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Homes opening doors for annual tour to benefit Catonsville Historical Society

Six area homes will be open for the 2017 Catonsville Home and Garden Tour, hosted by the Catonsville Historical Society Saturday, May 6.

The first tour was held in 1976 coinciding with the nation's bicentennial. Tours occurred sporadically over the years, until 2014, when the decision was made to make it an annual event due to its popularity, said Anne Luco, chair of the historical society's committee that organizes the tour.

This year will be the 19th tour, she said.

"The homes in Catonsville are so unique," she said. "We are not cookie-cutter communities."

People enjoy going to the homes to gain inspiration on how to decorate or renovate their own older homes to maintain its historic aspect but make it livable for modern times, she said.

"You don't know what it looks like until you get inside," she said.

The tour is a major fundraiser for the historical society, bringing the nonprofit $10,000 per year. The money goes toward maintenance of its Frederick Road museum and model railroad, along with funding for programs.

Lori Davis will have her Newburg Avenue home on the tour for the first time. A lifelong Catonsville resident, she and her husband David have lived in their home, a Victorian house which was built in 1898, for 25 years.

This is the first time Davis, 56, has put her home on the tour. David Davis, a contractor, has done all the renovations at the home since they bought it in 1991, including an addition, a bar, cherry paneling in the den and most of the flooring.

She said she wanted to be a part of the tour to show the history of the area and how renovations can be bring new life to old houses.

Brigit Flannery, 41, and her family moved to Catonsville in August, in a Victorian home on Melvin Avenue believed to been built in the 1880s.

The Flannery family is the third family to live in the home, she said. It was formerly the residence of retired Navy Capt. Harry Korrell Jr., whose family had owned the property since the 1930s and kept much of its elements intact, she said.

On Halloween, trick-or-treaters came to the house with much curiosity, she said.

"It's interesting to find out that we bought into a house that's sort of part of the Catonsville community in a way we didn't know it was going to be," she said. "We're happy to open it up."

Tickets for the tour cost $30 and can be purchased at catonsvillehistoricalsociety.org ahead of time, or from 9-11 a.m. on the day of the event at the Knights of Columbus building, at 1010 Frederick Road. Eight area restaurants will offer discounts for ticket holders.

For more information, contact the historical society at 410-744-3034 or catonsvillehistory@gmail.com.

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