Montpelier Mansion holding fund-raiser tomorrow for demonstration kitchen, to be finished in 2002


September 28, 2001|By Lourdes Sullivan | Lourdes Sullivan,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

MONTPELIER Mansion is a small historic delight in our area. This Colonial-era plantation survived remarkably well through 200 years of additions and renovations. Set on a park, the mansion offers tours of the restored rooms, as well as special events in the later (architecturally consistent) additions.

But one thing the mansion lacked was a restored kitchen.

After years of debate, the mavens at the mansion hit upon a brilliant idea. Rather than try to re-create a working Colonial-era kitchen, with the attendant fire and safety hazards (just think of cooking over a fire in a long dress), they thought of building a demonstration kitchen.

According to site manager Mary Jurkiewicz, once the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission and the Friends of Montpelier Mansion hit upon this goal, the idea took off. The 1914 brick carriage house turned out to be the perfect site - roomy, unused and with large doors that look like barn doors. The demonstration kitchen could fit right in.

"The building is a very solid building," Jurkiewicz said. "Most of the work is going to be cosmetic."

The Park and Planning Commission has been stockpiling recycled materials for the kitchen, Jurkiewicz said. "There's wood from old tobacco barns. We have some brick saved from other buildings for our floor."

The project is estimated to cost about $20,000, a pittance compared with the cost of having to refurbish a site to house a working kitchen, in which the cost of the fireplace alone would be prohibitive.

Tomorrow, the mansion will hold its first fund-raiser. The goal is to open the kitchen by winter 2002. Called "Shindig in the Attic," the auction promises to be a bargain-hunter's delight and a fund-raiser all in one. A silent auction will run from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Visitors can while away the afternoon listening to the Peabody Ragtime ensemble play favorites, nibbling on appetizers, and getting a jump on holiday shopping.

Jurkiewicz said auction items include weekend escapes to a bed-and-breakfast in Annapolis; dinner and museum passes; a day on the Chesapeake Bay for six on a 32-foot fishing boat; a round of golf for four at Patuxent Greens; and a trip to the Bahamas.

Among the items to be had are antiques, collectible dolls and stamps, concert tickets to the Peabody, tools and gift baskets for tea lovers.

Admission is $5. It may be the cheapest date in town.

The rain date is from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Information: 301-953-1376.

Web notes

Are you using your computer only to e-mail family members and keep up with the news? Discover the wealth of information available without the tedium of exploration.

The Savage librarians, that most helpful crew, offer free half-hour private lessons in navigating the Web.

The content will be geared to patrons' interests and skill levels. If you want to learn how to help your kids find authoritative Web sites, locate the best information about hobbies and sports, or get an overview of the Web, make an appointment. The staff is knowledgeable, friendly and endlessly patient.

Information about this or other programs: 410-880-5980.

Golfing opportunity

The Atholton High School dance program is again raising funds by holding a golf tournament. The event will be held Oct. 18 at the Patuxent Greens Country Club in Laurel.

The cost, $90, gives patrons the use of the course, breakfast, lunch and an afternoon performance by the dance club.

Information: 410-313-7065.

Bazaar, flea market, fair

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Laurel will hold a bazaar, flea market and fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 6 on the church grounds. Food, assorted crafts and collectibles will be for sale.

In addition, the church choir has planned a secular concert of selections from The Sound of Music. It's a great way to spend a Saturday morning: Eat a good breakfast, shop for bargains and attend a concert. And there's still all of Saturday afternoon left to run errands.

The church is at 7607 Old Sandy Spring Road.

Information: 301-725-1666.

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