Gearing up for ghoulish season


October 12, 1998|By Sally Voris | Sally Voris,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

DID YOU SEE THE toxic waste dump at Rockburn Branch Park last year?

Made of barrels, with waterfalls and soapsuds, the display at the Haunted Halloween event tilted to one side as wagonloads of thrill-seekers approached.

It was probably Rick Lanciotti's best idea, said Ken Webster, a volunteer with Elkridge Adult Athletic Association and an employee of Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks, the two organizations sponsoring the event.

Webster points to Lanciotti as the source for the ghoulish ideas used by the athletic association to transform an abandoned property in Rockburn Branch Park into a haunted house.

For two years, Chris Grabowski, now a senior at Howard High School, has served as the event's artistic director. He has transformed Lanciotti's ideas into eerie, creepy designs.

Volunteers from the athletic association create the displays.

Chris' father, Dave Grabowski, helped organize the Elkridge Adult Athletic Association 20 years ago.

The other organizers were Elkridge residents Jay Herbert, Rick Johnston and Art McGinnis.

Officers of the club are Tony Grable, president; Jeff Broadhead, vice president; Danny Tracy, treasurer; and Kevin Rose, secretary.

Each year, the club develops a different theme for the haunted house. This year's theme, "The Rockburn School," will feature school motifs. The old garage on the property will be the principal's office.

One hair-raising display will feature an old-fashioned tub and a statue.

The Haunted Halloween event will be open for those age 7 and older, Friday, Saturday, Oct. 23, 24 and 30. Visitors should enter from Montgomery Road.

Hours are from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays, and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays.

Participants can take a spooky hayride through a deep forest with hanging vines across a narrow wooden bridge to the haunted house.

The ride and tour of the house cost $6.

The sponsors are offering a "not-so-scary" hayride for children ages 2 to 7 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday and Oct. 25.

The cost is $3 per person.

About 30 to 40 people volunteer each night to ride in the hay wagons, drive the tractors, monitor the bridge, work the ticket booth and run the displays.

Some volunteers, including Chris Grabowski, dress in costume.

The athletic association will give the proceeds to local youths for college scholarships.

Information: 410-313-4721.

Elkridge heritage

Nearly 100 people shared Elkridge's rich and diverse heritage in the Elk Ridge Heritage Society's House Tour on Oct. 3.

Sue Buswell, Paul Bush and Ellen Schultz served as guides on the three buses transporting participants to the tour's six sites.

Kathy Fleishmann, who organized the tour, was pleased with the variety of sites represented. The tour included four private homes in Elkridge and Relay, Trinity School and the Brumbaugh House, home of the Elk Ridge Heritage Society.

Dale Schumacher, his wife, Barbara Parker, and family members escorted tour participants round Rockburn, their home.

The original section of the house was built circa 1736 by Edward Dorsey, brother of Caleb Dorsey.

Rockburn is a large, red-brick Georgian house with 11 bedrooms, seven bathrooms and 11 fireplaces. In 1841, it was the setting for a small congregation that met for services Sunday afternoons.

From this group emerged Grace Episcopal Church.

Schumacher and Parker were among several neighbors living adjacent to Rockburn Branch -- a stream that flows within sight of their large, white front porch -- to place their land in the Rockburn Land Trust in 1989.

The private, nonprofit corporation formed to preserve the land from development was the first land trust in Howard County.

Linda and Bob Stevenson also opened their home -- the Old School House in Relay -- to the tour.

Originally built as a schoolhouse in the 1860s, the home features wainscoting and 14-foot ceilings in its large entrance room. It has been furnished with lovely and unusual antiques.

Sister Catherine Phelps, principal at Trinity School for 28 years, Sister Marian Schaechtel and Renee Van Schoor, secretary in the school's Development Office, welcomed the tour to Trinity School, a private Roman Catholic elementary school, on Landing Road.

Visitors saw the interior of Corpus Christi Chapel, which has dark wood walls and simple ornamentation.

The sisters described how the nuns used to polish the linoleum floors on their knees once a week.

"It was beautiful," they said, referring to the results of their hard work.

Fall sale

Harwood Park United Methodist Church will hold its fall rummage and bake sale from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday.

The sale will feature jewelry, baked goods, clothing, books and household items.

Church member Dorothy Baker will bring sour cherry pies.

According to Baker, church members Carolyn Crittenden will make "super" fudge, and Anna Mae McKissick will contribute "something yummy."

Marge Poteet bakes rolls or homemade bread at the church during the event.

Donations of baked goods are welcome.

Information: Dorothy Baker, 410-796-2737.

Eating in

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.