House tours offer excursion into Carroll's history


Three local groups will sponsor holiday house tours Sunday.

All groups request that visitors do not take pictures or wear high heels.


The 33rd Annual Soroptimist Christmas House Tour will be from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The Nimrod Frizell Tavern in Frizzellburg is a highlight. Built in 1814, it was used as a personal residence, tavern, inn, and general store from 1818 to 1842.

During that time, the road between Westminster and Taneytown was made of plank and timbers. The ride was bumpy for passengers on horse-drawn stages, who were glad to stop at the inn for refreshments or to stay the night.

The Frizell family was "so active in local affairs that the settlement became known as Frizzells, and later, the more formal Frizzellburg," said Lucy McNeir, the owner. She has restored the house and furnished it with period pieces to resemble the original tavern, including a bar she built in one corner of the tavern room.

Originally part of the tract "Molly's Fancy," the tavern is still sheltered by two 180-year-old Kentucky coffee trees. Today it is the home of Imagigraphics Communications Inc., Ms. McNeir's graphic art studio, and is her residence.

Elwood and Rusty Myers are showing their two-level home in Union Bridge. Built circa 1803, it is decorated with a Victorian theme. Civil War memorabilia and Mr. Myers' eagle collection add to the rustic charm.

The Linwood Brethren Church also is a tour site. Refreshments will be served in the church hall throughout the afternoon.

The $5 ticket price covers all tour sites, plus refreshments. Additional tour locations include two homes in Silver Run and the Winchester Inn in Westminster.

Advance tickets may be purchased at the Hickory Stick, 200 Pennsylvania Ave.; the Forget-Me-Not Shop, 61 1/2 Main St.; or Optics Limited, 14 Fairground Village, all in Westminster. Tickets also will be available Sunday at each house on the tour.

Proceeds from ticket sales will be used for a nursing scholarship to be given to a graduating Carroll County high school student.

The Westminster Soroptimist Club is a professional businesswomen's service organization which is part of Soroptimist International.


The Taneytown Heritage Committee's "Christmas in the Country" house tour is from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

"The Beautiful Farm," part of a tract called "The Redlands," was built in 1794. It is on Route 832, Taneytown Road, on the east side of Taneytown. In the early 1800s, the building was a roadhouse and tollhouse for travelers. Meals were prepared in the basement and served on the first floor. Affluent guests slept on the second floor and others slept in the barn, which burned down in the 1980s.

The overuse of mead and various "disagreements" are said to have caused the demise of many men who stayed there.

Owners Bill and Sue Thomas purchased the Adams-style home in 1989 and are remodeling it to near-original condition.

Don and Virginia Stenley's home on Frederick Street again will be on this tour. The main part of the house was built by Ludwick Rudisell in 1807 on his tannery site. The Stenleys will display a new addition that was designed around a log house their son dismantled on a farm near Union Mills.

Mary Ann Bevard will cook over a hearth in the summer kitchen, a small log building. The room will be lightly decorated with greenery sprays as it may have been in the early 1800s, and Ms. Bevard will be dressed in a period costume.

At Arnie and Nancy Otte's Cape Cod in Robert's Mill Run, a Lenox china nativity scene, an antique grandfather's clock in the family since 1850 and memorabilia from Mr. Otte's military service at the White House will be displayed.

Mr. and Mrs. Carroll Myers will show their collection of antique sleds at their home off Old Taneytown Road, and Tom and Sue Russell will show the red clay fireplaces, log-and-mortar walls, and wide-plank pine floors of their 1803 farmhouse on Baust Church Road.

Taneytown Baptist Church will be open. Christmas decorations and a greenery sale will be held by the Silver Fancy Garden Club of Taneytown and Emmitsburg. Members of the Taneytown Heritage Committee will serve cookies and punch. Refreshments are included in the $8 ticket price. Tickets may be purchased at each location Sunday, or advance tickets may be purchased by calling 751-1318.

Tour proceeds will be used for historical improvement projects by the Taneytown Heritage Committee and for some local charities.


The Union Bridge United Methodist Women invite you to their second annual Christmas House Tour. Union Bridge United Methodist Church, St. James Lutheran Church, Church of the Brethren and five homes are slated for the tour, from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

A highlight will be the home of Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur G. Myers. Hamilton Repp first owned the brick, three-story, two-family home, which was built in the early 1870s. It was one of the first homes in Union Bridge to have electricity.

Mr. Repp operated The Pilot newspaper in half the building and lived in the other half. He owned the entire block where the house stands. His land included a public park and bandstand, a croquet court and rock gardens.

Mr. and Mrs. Roger Holmes live in the house once owned by Dr. John N. Weaver, the first pharmacist in Union Bridge. The building once was a funeral home.

The Victorian home of Mr. and Mrs. Hohn Scott, circa 1882, was built by Peter Dudderar, a retired Frederick County commissioner, for his daughter Emma.

On display will be a Depression-era kitchen; collections of Santas, Victor records and piano rolls; and a marble-top table that was a wedding gift to Mr. Scott's grandparents.

Mr. and Mrs. Rick Caauwe's farm home still has the original German siding and wooden shutters. The Caauwes heat by wood stove as the original owners did. They will display Mr. Caauwe's grandparents' leaded glass lamps, stained glass entry light and kitchen table.

Once part of Joseph Moore's "Rich Indian Garden," the Victorian home owned by Mr. and Mrs. Ron Testa and Debbie Snyder is dotted with Middle East collectibles.

The $5 ticket price includes all homes on the tour.

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad