The Historical Society of Harford County continues its successful Tours of Historic Harford Homes series this Saturday, May 31, at Mount Felix in Havre de Grace.
The tour will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and includes a wine tasting at Mount Felix Winery and a tour of the first floor of the manor house, as well as the grounds with their beautiful views of the confluence of the Susquehanna River and Chesapeake Bay. The address for Mount Felix is 2000-A Level Road in Havre de Grace.
Admission is $5 for the wine tasting and $5 for the tour, with all proceeds going to the Historical Society's restoration of Bel Air's old post office building, that serves as the society's headquarters. For more information, call 443-570-3154.
The manor house was built in the mid-1800s by a local entrepreneur, John Mitchell, who was one of the most successful canners in Harford County.
Mitchell provided canned corn and tomatoes under his own label and also canned for other distributors. In 1999, the Mitchell Family's canning company shipped the last shoe peg corn canned in Harford County. The Mitchell brand names survives, however, under the ownership of Hanover Foods and can still be found in local grocery stores.
In "An Architectural History of Harford County," the late Christopher Weeks wrote: "What is unexpected about Mount Felix is its date: It is either an extremely late example of Georgian design or an early example of Georgian revival design; in either case it misses (either postdating or anticipating) the mainstream by a generation or two."
Weeks went on to write that the home's "massing and facade treatments are right out of the 1780s," while "the materials (pressed brick) and details (the way the wooden trim is carved" are firmly of the mid-nineteenth century."
The author also notes that the home's "glorious staircase, which rises openly and majestically to the attic, deserves special mention."
The house, which has undergone several renovations by succeeding owners, includes an east wing added in the 1920s and antique furnishings, including Chippendale furniture. The owners, Peter and Mary Ianiello, also operate Mount Felix Winery.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun