Historic Uniontown will come to life during candlelight tour

December 11, 1992|By Judy Reilly | Judy Reilly,Contributing Writer

Historic Uniontown will glitter like an old-fashioned Christma card Sunday when the town presents its biannual candlelight tour.

Visitors to the community, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, can tour five impeccably restored homes and two historic buildings.

House lovers and history buffs will enjoy walking through homes that were built as long ago as 1778 and have undergone numerous restorations. Uniontown residents have been painting, papering and sprucing up for the tour since planning for the event began in March. Their homes have been decorated for the holidays with the help of the Carroll Garden Club.

Several activities will create the atmosphere of a 19th-century village and put visitors in a holiday frame of mind. Live Christmas music will fill the air, and strolling carolers will wander through town. You'll be able to buy Christmas candy at the General Store, visit shops filled with handmade Carroll County crafts, purchase a hot lunch and decorative greens at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, and take the family for a ride in a horse-drawn carriage. It will be a step back in time -- "like a scene out of Charles Dickens," says Becky Vogt, a Uniontown resident and ** tour chairwoman.

Houses chosen for the tour feature architecture or interior decorating that depicts life in 19th-century Carroll County. "I hope people will come away with an appreciation for the results of historic preservation, and see what that means," says Mrs. Vogt. The old Uniontown Academy and bank are also open for the tour.

In the home of Howard and Miriam West, longtime Uniontown residents, a visitor comes in the back door to a kitchen that features a walk-in fireplace. The hearth is blazing, the table is set for lunch, antiques and family treasures fill the room.

The centerpiece in the adjacent dining room is the large table where Confederate officers ate a meal on their way to Gettysburg. Vibrant needlepoint on the dining room chairs was stitched by Mrs. West's mother.

Portraits of Mrs. West's great-grandparents decorate the center hallway, as do framed presidential Christmas ornaments that commemorate her years addressing White House greeting cards.

The West home and the others on the tour reflect the graciousness of country living, personal decorating and the love and effort that go into preserving old homes for contemporary use.

The Historic Uniontown Candlelight Tour starts at noon Sunday. Five private homes, public buildings, buggy rides and refreshments are included in the $10 donation. Proceeds from the tour will be used for the preservation of the Old Bank and Academy.

Information: 775-7635, or the Carroll County Office of Tourism, 1-800-272-1933.

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