“Dickens of a Christmas” Tour to Feature Historic Chestertown Homes


Holiday hosts will open wide the doors to seven festively decorated Victorian and historic homes during the Dickens of a Christmas house tour, 1-4 p,m, on Saturday, December 2. Decor includes Victorian-style wreaths custom crafted for each home by the Chestertown and All Seasons Garden Clubs. Music, refreshment and good cheer will be the order of the day. The event is sponsored by Main Street Chestertown, and proceeds will benefit the Kent County Community Food Pantry.

The walking tour includes houses on Washington Avenue, Mill Street, Cannon Street and High Street. Tour participants will be treated to live holiday music at several homes and can enjoy a savory bite and cup of punch at the tour’s hospitality house.

Making its house-tour debut, the lovingly restored circa 1886 Victorian home of Eileen and Frank Anaya retains many original features, including wood floors, banisters, and tile fireplaces. Period furnishings and prints bring to life the gracious atmosphere of times past in this former home of Ouija board purveyor Charles Kennard.

The elegant 1905 Victorian home of Shirley and Woodward Loller features a distinctive copper turret and cedar shingles. After purchasing the house in 1983, the Lollers completed a restoration that preserved original wood floors, varnished moldings, beaded trim, paneled doors and pine cabinetry.

Dickens himself would feel at home among the English antiques and furnishings of the meticulously restored JL Stam House. Marta and Michael Girone have preserved many original features of this grand 1850s Gothic Revival Victorian, including faux painted fireplaces, plastered ceilings, and faux wood graining.

Jeff Maguire’s home was built by the Wheatley family in the 1830s and expanded through the years to include a deck and gardens where tour participants can pause by a warm fire and admire the classic car in the driveway. A miniature train display under the Christmas tree will charm children of all ages.

The 1886 Queen Anne Revival style Nicholson House was moved in the 1990s from its former location on High Street. A grand staircase, pocket doors, and gracious dimensions distinguish this Victorian gem, now home to the vibrant young family of Brandywine, Neyah and Suzie Bea White.

Hopkins House was built in the late 1770s by Edward Hopkins, It features a three-bay facade laid in Flemish bond with an interior central stair hall and vertical feather-edge paneling. Owner Jon Wasserman recently completed a kitchen renovation, which will debut on the Dickens of a Christmas tour.

Midway on the tour route participants will be hosted by Marcia and Bob Yeager for refreshments and music at the Boyd House. Built in the Victorian Gothic Revival style between 1882 and 1888, the house retains many original interior finishes and restored paint colors on the essentially unchanged exterior.

Reservations are required for entry. For early bird savings at $20 a ticket, book online or mail a check (made payable to Main Street Chestertown) to 118 N. Cross Street, Chestertown, MD 21620). Tickets will be priced at $30 the day of the event.  The event is organized by the nonprofit Main Street Chestertown, and proceeds will benefit the Kent County Food Pantry.

The house tour is part of a new three-day “Dickens of a Christmas” festival inspired by Charles Dickens’ beloved novella A Christmas Carol and sponsored by Main Street Chestertown. Set in Chestertown’s Historic District, the festival will celebrate the season with live music, carriage rides, Victorian food and drink, costumed characters, and more.  For more information go to the event website.

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