Mill manager's house again to be a focal point


SAVAGE WAS once a company town.

Even the town's layout makes that clear: Look-alike houses of mill workers march smartly down Baltimore St., and the mill manager's house, at the highest point at the end of the street, gazes down beneficently.

The huge, mid-Victorian manager's house -- the focal point of Baltimore St. -- sits elegantly on its site.

Of course, when the cloth mill shut down after World War II, the manager's and mill workers' houses were sold, and the old mill was abandoned.

Two decades ago, the mill was restored as an artists' and antiques center.

Recently, the manager's house was purchased by Savage Mill Manor LLC, a partnership that includes the owners of Savage Mill. On Tuesday, the owners and managers of the mill held a tour of the site for community members to describe the plans for the house.

It was a pleasant reception -- or "dog and pony show," in the words of mill manager Beverly Schwink.

Bobby Mitchell of Puttin' On the Ritz catered the affair.

Jay Winer and Steve Adler of Savage Mill Manor LLC, the new owner, would like to take advantage of the grand first-floor rooms and porches to create a small reception facility.

The ground-floor rooms have high ceilings, plaster-work wreaths around the chandeliers, black marble fireplaces and tall windows.

Mitchell plans to use the space to cater receptions and meetings for up to 60 people.

Plans for the second and third floors -- with a grand staircase winding through all the floors -- include offering tenants at Savage Mill the opportunity to display their wares.

Changes will be made -- new parking areas, an expanded veranda and some handicapped-accessible parking and restrooms.

But overall, the plans amount to a general spruce-up of the property.

Just painting and maintaining an old house can be a daunting task. Installing new air conditioning and heating can be a nightmare. Resurfacing driveways surrounded by trees is a constant battle with the tree roots.

The mill hopes to have at least part of the site functioning by November. Neighbors may notice construction around the house this summer.

Those random lights in the windows of the house belong to Sylvia DeFio, her son, Joseph, and Linda Majerowicz, who are staying there as caretakers during the renovations.

Dance tomorrow

Resurrection of Our Lord Roman Catholic Church is holding a Tropical Heat Wave Dance from 8 p.m. to midnight tomorrow.

Island Breeze, a six-man band originally from Guam, will perform.

While the group has changed its roster a bit during two years of performing in the Washington area, its repertoire of Pacific Island tunes and favorites from the '50s and '60s remains the same.

Tickets are $6 in advance; $7.50 at the door, including snacks and refreshments. A cash bar will be available.

For tickets, details or directions to the church, 8402 Brock Bridge Road, in Laurel: 301-725-2316.

Shakespeare for free

Olney Theater is offering seven free performances of Shakespeare's "Comedy of Errors" this month.

And, we're very lucky to have one of the venues for this wonderful play right in our back yard.

On July 23 and 24, the troupe will perform on the grounds of Montpelier Mansion, 12826 Laurel-Bowie Road.

For those who haven't visited the mansion, the grounds or the cultural arts center, Montpelier is a magical place -- a lush, beautifully landscaped park, unaffected by the bustling congestion of Route 295.

You can bring a picnic, lawn chairs and blankets. Performances begin at 7: 30 p.m.

In case of rain, the alternate location is the Deerfield Run Elementary School auditorium, 13001 Laurel-Bowie Road in Laurel.

Information: Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission at 301-454-1450.

Montpelier Mansion is at Routes 295 and 197.

Pub Date: 7/10/98

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