Tour of six Shore houses


Two cars in the garage and a chicken in the pot may be very well, but a house with a water view -- now that's the American dream! Six such dream houses will be open to the public on Saturday in the 1990 Waterfront Homes Tour, sponsored by St. John's Chapel in Cornersville.

Each of these Eastern Shore showplaces is in the "Neck District" of Dorchester County, a peninsula surrounded by the Great and Little Choptank rivers and the Chesapeake Bay, and riddled with picturesque creeks, bays and coves.

In addition to the Bruffeys' 250-year-old house on Mitchell's Cove, the tour will feature:

*Unity Hill -- A 25-year-old house built on the site of a former dairy farm, Unity Hill has panoramic views of the Choptank and a collection of handcrafted furniture and needlepoint made by the owners.

*The Abbe at Pope's Creek -- A year ago, a cement barn and garage were transformed into this dwelling, which showcases international artifacts collected by its well-traveled owners, the Abbes.

*Henry's Heaven -- This 90-acre estate on Beckwith Creek includes a house which dates to the mid-18th century, a working winery, and its own very old family graveyard.

*Willoughby on the Hudson -- An impressive brick "plantation" on 135 acres, this house on Hudson Creek has dramatic, oversized rooms, a library, an indoor pool and other amenities that make it ideal for entertaining.

*Bay Brooks Inn the Pines -- This large, custom-built Colonial, an "inn" for family and friends, is situated in a pine grove facing the Chesapeake Bay, and backing up to Brooks Creek.

The seventh building on the tour is St. John's Chapel. The church, consecrated in 1853, still has its original wooden pews and oil lamps. A country store, with handcrafted items, produce and homemade preserves and baked goods, will be set up in the parish house, and a snack bar on the grounds will offer oyster sandwiches and other lunch fare.

To get to the first house on the tour, take U.S. 50 to Cambridge, and turn right on Hudson Road (Route 343). Go left on Dailsville Road, then turn right on Dark Road and follow to the house. Follow the yellow tour arrows from Hudson Road to the other houses.

Tour hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets cost $10, and tickets, brochures and maps will be available at all of the houses on the tour.

No high heels, smoking or interior photographs are allowed.

For additional information, call (301) 228-2846 or (301) 228-0284.

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