of Cen­tre­ville. Built circa 1876, the pub­lic school­house was in­tended ex­clu­sively for women.

A Fe­male sem­i­nary was a pub­lic ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tion for women, pop­u­lar in the 19th and early 20th cen­turies, when op­por­tu­ni­ties in ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions for women were scarce.

Equal­ity be­tween men’s and women’s ed­u­ca­tion had been de­manded by no­table ed­u­ca­tors and women’s rights ac­tivists such as Emma Wil­lard and Catharine Beecher. The fe­male sem­i­nary move­ment helped foster a sig­nif­i­cant growth in fe­male lit­er­acy. The lit­er­acy rate of women went from be­ing half that of men in the early 19th cen­tury to match­ing men’s lit­er­acy by the early 20th cen­tury.

The pressed-brick build­ing was built in the re­strained Vic­to­rian style, with two class­rooms on each of two floors with a side pas­sage. The Fe­male Sem­i­nary will host a hol­i­day dec­o­rat­ing chal­lenge.

Tour Stop 7: The Wye River Up­per School

(Cen­tre­ville Ar­mory)

1926

316 S Com­merce St., Cen­tre­ville

To­day, Wye River Up­per School is an in­de­pen­dent, co-ed high school serv­ing the strengths and needs of bright stu­dents with learn­ing dif­fer­ences. The Cen­tre­ville Ar­mory was re­stored and re­pur­posed to be­come the Wye River Up­per School.

Opened in 1926, The Cen­tre­ville Ar­mory was home to the Mary­land Army Na­tional Guard’s Com­pany K,

115th In­fantry (1st Mary­land). Cit­i­zen-sol­diers be­long­ing to Com­pany K, part of the famed 29th In­fantry Divi­sion, par­tic­i­pated on Dday, June 6, 1944, in an am­phibi­ous in­va­sion at Omaha Beach in Nor­mandy, France. In the mid-1920s, each county in Mary­land was given

$50,000 to con­struct a lo­cal ar­mory. A $5,000 do­na­tion from De Courcy Wright Thom al­lowed the builders of the Cen­tre­ville Ar­mory to add the stage.

Thom’s vi­sion was that the Ar­mory would also be a com­mu­nity cen­ter for Cen­tre­ville. For years the build­ing was used as a train­ing fa­cil­ity for the Na­tional Guard and also hosted var­i­ous com­mu­nity events. The vi­sion of De Courcy Wright Thom con­tin­ues to­day through a re­stored Wye River Up­per School. The school pro­vides stu­dents with re­sources and spe­cial­ized ed­u­ca­tion that helps pre­pare them for col­lege, ca­reer and life.

As you tour the build­ing, you will see the 90 re­stored orig­i­nal win­dows, the re­pointed brick work and the orig­i­nal gym­na­sium, the repli­cated “ticket win­dow” where sol­diers re­ceived their pay and was also used for tick­ets to dances. This project is funded in part by the Mary­land Sus­tain­able Com­mu­ni­ties Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Tax Credit Pro­gram of the Mary­land His­toric Trust.

Tour Stop 8: El­iz­a­beth

A. Turpin House, c.1872

201 South Lib­erty St., Cen­tre­ville

El­iz­a­beth Turpin House first ap­pears on the map of Cen­tre­ville in 1872 in the name of Mrs. El­iz­a­beth A. Turpin and Dr. Wal­ter S. Turpin. They had five chil­dren and two ser­vants. The Turpins were Huguenots who em­i­grated from France for re­li­gious free­dom in the

mid-1700s. The fam­ily was given a land grant by Lord Bal­ti­more in Dorch­ester County. Most Huguenot fam­i­lies were ab­sorbed into the Amer­i­can Protes­tant faiths, so they were very likely mem­bers of St. Paul’s Epis­co­pal Church just a few doors away.

Built in the style of “Stick” Vic­to­rian, the ex­te­rior is sim­pler then op­u­lent Queen Anne’s Vic­to­rian style. How­ever, the in­te­rior has

12-foot ceil­ings with or­nate, hand-crafted medal­lions and

12-inch hand­made crown mould­ing.

Over the past two years, E. A. Turpin House has been re­stored to its Vic­to­rian ar­chi­tec­tural de­sign, with in­tact orig­i­nal ceil­ing medal­lions and high crown mould­ing through­out the par­lor and din­ing room. Dur­ing restora­tion, all of the heart pine floors were re­turned to their nat­u­ral state, orig­i­nal door­ways were ex­ca­vated and the hand plas­ter cast mould­ings re­stored to their orig­i­nal form.

Tour Stop 9: The Stolle Home, c.1910

203 Lib­erty St., Cen­tre­ville The Stolle Home, built in

1910, is a beau­ti­ful ex­am­ple of Amer­i­can Foursquare De­sign pop­u­lar at the turn of the 20th cen­tury. It was the be­gin­ning of a new era in de­sign.

This de­sign was the sim­plest of the Vic­to­rian era and fo­cused on indige­nous ma­te­ri­als. This lead to the pop­u­lar Crafts­man style of to­day. One of the most beau­ti­ful char­ac­ter­is­tics of this home is the porch span­ning the en­tire front of the home, de­signed for Sun­day vis­its with a swing, per­fect for turn of the cen­tury “mod­ern” courtship.

This home was built in an era of change with World War I, women’s right to vote, mod­ern ameni­ties, more prac­ti­cal de­signs, fewer ser­vants and suited for more com­mu­nity ac­tiv­i­ties. To­day the Stolle home is a pri­vate fam­ily home with a beau­ti­ful wel­com­ing gar­den.

Please join the Stolle Fam­ily for hot cider and a bon­fire in the gar­den (weather per­mit­ting).

Tour Stops 10 and 11: St. Paul’s Church and Rec­tory, c. 1834

301 South Lib­erty St., Cen­tre­ville

The orig­i­nal parish church was known as Ch­ester Church and is be­lieved to have been built some­time be­tween 1640 and 1660 out­side the present town of Cen­tre­ville. In 1834, some of the an­cient bricks of the old Ch­ester Church were re­moved and placed in the new build­ing erected on the present site in Cen­tre­ville. The church was ex­tended in

1855 and again in 1892 to re­flect the shape of the cross and stands to­day as the fourth build­ing to serve the con­gre­ga­tion of St. Paul’s Parish.

St. Paul’s Church Rec­tory was built across from the church on Lib­erty Street in

1892. This prop­erty orig­i­nally housed an­other home that was re­moved, turned around and placed on the other side of Lib­erty Street south of the church. The new rec­tory once had a large cupola, but it was dam­aged and re­moved as a re­sult of a kitchen chim­ney fire that oc­curred dur­ing the res­i­dency of Rev­erend Don­ald­son and his fam­ily from 1939 to 1957.

There once were sta­bles to­wards the rear of the home and es­pe­cially dur­ing World War II there was a large kitchen gar­den, aka “Vic­tory Gar­den,” which ex­tended to the ceme­ter y. At least two of Rev. Har­gett’s daugh­ters held their re­cep­tions in this ter­raced gar­den.

Tour Stop 12: The Thomp­son Home c. 1854

108 S. Lib­erty St., Cen­tre­ville

The Thomp­son House, built in 1852, is a pressed brick build­ing in the Fed­eral style pop­u­lar in Cen­tre­ville dur­ing the early 19th cen­tury. The cast iron win­dow lin­tels on the street fa­cade rep­re­sent the very first of man­u­fac­tured build­ing com­po­nents. Style at the close of the 19th cen­tur y was sim­ple, dig­ni­fied, known for high ceil­ings and el­e­gant mar­ble fire­places, with a par­lor for greet­ing guests and a sum­mer kitchen at the rear of the home for cook­ing.

What is unique about this home is the mixes of ar­chi­tec­tural style. The form and plan are from the Fed­eral pe­riod while the in­te­rior de­tail is rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Greek Re­vival pe­riod with an em­pha­sis on beau­ti­ful wood fea­tures and el­e­gant sym­metr y.

Tour Stop 13: The

Frank Home

205 West Wa­ter St., Cen­tre­ville

Built in 1911 at the close of the Vic­to­rian Era, the Frank fam­ily home is an out­stand­ing ex­am­ple of the Four Square style of ar­chi­tec­ture, which be­came pop­u­lar be­tween the late 1890s and the early 1930s. A re­ac­tion to the op­u­lent, de­signs of the Vic­to­rian era, Amer­i­can Foursquare in­cor­po­rates hand­crafted “hon­est” wood­work from indige­nous ma­te­ri­als. The ex­pan­sive porches be­came part of the so­cial fab­ric of the com­mu­nity dur­ing the 20th cen­tury in era of so­cial change, in­creas­ing equal­ity and mod­ern­iza­tion.

Those who sat on this porch in 1911 were wit­ness to a new world of in­ven­tion from the Amer­i­can au­to­mo­bile, to in­creas­ing rights of women and the mod­ern­iza­tion of the elec­tric light to name a few in the 10 fold in­crease in Amer­i­can patents is­sued dur­ing the early 20th cen­tury.

The town phar­ma­cist built this three-story Amer­i­can Foursquare in 1911 as a sin­gle-fam­ily home. The orig­i­nal car­riage house was con­structed of old phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal crates. Dur­ing World War II, the fam­ily con­verted the house into two apart­ments. In 1998, the Frank fam­ily bought the home and be­gan the task of restor­ing the home back to its orig­i­nal de­sign. The Frank fam­ily con­tin­ues to work on the home while rais­ing three daugh­ters.

Churches and Schools on the Tour Route

New Life Com­mu­nity United Methodist Church

423 S Lib­erty St., Cen­tre­ville

2:15-2:45 p.m. Choir Per­for­mance

New Life Com­mu­nity United Methodist Church is one of the old­est African-amer­i­can con­gre­ga­tions in the county. This late Vic­to­rian Gothic-style frame struc­ture has the date 1909 on the cor­ner­stone, and a stone from the orig­i­nal church shows

1873.

Our Mother of Sor­rows Church — St. Peter’s

303 Ch­ester­field Ave., Cen­tre­ville

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Crafts bazaar, re­fresh­ments for sale

3:15 to 4 p.m. Or­gan per­for­mance of Christ­mas mu­sic

The parish of St. Peter’s was formed in 1765; the chapel con­structed soon there­after was the third per­ma­nent mis­sion es­tab­lished on the Eastern Shore. In 1931, Rober t Rasko, who also built the Em­pire State Build­ing, pur­chased the land and built the present Our Mother of Sor­rows Church and Rec­tory as a gift to the Dio­cese.

Cen­tre­ville Methodist Church

608 Church Hill Road, Cen­tre­ville

3:15 to 4 p.m. Or­gan per­for­mance of Christ­mas mu­sic

The first Methodist Church in Cen­tre­ville was es­tab­lished in 1773. In 1959, two con­gre­ga­tions merged to form the Cen­tre­ville Methodist Church of to­day. In the 1960s, the con­gre­ga­tion built a the Sanc­tu­ary and Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­ter. The cor­ner­stone of the beau­ti­ful mod­ern church was laid in

1969.

St. Paul’s Epis­co­pal Church

301 South Lib­erty St., Cen­tre­ville

Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Crafts bazaar and re­fresh­ments for sale

5:15 to 6 p.m. Or­gan per­for­mance of Ad­vent and Christ­mas mu­sic

The Parish of St. Paul’s was es­tab­lished c. 1692 and built at its cur­rent lo­ca­tion in 1834. Join the do­cents for a tour of the church of this re­mark­able his­toric church.

The Wye River Up­per School — Tour Stop 7

316 S. Com­merce St., Cen­tre­ville

(Cen­tre­ville Ar­mory)

1920, Open to vis­i­tors from

1 to 6 p.m.

See above

The Hope School­house

125 Ruths­burg Road, Cen­tre­ville

Orig­i­nally lo­cated on the Hope Road, this one-room school house has been re­lo­cated to the Queen Anne’s County High School and re­stored with the help of the Queen Anne’s County Re­tired Teach­ers As­so­ci­a­tion. One-room school, orig­i­nally known as “Col­ored School No. 2, District No. 6,” moved from its orig­i­nal lo­ca­tion to its present one. Tours avail­able by re­quest.

THE HER­MITAGE

QUEEN ANNE’S COUNTY CIR­CUIT COURT­HOUSE

TUCKER HOUSE

THOMP­SON HOUSE

WAL­TER WRIGHT HOUSE

WYE RIVER UP­PER SCHOOL

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