Browse in old homes of Union Bridge CARROLL COUNTY DIVERSIONS

December 04, 1992|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Staff Writer

The Union Bridge United Methodist Church has the perfect solution for those who want to get out of the house Sunday.

Tour someone else's.

The four-hour event lets visitors browse through nine of the oldest and most beautiful homes in town, three churches, and a firehouse converted into a studio.

"Some of the homes will be decorated for the holidays," said Town Councilwoman Bonnie Hyde, the UMC church member who chaired the open house committee. "This is our first Christmas celebration open house, and we hope to make it an annual event."

The first stop on the tour is at the MacDermott home, where Christmas has always been an exciting event, according to owner Leotta MacDermott.

People on the tour will notice the unusual decorations in Ms. MacDermott's pre-Civil War brick home, including a plastic Santa Claus and a snowman that were given to her by her children more than 50 years ago.

"My son and daughter bought them when they were in their early teens," said Ms. MacDermott, 89, whose children are now in their 60s. "Every year, they go up on the mantel in the dining room, right over the fireplace."

Artist Jo "Chanah" Israelson will be holding an open house in conjunction with the church to break in her new studio, the building on the corner of East Broadway and South Benedum Street that has served in the past as a town hall and a fire station.

There will be many things to do and see, and plenty to eat. On Moore Alley, church volunteers will serve hot cider, homemade soups and barbecue and other dishes.

Horse-drawn wagon rides will provide visitors with another perspective on the wreathed and lanterned light poles around town, as well as the best view of the 300 luminaries that will line Main Street just before dusk.

And for the people interested in a few holiday decorating ideas, Mrs. MacDermott is ready.

"This is the world, and there is the God's gift to the world, his only son," Ms. MacDermott said, pointing to the tiny Nativity scene beneath a flower arrangement decorated in Christmas lights on a table in the corner of her dining room.

Miniature churches and homes and a decorated Christmas tree are surrounded by caroling figurines, which she said are all in the Christmas spirit.

And the large dish of candy on the table? "That's to show hospitality to visitors and strangers," she said.

Tickets for all events may be purchased in the "Square" at Main Street and Broadway. Information: Bonnie Hyde at 775-2427.

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