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Delta-area homes draw visitors to rescheduled holiday tour Sunday

Holiday VacationsNuclear Power

Although the previous weekend's snowy weather forced organizers of the 35th Annual Delta Christmas Fair to cancel the home tour portion of the event, participating homeowners still campaigned for the event to be held Sunday, allowing visitors to northern Harford County and southern York County, Pa., to see a variety of homes and historic sites that were decorated for Christmas.

Five of the original eight scheduled stops were open to participants in the 2013 Delta-Cardiff-Whiteford Holiday House Tour held Sunday.

The tour has been held periodically as part of the Christmas Fair since the early 1980s.

The remaining stops for this year's tour on Main Street in Delta, Pa., as well as Cardiff and Whiteford, were not open as the homeowners had prior personal commitments, Cindy Seibel, chair of the Delta Christmas Fair, said.

People could still visit the Welsh Cottage in Coulsontown Village in Peach Bottom Township, where Welsh immigrants settled in the 1800s, as well as the nearby Stewart home, built on a rise off Slateville Road overlooking the Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station.

"I think it went very well, for having been postponed," Barbara Stewart, who owns the home with her husband, David, said.

Visitors could also see decorations in the Grubb and Hushon homes in the Delta Ridge community plus the "Chesapeake" model home.

"I am immensely grateful the homeowners wanted to be on the tour during a very busy season," Seibel said.

Seibel estimated Monday that about 100 people attended the home tour, but the exact number of tickets sold and money raised for the Mason-Dixon Community Services Fuel Fund, and to restore the Welsh Quarrier Cottages, must still be tabulated.

She said funding for the Christmas Fair and home tour came in the form of a $7,000 grant from Exelon Generation and the Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, which Exelon co-owns.

"We are exceptionally grateful to Exelon for its support, and to the atomic plant," Seibel said.

Visitors to the Stewart home, built during the late 1990s, were treated to a panoramic view of the power station along the Conowingo lake as they drove along a winding driveway to the rear entrance of the home.

Once inside, they were dazzled by various Christmas trees, a dining room table set for Christmas dinner and miniature Christmas villages.

The decorations contained a number of homages to Christmases past in Barbara Stewart's family.

A silver tree near the rear entrance was "a representation of trees I had as a child," she explained.

Across from it was a Charles Dickens-themed miniature village, which included several iron figurines owned by her grandmother and one of her aunts that had been under their Christmas trees.

"They were all iron figures – ice skaters and horses and sleighs," Stewart recalled.

The trees also held a number of ornaments that had been made by her children, who are now in their 40s, and grandchildren and those collected during her travels.

Stewart said "a good mix" of people came to the house Sunday afternoon.

"The ones who had been elsewhere thought it was a very good tour," she said.

Several small miniature villages were on display. Stewart said it was a fraction of what she has for the holiday villages – the total amount would take up the "entire living area."

"The children love it because there's so much to play with and look at," she said.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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