This isn't a house and garden tour it's a pilgrimage


April 18, 1993|By Dorothy Fleetwood | Dorothy Fleetwood,Contributing Writer

House and garden tours move into Maryland this week with the opening of the 56th annual Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage on Saturday in Kent County. Additional tours are listed in Cecil, Anne Arundel, Harford, Baltimore and Calvert counties with a final one in Baltimore City May 12.

The pilgrimage opens with a tour of Chestertown and its fine old 18th- and 19th-century homes, along with visits to properties on the surrounding waterways. Lunch will be available at the Chester River Yacht and Country Club. Sunday's tour in Cecil County lists a number of homes that date to the 1700s.

May 1 finds pilgrims in the southern part of Anne Arundel County and in Annapolis, where the Governor's Mansion will be open from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. For the first time in 15 years, tour-goers can visit the old stone farmhouses of Harford County and the only 18th-century French house in the United States.

Ruxton will be showcased on the Baltimore County tour May 5. Begun as a colony of summer homes in the 19th century, Ruxton enjoys the best of both worlds -- it's convenient to the city, yet offers the peace and quiet of the country. Beautiful old gardens and homes with waterfront views are featured on the Calvert County tour May 8. The final tour May 12 is in the Poplar Hill area of Baltimore City. Like Ruxton, this is a neighborhood with a country air, but in this case located within the confines of the city.

Houses will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine. Tickets cost $15 for each complete tour; $5 for an individual home. The pilgrimage is sponsored by the Federated Garden Clubs of Maryland, Maryland Historical Trust, Preservation Maryland, Maryland Historical Society, the National Society of Colonial Dames of America in the State of Maryland and the Baltimore Museum of Art. Proceeds benefit preservation and restoration projects in Maryland. Tour books can be purchased by sending $2 to Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage, 1105-A Providence Road, Baltimore, Md. 21286, or call (410) 821-6933, weekdays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., except Wednesdays.

Festival at Hagley

The Irish Workers' Festival is one of the big events of the year at the Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington, Del. It will be held Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. to celebrate the contributions Irish workers made to the du Pont powder mills. The original mills and du Pont estate are located on Hagley grounds.

Much of the day's activity will take place on Blacksmith Hill, the restored workers' community, where performers include Irish step dancers, balladeers and a musical duo. Other attractions are 19th-century games, antique cars, demonstrations, clowns, a storyteller and a toy-maker. Visitors can also tour the du Pont family home, its restored gardens and the first office of the DuPont Company. Traditional Irish ham and cabbage and other foods will be served from a decorated trolley. Irish imports will also be for sale.

Admission is $9 for adults; $4 for children under 14; $24 family rate. Entrance to the festival will be from Buck Road east, off state Route 100. Call (302) 658-2400.

Celtic Festival

The 15th annual Celtic Festival of Southern Maryland is scheduled onSaturday at Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum in St. Leonard.

A tribute to the cultural heritage of the Celtic people of Scotland, Ireland and Wales, the event provides a day of music and dance, stage performances, storytelling, crafts, ethnic food and athletic competitions from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Professional and amateur athletes will compete in the Scottish Heptathlon with such events as the hammer throw, caber toss, sheaf toss, junior highland games and a kilted mile foot race. The Southern Maryland Scottish Fiddling Championship and competitions for

pipers and highland dancers are also big attractions.

Admission is $6 for adults; $3 for seniors and children. From state Routes 2/4 in Southern Maryland go west on state Route 264 (Brooms Island Road) or west on Parran Road, then south on state Route 265 (Mackall Road). Call (410) 257-9003.

Antiques and flowers

Antiques and "Historic Houses in Flower" combine for an unusual event in the Philadelphia area this week. Seven 18th-century house museums in Fairmount Park will be decorated by area florists and open for tour. In addition, antiques discovery programs will be presented by the Park House Guides of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Events include a lecture by Albert Sack, an art and antiques dealer in New York, and a reception and tour preview on Thursday evening. On Friday a panel discussion by specialists from Christie's includes a continental breakfast. The houses will be open Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. A plant sale will be held in the Horticulture Center, and the consultants from Christie's will give verbal appraisals. Tour tickets cost $15 and include one appraisal. Call (215) 684-7922.

West Virginia tour

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