The 49th annual Homes Tour and Crafts Exhibit will take place in Waterford, Va., Friday through next Sunday. This is the one time of year visitors may see some of the homes of this National Historic Landmark Village and at the same time attend the oldest juried crafts show in Virginia. Fifteen restored homes will be open to the public, some that date to the late 1700s.
The village, which lies off the beaten track not far from Leesburg, Va., appears suspended by time. Before the Civil War it was the second largest town in Loudoun County. Then in 1870 the town was bypassed by the railroad, and its population dwindled and progress slowed. Today it is a quiet, peaceful village set among the rolling farmlands of Virginia. The residents hope to keep it that way. The formation of the Waterford Foundation in 1943 was a step to protect the surrounding land from development. The annual homes tour and crafts exhibit is a means to raise money for its continued preservation.
Next weekend the streets of the village will come to life with musicians, dancers, craftspeople and militia groups. Here you'll find one of the largest gatherings of heritage craftspeople on the East Coast. More than 130 of them were selected to participate in this event for their ability to instruct audiences in 18th and 19th century crafts.
A focus of this year's festival is the Civil War and how it affected the life of the village. A battle re-enactment will involve nearly 100 Union and Confederate soldiers, and the black Civil War re-enactment unit that appeared in the movie "Glory" will put in an appearance. There will also be a Civil War-style show, lectures and a military street dance on Saturday night. Representing another period, the Maryland Militia, a Revolutionary War group, will demonstrate camp life, as will the Patriots of Northern Virginia, a 75-member fife and drum corps.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Tickets cost $12 per person per day; $1 for ages 6 to 12; free for those under 6. The village is west of Leesburg; take state Route 7 to state Route 9 to state Route 662. For information, call (703) 882-3018.
Tasting historic apples
The Hans Herr House near Lancaster, Pa., has one of the finest orchards of historic apple varieties in Pennsylvania. Those who visit the Snitz Fest there on Saturday can sample some of those old varieties -- Famuse Snow Apple, Cox Orange Pippin and Doctor of Germantown.
Snitzing was a means of preserving the apple by carving it into thin slices and allowing it to dry. Early settlers also used a hand press to make "apfel maust" (cider). These two early methods of preserving apples will be the focus of this year's event. Inside the 1719 Hans Herr House, a raised hearth will be used to cook 18th century apple recipes, while the outdoor bake oven will produce apple breads and snitz pies.
You can see other traditional harvest activities like corn husking, butchering and soap making.
The hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $4 for adults, $1 for ages 7 to 12. The Hans Herr House is five miles south of Lancaster off U.S. Route 222 and one mile directly east of the town of Willow Street. For information, call (717) 464-4438.
Brunswick Railroad Days
The town of Brunswick celebrates its heritage with Brunswick Railroad Days Saturday and next Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Brunswick is a turn-of-the-century B&O railroad town. You can still see the 1910 roundhouse and numerous Victorian houses built by the railroad.
Activities will take place at Railroad Square and the Brunswick Museum, which houses one of the largest HO scale model railroads in the East and three floors of railroad memorabilia.
Train trips will carry passengers along the original B&O main line from Brunswick to Harpers Ferry, W.Va., through the Shenandoah to Millville, W.Va. The one-and-a-half-hour round-trip rides will depart at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., and tickets can be purchased at the recently renovated Brunswick train station for $7 for adults or $4 for children under 12 and seniors age 60 and over.
Festival admission is free. Brunswick is 15 miles southwest of Frederick off U.S. Route 340. For information, call (301) 834-7100.
Frederick is 'In the Street'
Frederick's main thoroughfare, Market Street, will be closed to traffic on Saturday during the city's 10th annual "In the Street" celebration.
Special theme blocks will be set up from Carroll Creek to Seventh Street and will feature five stages of entertainment, contests and food. The event kicks off with a parade down Market Street at 10:30 a.m., and festivities will run from noon to 6 p.m. In the first block off Market Street, visitors will find a magician, juggler, face painters and other activities relating to the theme, "Come Clown Around." A Kid's Block stretches from Second Street to Fourth Street and offers live stage presentations, educational and artistic demonstrations, a K-9 unit, petting zoo and pony rides.