- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Six homeowners in Owings are decorating their homes and opening them to the public for the 2012 Christmas Tour of Decorated Homes.
Between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Dec. 1, visitors can tour six homes that will be ornately decorated for Christmas in “a Lower Marlboro community along the Patuxent River” founded by English settlers in 1654, said Carolyn Rice, president of the Republican Women Leaders of Calvert. RWLC is hosting the tour as a fundraiser for the club, she said, and this year will be the club’s third tour event.
“We are very excited,” Rice said. “Although there are a lot of other events going on, it just helps you get in the mood for decorating at Christmas time.”
Each year, the club asks different homeowners to participate in the fundraiser by decorating and then opening their homes to a tour for ticket holders, she said.
“We do the asking and then they do all the decorating,” Rice said.
Although RWLC members have volunteered their homes to be part of the tour in previous years, there are no members’ homes in this year’s tour, Rice said. Based on community feedback from the previous tours, Rice said the club chose to ask homeowners in an area where all of the houses are close together. Rice said the tour will not take as long as previous years because all of the homes are within a few miles of each other and three of them are even within walking distance of one another.
Four of the houses are historical and two are contemporary homes, Rice said, and “all have magnificent views of the Patuxent River.”
At the Hampton Plantation on North Flint Hill Road, the homeowners, Richard and Amy Lawson, will be dressed in period costumes to greet guests as they tour their historical home, Rice said. The house is “an outstanding example of late federal country-style architecture,” she said, adding that the white-frame, 2 1/2-story home has a locally made brick foundation with mortar containing fossils. Although the Lawsons have not indicated how the home will be decorated, Rice said she “can imagine it’s going to be stunning.”
The Compton House on Chaneyville Road was originally built in 1743, Rice said, and “is a beautiful home bringing together the nostalgia of the past and comforts of the present.” The home, which is owned by Dr. John and Sue Pietropaoli, began as a single room log cabin, which is still a part of the restored home, she said. A tenant house, which is now being used as a guest house, a small horse barn, a workshop, a large barn and a small greenhouse are also on the property, Rice said. Christmas decorations throughout the house, she said, include two Christmas trees and a large house display.
Another home on Chaneyville Road, the Harbor Master’s House, owned by Jo Ellen Hayden, is the oldest surviving structure in Lower Marlboro, Rice said. At one time, she said, the property housed a post office, general store and a home but is now entirely residential. Rice said the northern section of the house dates to the late 1600s and has original pine floors and oyster shell plaster moldings and mantles, and the hand-hewn timbers and main beam construction are indicative of techniques “little changed from medieval times.”
The Plummer House, also located on Chaneyville Road, dates back to 1780 “in the most picturesque location along the Patuxent River,” Rice said. The home, owned by William Law, has a Victorian wraparound porch and visitors will tour six “beautifully decorated bedrooms,” including a doll room and a model ship room, Rice said.
Visitors will find two contemporary homes decorated for the tour also on Chaneyville Road, Rice said.
The Dodge House is on a 3-acre lot with “a spectacular view” of the Patuxent River, Rice said. She said the holiday season is homeowners Dick and Bette Dodge’s favorite time of year and “they love to decorate for Christmas.” Rice said the home “fits in with the traditional colonial designs” of many homes in the Lower Marlboro area and has a matching outbuilding, where Bette Dodge makes stained glass windows.
The multi-level Cape Cod Lee Cottage also is on Chaneyville Road, Rice said. The home has tall ceilings, which lend themselves to “great holiday decoration ideas,” she said. Decorations include fresh greenery and a tropical themed Christmas room.
Tickets are available prior to or the day of the tour at $25 per person, Rice said. She said the money raised by the Dec. 1 fundraiser will be used in several ways. The RWLC awards a $1,000 Joyce Lyons Terhes scholarship to a county high school senior, donates money to Safe Harbor Inc. and also donates books to the Mamie Eisenhower Literary Program.
Tour participants will receive a booklet containing a self-guided map of where each home is and descriptions of the decorated homes. The booklet also includes information about three businesses Friday’s Creek Winery, Dickenson Jewelers and Dunkirk Florist and Gifts that are giving out free gifts to ticket holders that visit those establishments, Rice said.
To purchase tickets, call Rice at 410-610-0257, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.