Guided tour Saturday to highlight ghosts, legends of New Windsor

Neighbors

October 21, 1999|By Jean Marie Beall | Jean Marie Beall,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

FORGET ABOUT Jason, Freddie Krueger and the rest of the make-believe freaks. For real ghost stories, go to New Windsor on Saturday. New Windsor Heritage Committee will sponsor its Candlelight Legends and Ghost Walk and Homes Tour from 6 p.m. to 9: 30 p.m.

"In the past we have done a daylight house tour," said Barbara Lilly, a committee member. "We decided to do something different this year."

With so much local lore and history, committee members decided this year's house tour would be a guided one, with storytellers in period costumes.

The tour, which takes about an hour, will begin at Church and High streets in front of New Windsor Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, built in 1841.

Displays of New Windsor history will be shown in the church's Fellowship Hall.

"We want to get them a little acquainted before they go on the tour," Lilly said.

Tours will be limited to 20 people, with two storytellers/tour guides for each group.

People will be given a sticker, designating they have paid, and may go back through the houses after their tour is over.

While they wait to start the tour, people may listen to music in the upstairs of the church.

Music will be performed by Lori Douglas, a flutist and Carroll County music teacher, and several of her students.

The tour will cover about a half-dozen blocks, which will include four houses open to the public, two of which have not been on previous tours.

Lilly said storytellers would pause at other spots to recount local lore and ghost stories.

The tour will start with a story about a young woman named Maggie Mehring, a student at a boarding school that is now the house at 210 High St. adjacent to the church.

She wrote in her diary of hearing a loud noise and, when she looked out her window, saw about 5,000 Union soldiers walking up the street.

The soldiers were on their way to Gettysburg. Two of the soldiers died in New Windsor and are buried in the Presbyterian Church cemetery.

"We don't know their names," Lilly said. "We wouldn't have known they were there if it hadn't been for her diary, which she was keeping as a school project."

During the tour, people will hear about the house in which pools of water would mysteriously appear; about a bank robbery; and about Diehlman Inn at Main and High streets.

The building was built in 1790 by Isaac Atlee, founder of New Windsor.

Sam Pierce, one of the storytellers and a Heritage Committee member, said one of the purposes of the tour is to raise money to restore the sulphur spring and springhouse in town.

"This was the only source of water for the town of New Windsor," Pierce said. "In the deeds, it was written that people could not build a well on their property. The water came from the spring instead. The springhouse is still standing and the spring is still there. It is one of the few remaining original properties of the town."

Pierce said he volunteered to be a storyteller because he wanted to help, and, having been a salesman, storytelling came naturally.

Pierce's wife, Doris, helped sew some of the costumes.

The tour, which costs $10, will end at High and Church streets, where refreshments will be served at Bear Necessities.

For those who want heartier fare, New Windsor Fire and Hose Company No. 1 Ladies Auxiliary will serve roast beef platters from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, at its fire hall in town. The platters cost $5.50.

Bike rodeo

Taneytown Police Department and the city of Taneytown will sponsor a Bike Rodeo Day at 10 a.m. Saturday behind Northwest Middle School.

The event is open to elementary and middle school pupils. Pupils must bring a bicycle and helmet.

"One of our police officers, Brian Jestes, started the idea," said Stacey Fritz, recreation director for Taneytown. "Brian will do a presentation. The kids will then go through an obstacle course with different patterns. The child who goes through the fastest and the safest, wins."

Bike helmets will be awarded as prizes. Information: 410-751-1100.

Eighth annual life chain

On Oct. 2, 40 people stood in a human chain at Baltimore and York streets in Taneytown to show their support for the rights of the unborn.

The event, promoted by Carroll County Life, was called the eighth annual Life Chain.

"Respect Life Sunday is always the first Sunday of October," said Vincent Perticone, who helped organize the event in Taneytown. "Nationwide, there were about 1.4 million people forming human chains. People stand on sidewalks in a peaceful demonstration, a peaceful show of solidarity on this issue."

Jean Marie Beall's Northwest neighborhood column appears each Thursday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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