Hampton Heritage Festival promises to turn back time

Volunteers/ Where good neighbors get together

April 30, 1991|By Ellen Hawks | Ellen Hawks,Evening Sun Staff

MAKING SCARECROWS is just one of the man entertainments to be enjoyed at the Hampton Heritage Festival this Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hampton Mansion near Towson. It is free.

Turn back time to the 18th and 19th centuries at this National Historic Site, where staff, volunteers, students and Boy Scouts have planned a full day of fun and history, such as mule wagon rides, demonstrations of blacksmithing, weaving, pottery and candle making and other entertainment.

Take a tour of the farm or visit the mansion and gift shop, which will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Food will include Andy Nelson's pit beef and lunch served in the Tea Room from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

''Children will have help in making scarecrows all day if they like, and they can also enjoy the hay jump," says Anna vonLunz, assistant curator at Hampton. Sixty bales of hay will be on hand. "Young volunteers, dressed in costumes made by our board member Carol Ingalls, will teach others how to play old-fashioned games which the Carroll Park Foundation lent to us. And some of the students from St. Paul School have made a May pole,'' vonLunz adds.

Helicon, the Baltimore-based instrumental folk music trio, will play at noon, 12:45 and at 2 p.m. Maria Broom, a local performer, will perform African and American songs and magician Robert Chambers, from Williamsburg, Va., will present his magic.

Volunteer and craftsman Ken Hankins, who has been volunteering to Hampton for about four years, will demonstrate his craft as a potter throughout the day. Hankins has helped plan many of the demonstrations. ''I have so many contacts with colonial crafts people I've been able to help,'' he says.

Hankins, 47, has been a potter since 1966. He creates ''functional items'' in his shop, Shiloh Pottery, located on his 50-acre farm in Hampstead. He also teaches manual arts at St. Paul School. He and his wife, Marty, have two children, Matthew, 16, and Megan, 14.

Animals from their farm will be brought to the festival for petting. Among them will be Butter, their Jersey cow, twin goats who were bottle-fed by the family and a Turkey named Thomas. ''They're all pets,'' says Hankins.

Another valued volunteer at Hampton is Charlie Anderson, who heads the Volunteer Activities Committee that takes on much of the responsibility of the festival.

Hampton Mansion is steeped in history. In 1745, Colonel Charles Ridgely bought 1,500 acres of rich, rolling land in Baltimore County near Towson. Over the years, he and his descendants continued to purchase land, some 25,000 acres, from which they accumulated much wealth through agriculture, industry and ,X commerce.

In 1783, Captain Charles Ridgely built the magnificent mansion he called Hampton Hall, which would have six Ridgely masters over the years until 1948 when the last master, John Ridgely Jr., sold 48 remaining acres to the government for far less than its market value in order to establish the property as a historic site. In 1979, the National Park Service assumed responsibility for the Hampton National Historic Site.

Hampton is located at 535 Hampton Lane in Towson.

Parking for the festival will be available at two lots, according to Schiller. One is the Notre Dame Preparatory School parking lot, which is within walking distance, and the other is the Park and Ride lot on Providence Road. A shuttle bus will run from both lots. Also, handicapped parking is available. For details, call 962-0688.

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