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Carroll County Times

Heritage tea to focus on 'Notable and Notorious' women

On March 8, International Women's Day, the New Windsor Heritage Committee will celebrate its "Notable and Notorious" women of history during the annual heritage tea.

"It always has a different theme, but I think every time it's had something to do with women and history," said Kim Schultz, one of the chairs of the heritage tea.

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This year will feature some of New Windsor's famous women, whether they are remembered for their bravery during the Civil War or for their loose ways and the men they were dating.

"There's all kinds of interesting stories that we like to tell," said Frank Batavick, with the New Windsor Heritage Committee.

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One of the women who will be featured is Maggie Mehring, a 16-year-old girl who attended Miss Kleefisch's Academy, a finishing school operated in the old parsonage next to the Presbyterian church.

In 1863, more than 5,400 Union troops passed through New Windsor on their way to Gettysburg, and Mehring took very detailed notes of everything she saw, Batavick said.

"She was like a little reporter," he said. "Here she is 16 years old and she has a diary, and she is not only writing in the diary about everything she sees, she is going out and interviewing people."

The diary was preserved throughout the decades, and is one of the prized possessions in the Maryland Historical Society's Civil War collection, Batavick said.

A pair of sisters who weren't famous outside of New Windsor but who will be featured during the tea are Lena and Agnes Dielman, who ran their family's Dielman Inn from the turn of the 20th century until it closed in 1927.

"[Their] two brothers are more famous and well known," Batavick said, speaking of Frederick Dielman, a nationally-recognized artist, and Louis H. Dielman, who started as the town pharmacist and went on to work in several prominent libraries, eventually becoming the co-founder and first president of the Maryland Library Association.

"The two girls more or less stayed back in New Windsor and ran the inn, and neither one ever married," said Batavick. "They were just very cordial, lovely ladies."

And as the program's title alludes, there are also some "notorious" women who hailed from New Windsor - namely Marion and Estelle Bloom. Around 1913 to 1916, Marion Bloom was the mistress of Baltimore Sun reporter H.L. Menken, who later became the most famous reporter of his generation, and Estelle Bloom was the mistress and secretary of Theodore Dreiser, arguably the most notable novelist of his time, Batavick said. Estelle Bloom also developed a friendship with Menken, which continued after he and Marion parted ways.

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Neither man ever married either sister, Batavick said, and Dreiser had not been faithful to Estelle while they were together.

"It's a sad story in a sense," Batavick said. "They were kind of used and abused by these men."

The women lived in New York while their relationships lasted, but would bring the men back to their sister's farm just outside New Windsor for week-long frolics in the country, he said.

Other women who will be featured include Theodora Dielman (mother of Lena and Agnes), Nettie Stouffer, Anne Gilbert, Julia Roop Cairns, Becky Harman and Margaret Erhard, spanning almost 150 years of the town's history, Schultz said.

"Sometimes we do a presentation," Schultz said, "but we've kind of noticed a couple of times that people prefer to spend the time socializing, so instead of doing a presentation, what we're going to do is have historical information about notable women of New Windsor on the program and on every table."

Refreshments will include tea, tea sandwiches, fresh fruit, sweets and traditional scones with Devonshire cream. Shultz said most participants tend to dress up for the event, but formal attire is not required.

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The heritage tea will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. March 8 at Atlee House Cafe, 120 Water St., New Windsor. The cost is $25 per person and advance registration is required because there are a limited number of seats, Schultz said.

"If people are interested, they should not delay in calling," she said.

To register for the tea, call 410-635-2135 or 410-635-2805.

For more information about the New Windsor Heritage Committee, visit http://www.newwindsorheritage.org.

Basket bingo

St. James Lutheran Church is having a basket bingo at the Union Bridge Community Center at 7 p.m. Feb. 22.

Tickets are $10 in advance, or $12 at the door, for 20 games. Specials and raffles were will be available for purchase.

Anyone who brings a canned good or personal-hygiene product for the St. James Food Pantry will be entered into a special raffle.

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and light refreshments will be available for purchase.

The community center is at 4770 Ladiesburg Road, Union Bridge.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call 410-635-6872 or 410-861-5567.

Bingo banquet

The Union Bridge fire company is having a bingo banquet March 1 at the fire hall, 8 W. Locust St., Union Bridge.

Doors will open at 4 p.m., dinner will be at 5 p.m., and bingo will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Dinner will include fried chicken, ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, coleslaw and dinner rolls.

Tickets should be reserved in advance as only a few will be for sale at the door. For more information or to reserve your spot, call 443-789-3823.


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