House filled with bears featured on homes tour

October 01, 1993|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Staff Writer

There are hundreds of reasons why people would want to visit Connie Anders' tiny gray-and-white house. Many of them are cuddly and unbearably cute.

As one of the places to be featured on this weekend's New Windsor Homes Tour, Ms. Anders' cottage-style home, filled with her extensive teddy bear collection, is bound to leave visitors with a warm, fuzzy feeling.

"Oh, this just started when a little girl gave me this, my first bear, in 1986," Ms. Anders said, holding a small figurine holding a balloon with 'You Are Special' on it. "From there, it just sort of happened."

What happened was her accumulation of more than 200 bear figurines, stuffed animals, pictures, collectors' plates and any other bear-abilia she could buy.

Two stuffed pandas enjoying a picnic greet visitors on the wooden porch outside Ms. Anders' pre-World War II home. To the left of the entrance is the television room filled from couch to ceiling with just about every bear item imaginable.

Ms. Anders, a records secretary at Western Maryland College, also has a large collection of cobalt blue glass.

"I don't know the history, but I love the color blue," Ms. Anders said. "Anytime I go on vacation and I see it, I have to pick it up."

With help from friends, Ms. Anders restored the home after she bought it in 1985 from the builder, carpenter Bernard F. Weishaar, who lived there until he moved to a nursing home a year before his death.

In the back yard, she constructed a gazebo, from which she and her fiance, Rick Bittman, can view the gardens filled with zinnias and scarlet sage.

"It's just an excellent example of what you can do with limited space," said Sharon Schuster, vice president of the New Windsor Heritage Committee, which sponsors the home tour.

There are plenty of larger homes and buildings on the tour, including Mayor Jack A. Gullo's law office, a former carriage house built in the 1800s; a 19th-century log home that was restored in 1981; and St. Luke's Church, built in 1766 on land donated by Ms. Anders' great-great grandfather, George Winters.

The Heritage Committee sponsors the home tour the first Sunday of October every other year.

Tickets cost $10 and will be available beginning at noon Sunday and during tour hours -- 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. -- at St. Paul's United Methodist Church, Main and High streets. Information: 875-2054 or 635-2654.

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