AFTER A THREE-YEAR break, Uniontown will again hold its Historic Uniontown Candlelight Tour from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
The tour will feature five private homes, a country manor house, three cottages, two churches, a Victorian-era bank, an old schoolhouse, refreshments and live music. Tickets cost $12.
The house tour was first created out of need, according to Barbara Childs, treasurer of Uniontown Improvement Association and longtime town resident.
"We did it to raise money to renovate the old bank," Childs said. "The bank needed a new furnace and a new roof. And the brick mortar had to be rounded out and new mortar had to be put in."
The association maintains the bank and a one-room brick schoolhouse, built in the 19th century.
The first tour was held in 1982 and resembled something from a Currier and Ives painting with horse-drawn buggies.
"It was beautiful," Childs recalled. "We had a lot of snow."
The last house tour in 1996 attracted more than 600 people and raised nearly $6,000, Childs said.
New this tour is the Antrim 1844 Country Inn on Trevanion Road in Taneytown. (While Antrim has been open for tours, it has not been part of Uniontown's tour.)
The inn will be open for the tour from noon to 3 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at the inn. The owners, Dorothy and Richard Mollett, bought the property in 1987.
"We had restored old houses in Baltimore as a hobby," Dorothy Mollett said. "When we saw the mansion, we fell in love with it and wanted to bring it back to life. What attracted us was the architecture and all the outbuildings were still standing."
Before that, the mansion had been vacant for 50 years, she said. Today, the inn has 22 rooms and a full dining room that is open seven days a week.
The Molletts lived at the inn while they were restoring it. But, in 1997, they bought and moved into a house in Uniontown and kept Antrim as a business.
Their house, built in 1811 for $100, will also be on the tour.
Nick and Chris Vincent will have their house on the tour, as they have in the past.
"Each time we've been on the tour, a different part of the house has been restored and shown," Nick Vincent said. "This year we will have a new kitchen."
Town residents put a lot of time and effort into the tour, said Janice Teeter, tour committee chairwoman.
One volunteer is Roland Childs, Barbara Childs' husband. Each tour, Roland rounds up two dozen volunteers to help park cars.
"The main thing is getting enough people together," Childs said. "Sometimes it gets pretty cold and that's why we have two shifts."
Parking will be available at the Lutheran Church, the old Uniontown Elementary School, and at the Farmers and Mechanics Bank parking lot across from Antrim in Taneytown.
Raffle tickets are being sold as well. Some prizes include ducks hand-carved by Uniontown resident Tom Dolan; a basket of homemade jellies by resident Freda Birchett; and dinner for two at Antrim 1844 Country Inn.
Tour committee members are: Teeter, Liz Arthur, Kit Bloom, Birchett, Childs, Anne Duffy, Julia Lockard, Judy Reilly, Carolyn Romoser and Chris Vincent.
Churches sponsor caroling
Three churches in the northwest area will get together and sponsor Christmas caroling from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 21. Members of Union Bridge Church of the Brethren, Strawbridge Methodist Church and Gospel Spreading Church will begin caroling at New Windsor Brethren Service Center at 7 p.m.
"We'll go down one street and up another by the center," said Stanley Holcombe, a member of Union Bridge Church of the Brethren. "Then, we'll get in our cars and drive to Union Bridge and carol from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. up and down Main Street."
Holcombe said this is the first time the three churches will be sponsoring the caroling party, though it's not the first time they have done things jointly.
The public is invited to join in. Information: 410-775-2270.
Student returns from tourney
Two weeks ago, I wrote about Francis Scott Key High School senior Kim Mathias, who headed to West Palm Beach, Fla., for the U.S. Field Hockey Association Festival.
Kim returned the Sunday after Thanksgiving with an even greater appreciation for the game.
"It was a very good experience," she said. "It was much more competitive than at school. And I made some new friends."
Jean Marie Beall's Northwest neighborhood column appears each Thursday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.