CANDLELIGHT HOUSE TOUR BRINGS CHEER TO THE SEASON
The 2009 Candlelight House Tour will showcase eight beautifully decorated historic homes in Frederick. Presented by PNC Bank, the event will be held Saturday, December 5th from 5:30 – 9:30 p.m., and Sunday, December 6th from Noon to 4 p.m. Between each finely ornamented home will be luminaries to light your way and carolers to fill the air with holiday sounds.
Light refreshments will be served at the Hospitality Suite, sponsored by Renewal by Andersen. The Hospitality Suite will be located at City Hall at 101 North Court Street. The 2009 and vintage holiday ornaments, posters, and postcards will be available for purchase during the tour. Also during the self-guided tour, stop by for a little respite and some refreshments at the PNC Bank Hospitality Center on the Square Corner in downtown, Frederick.
Tour tickets cost $20, and are available online at www.CelebrateFrederick.com or by visiting the Office of Special Events at the William Talley Recreation Center located at 121 North Bentz Street.
The house tour would not be possible without the hard work of the volunteers of the Holidays in Historic Frederick Committee, and the following community-minded businesses: Spires Sponsors – Bechtel Group Foundation, Spectrum Federal Credit Union, and Weis Markets; Carillon Sponsors – Comcast, Roy Rogers - A Plamondon Company, Sandy Spring Bank, 99.9 WRFE, and 930 WFMD; Bandshell Sponsors – BB&T, The Frederick News-Post, and NBC25; Presenting Sponsor - PNC Bank. Program Sponsor – Renewal by Andersen.
Following is a short description of the eight homes featured on this year’s tour:
35 East Second Street
The Smith House, so named for the previous owners Carlyle & Trudy, began construction in the year 1858 and was completed in1859. Before entering the Costello home, be sure to turn your sights upward. The third “floor” of this home is not quite as it seems. The floor boasts a sloped ceiling from front to back. The ceiling grades into almost nothing about 8 feet back from the third floor windows. In addition, the date of 1859 posted between the second floor windows separates the two homes on E. 2nd Street, which internally are constructed as mirror images. While the kitchen and balcony were renovated sometime in the 20th century, stone steps in the basement can still be found leading to what is now the dining room. While exiting the back gate note the beautiful evergreen garden. This space is rumored to have housed part of an orchard which stretched the length of E. 2nd Street. The Costello home has been beautifully decorated by the homeowners and En Masse.
9 West Second Street
In the 1820’s, this Federal style home is recognized by the Frederick County Landmarks Foundation and National Historic Register. Prior to the 2001 purchase of the home by Bretta and Hunt Bowers, a twenty year series of renters occupied 9 W. 2nd Street. As you pass through the entryway of the home, note the ornate woodwork surrounding the windows, doors and the 15 foot square parlors with soaring ceilings. An intricate wooden carved mantle crafted by a Hessian solider can be found in the second parlor as well as a jib window opening to a small sunroom. The parlors, dining room and entry floors are oak with mahogany borders and each room has original fireplaces. The kitchen features original repainted cabinets and a butler’s pantry in place of stairs between the dining
room and kitchen. As you exit the Bowers’ home, note the renovated patio and garden patiently awaiting spring showers and summer sun. The Bowers home has been graciously decorated by The Garden Club of Frederick.
107 West Third Street
Levy Family, Frederick business owners and residents, occupied the home at 107 W. 3rd Street until the 1980’s. The current owners Chris and Jane Midgett are only the fourth to reside in this historical home. As you enter the foyer the converted gas chandeliers, ceiling medallions and entry foyer light are original to the home. The original wallpaper hanger’s signature, from 1880, can be found on the north wall of the parlor. Original gold cornices can be found throughout the parlor and dining room. A brass button in the dining
room floor, now covered by a rug, was once used to call the maid to service. The house has two jibs, one in the parlor and one directly above it in the bedroom area. The chestnut staircase has never been painted and a “swing-out” gas arm can be found on the second floor. During renovations, the brick from the original fireplace was used to create the arch in the kitchen, while the Maryland heart pine floors were finished and left as they have always been. The pass through glass window opening to the butler’s pantry was retained as well. Three of the homes bathrooms have been renovated with careful attention to historical detail. The Midgett home has been beautifully decorated by the homeowners, friends and the Green-walled Garden Club.
111 West Third Street
Relive the Victorian Revival at 111 W. 3rd Street. The Muszynski home is the second on the tour designated as a Frederick County Landmark. The unique architectural design of this property has been described as a provincial copy of sophisticated urban style. The home is one of a pair of three-story attached Victorian brick houses that can be found on 3rd Street. Constructed in the Flemish Medieval style along with an ornate third story design, the property brings a different architectural style to the tour. The slate covered
Mansard roof showcases two Flemish gables adorned with terra cotta and tin designs. Before entering the home note the two-story high rectangular bays constructed of various flat and arched windows that divide the house into two distinct sections. Treasured oil paintings, created by the Muszynski family, line the walls of this architectural gem. The expanded kitchen, renovated by Clyde Berger, adds to the grandeur of the house. The exterior wall, centralized in the space, pays homage to the bones of the home. The Muszynski home has been graciously decorated by Matt Triche.
106 North Court Street
Richard Potts, the country’s first U.S. State’s Attorney, originally built this home as a four room office building. A deed for property transfer was signed by Roger Brooke Taney, who, along with his brother-in-law, Francis Scott Key, likely utilized the building for office space as well. Before entering the home, note the original doorbell inscribed R.
Potts. The doorbell knob, which jangles a bell suspended from a spiral strip of wire inside the house, still alerts Ann and Peter Hobart to visitors. Once in the kitchen you are standing directly above the original 12’ x 12’ x 12’ ice house. The homeowners recently gained access to the ice house and discovered an enclosed brick room which has yet to be investigated. Both sides of Mrs. Hobart’s family are deeply rooted in the history of Frederick and the surrounding area. The portraits of Ann’s great great great great grandparents, Eleanor and George Alexander Kennedy, hang above the mantle in the living room. The portraits were painted in 1800 by Charles Peale Polk, nephew of the noted American Painter Charles Willson Peale. The portraits were transported from Jacksonville to Frederick courtesy of Ann’s brother, Charles Nicodemus Wilson, to specifically be a part of our annual tour. The Hobart home has been graciously decorated by Adrienne Summers.
115 Record Street
The Record Street Home will have adjusted hours for the tour. Please note the home will be open on Saturday from 6:00 – 9:30 pm and Sunday from 1:00 – 4:00 pm.
Built by William Tyler Page, former resident at 121 Record Street, the Record Street Home was donated in 1892 by Mrs. Ann Ross and Mr. and Mrs. Charles W. Ross. The home was established to provide “means of obtaining the comfort and security so necessary for the repose of mind and body which should ever attend the declining years
of life.” The building has seen three additions over the years and is currently a licensed assisted living/life care facility and home to 21 residents. The three story brick home, built in the Greek Revival style, includes formal parlors and a spacious dining room furnished with period pieces donated by past and present residents. Visitors are greeted in the entrance foyer by a beautiful mural of the Frederick landscape painted by Virginia McLaughlin. Please note the John Fessler clock and the H.R. Eisenbrandt Sons music box. The home has a lovely flower and herb garden for enjoyment by the ladies and guests. Record Street Home is the only one of its kind still operable in the State of Maryland and the operation of the home is in large part due to the generous donations of the Frederick community. The lovely interior of The Home has been graciously enhanced for the holiday season by the Wormans Mill Garden Club.
121 Record Street
The boyhood home of William Tyler Page, author of the American’s Creed and descendant of the tenth President of the United States John Tyler, can be toured at 121 Record Street. Purchased in 2007 by John & Kirsten Johansen, their careful renovation has preserved and yet modernized this Federal style home and its later Victorian exterior
embellishments. The house retains many of its original features including the stairway, deep crown moldings, “6 over 6” windows and yellow pine flooring. The cooking fireplace in the kitchen features the original pivoting “cooking arm” used for suspending food over an open fire. The careful restoration of all five fireplace mantles in the home is consistent with the Johansen’s passion for the preservation of historic architecture. As you tour the house, note the 18th and 19th century American and English antique furniture. Landscape paintings in the Continental, French Barbizon, Hudson River School, and Danish styles, along with a range of contemporary art and Italian botanical engravings highlight this couples’ eclectic and comfortable style. The Johansen home has been beautifully decorated by Sharon Mesa, En Masse and Jutta Terrell, Etiquette Tabletop Designs.
117 West Second Street
Defined as the residence of a Presbyterian minister, the Manse currently serves as home to the Reverend Dr. Eric Myers, his wife Lisa and family. The three story Federalist style home located at W. 2nd Street was built on land purchased from Frederick Schley for a total cost of $2,546.10 by Geo. McCahan. Much of the early beautification and maintenance of the property is due to the diligence of the Mite Society. This society of
female church members (established in 1885) derived its name from the organization’s bylaws which stated “the regular fee shall be one cent per week, to be paid quarterly, semi-annually or yearly.” Their work can be seen in the preservation of the five fireplaces throughout the home and the built in glass cabinets of the dining room. The most recent renovation, the Manse side porch, was completed in 2009. The Manse has played host to many visitors and residents of Frederick. In fact, General Stonewall Jackson, a close friend of Reverend John B. Moss (1857-1862), tethered his horse to a tree out in front of the Manse during his frequent trips to see his good friend. The Manse of Frederick Presbyterian Church has been graciously decorated by Paul Thompson of Ec’clectibles.