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Christmas In St. Michaels 2017
December 2 - December 10
Christmas in St. Michaels lights up the town from December 8 through 10 with festive events for the whole family. This event has celebrated the arrival of the Christmas season for 31 years. All proceeds from Christmas in St. Michaels events – a tour of homes, gingerbread display, parade, Marketplace, and Santa’s Wonderland – help fund local charities. Over the past three decades, Christmas in St. Michaels has donated more than $1 million to local non-profit organizations providing much-needed services to area residents. For more information, visit christmasinstmichaels.org.
To start things off, put on your party shoes and join the crowd at the annual Yuletide Party on Friday, December 8 at 6:30 p.m. The event, open to the public, will be held at the beautiful Miles River Yacht Club, located at 24750 Yacht Club Road. Tickets are $150 per person ($65 tax deductible).
“This is a wonderful way to kick off the holiday season,” said Yuletide Party Co-Chairman Barbara Rose. “The club will be beautifully decorated and there will be plenty of room for everyone to mix, mingle and enjoy themselves.”
Indeed, all of the ingredients are in place for a spectacular event. There will be an open bar, hot passed hors d’oeuvres, a carving station of pork and beef tenderloin and desserts. In addition, there will be a raw bar with a selection of seasonal specialities drawn from the Bay. Guests will also enjoy complimentary valet parking. Plus, you won’t be able to stay off the dance floor when Joe Martone strikes up the music starting at 8 p.m.
On Saturday, December 9, gather the whole family for the Christmas Parade, which steps off on Talbot Street at 10:30 a.m. For parents with younger kids, there is the pre-parade Breakfast with Santa, held at Harrison’s Eastern Shore, located at 1216 Talbot Street, from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Admission is $10 per child and reservations are required online at christmasinstmichaels.org. After the parade, children ages 3 to 11 can head over to Santa’s Wonderland, located at the St. Michaels School Complex, at 200 Seymour Avenue, for face painting, games and a visit with major league baseball star and St. Michaels native, Harold Baines. Admission is $2.
For lovers of historic homes, the signature event of the weekend is the very popular Christmas in St. Michaels Tour of Homes. Eight historic and significant homes, all decked out for the holidays, will be open to the public on December 9 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and December 10 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. All of the homes located in town are within walking distance of each other and transportation is provided to outlying locations. Tickets for the Tour of Homes are $25 until December 8. After that, tickets are $30.
Still need to finish up some Christmas shopping? Be sure to stop by the Christmas in St. Michaels Marketplace and Sweet Shop, located at the Granite Lodge on St. Mary’s Square. Filled with an array of artful gifts, including hand-etched wine glasses, hummingbird feeders, cuddly scarves, gloves, and homemade jams, jellies, and other gourmet goodies, Marketplace has something for everyone.
To purchase tickets, make reservations, and find out more about these and other events, visit christmasinstmichaels.org. All proceeds from Christmas in St. Michaels’ events go to fund local charities and provide much-needed services for local residents.
Gingerbread House Exhibit
Held the weekend prior to Christmas in St. Michaels is the annual Gingerbread House Preview Cocktail Party on Saturday, December 2 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Woman’s Club of St. Michaels at St. Mary’s Square. Enjoy holiday food and drink and a sneak peek at the gingerbread creations made for the annual Christmas in St. Michaels Gingerbread House Competition. Many gingerbread houses will be available for purchase. They will remain on display during Christmas in St. Michaels Weekend at the Woman’s Club. Tickets are $50 per person ($25 tax-deductible). For more information, call 410-745-0745.
Christmas in St. Michaels Tour of Homes
If you’ve ever walked the streets of St. Michaels and wondered what it would be like to peek into some of the unique and historic homes that dot the town, now is the chance. This year’s Christmas in St. Michaels Tour of Homes on December 9 and 10 features a mix of waterfront estates and waterman’s cottages in and around town. In a weekend packed with parties, parades and special events, the Tour of Homes is the highlight, drawing visitors from far and wide for a close up look at the past and the present.
Eight homes in all are featured on this year’s tour – six in St. Michaels and two in nearby Bozman. This year’s tour features several renovated old homes with modern interiors, new homes built to look old and one house that played a role in the battle that gave St. Michaels its nickname – the Town that Fooled the British. Transportation is provided to all out of town locations. Tickets are $25 for both days.
Tickets for the Christmas in St. Michaels Tour of Homes may be purchased online at christmasinstmichaels.org for $25 or in person at The Christmas Shop, Chesapeake Trading Company, Chesapeake Bay Outfitters and Charisma in St. Michaels until noon on December 8. After that time, ticket prices can be purchased in person for $30 at the Granite Lodge on St. Mary’s Square, St. Michaels.
All proceeds from the Christmas in St. Michaels Tour of Homes and other events go to fund local charities. Over the past three decades, Christmas in St. Michaels has donated more than $1 million to local non-profit organizations providing much-needed services to area residents. For more information about this and other events, visit christmasinstmichaels.org.
104 Locust Street
After several years abroad, Jonathan Dietrich and Jennifer Shatwell visited St. Michaels to celebrate Christmas with their family and immediately fell in love with the town and with this house. The two lived and worked in Washington, D.C. but visited St. Michaels every Christmas. When their careers no longer required them to work in D.C., they jumped at the chance to purchase the property two years ago. The house has had only two previous owners. The small cottage on the left is known as the Marshall House and is a 200-year-old watermen’s home. The larger house on the right is a replica of one that was present circa 1870. In 2006, the replica was constructed, the Marshall House entirely renovated and the two connected to form a single home. The structure of the Marshall House was preserved during renovation, as were the floorboards and ceiling beams upstairs – these remain the most historic elements of the home, including the iconic narrow staircase. Cleverly, wood that separated bedrooms in 1800 was used to create closet doors in the modern building. Precious artifacts excavated during the home’s construction – including a pocket watch rim, a child’s marble and shards of Chinese porcelain – have been passed from owner to owner and are proudly displayed on the living room mantle.
104 West Chew
In 1988, John and Kathleen Novak sailed to St. Michaels for one of their many weekend visits. They visited the home on 104 West Chew Avenue and immediately agreed it was a perfect retirement home. The house was built in the 1890s directly on a bed of oyster shells and was first renovated in 1996. Many of the interior walls were removed, creating an open and expansive first floor. The side porch became the kitchen with two skylights and the back room became an office/guest room. As retirement approached, the couple oversaw a final, transformational renovation, increasing the home from its current 1,700 square feet to more than 2,700 square feet of living space, adding the sunroom, plant room, exercise/laundry room, four-season porch with an antique Franklin stove and an exterior deck with a pergola. The home features hardwood floors, built-in cabinetry, a spiral staircase, a garden shed and beautifully landscaped grounds.
110 West Chew Avenue
According to the owners of this home, their love for the town of St. Michaels began nearly 40 years ago when they started sailing their boat on the Chesapeake Bay. “When we retired early this year, St. Michaels was the first choice for our new home. We were fortunate to find our dream home at 110 West Chew Avenue.” Built in 1890, it has been enlarged and remodeled many times over the last 127 years from a house with two apartments with a center staircase to its present state. “Traditional, yet with a contemporary layout and modern amenities, it’s perfect for the two of us, our dog Angie and many guests. The furniture we brought with us fit right in – the 18th century cherry slant top desk in the living room is a family heirloom and our collection of antique brass candlesticks came from our former brass restoration business.”
200 Mulberry Street
As avid boaters, the Spiegels made many trips to St. Michaels and fell in love with the town. When the Cannonball House became available, they jumped at the chance to purchase this lovely historic home. The house was built by shipwright William Merchant and is listed on the Department of Interior’s National Register of Historic Places. During the British attack on St. Michaels in August 1813, the house was hit by a cannonball, which entered the house from the southwest dormer window and rolled down the stairs between the third and second floors leaving burn marks that are still visible today. The Flemish bond brick house has not been dramatically altered in the more than 200 years. The original yellow pine floors are in the side hall entrance and also in the living and dining rooms. The triumphal archway in the entry hall, the scrollwork on the stairs and the herringbone design on the chair rails in the entry hall and living room are typical of the Federal period. Many of the fireplace mantels are believed to be original to the house. The “porch” on the front of the house dates from the Victorian period and was enclosed in the middle of the last century. The remodeled kitchen and guesthouse construction were projects completed by the previous owner. The house is furnished with a variety of period antiques.
216 East Chestnut Street
Construction of the charming Aaron Dyott house is estimated to have begun around 1850 when Aaron Dyott held the title to the lot until he sold the property in 1854 for $500 – a price that suggests the lot had been improved. The property then remained in the Dyott family until the early 20th century. The main facade is an asymmetrical three-bay elevation with a side entrance featuring flanking sash windows. Distinguished by a decorative turned-post front porch with sawn porch and eave brackets, the Aaron Dyott House is unusual for its two-story bay window on its right side. The front porch portion of the house appears to have been added during the 1870s and, based on an 1877 St. Michaels town map depicting the current T-shaped building, the house was fully completed by that time. The house has been updated during the past 100 years but still retains its interesting mid-to-late 19th century character. One of its more interesting and unexpected features is the detached structure in the back of the property. There is always a compelling reason to escape to the Carriage House where one can relax and play billiards or darts while enjoying refreshments from the wet-bar. There is also a great potting shed and a garage. The beautifully renovated and decorated home is thanks to Bob and Phyliss Kennedy, the talented and creative couple who bought the house almost 20 years ago.
304 Railroad Avenue
Originally built in the late 1920s, the blue bungalow on Railroad Avenue was originally a boarding house. The Frosts fell in love with the town and purchased the bungalow 25 years ago and since then, have worked on updating the gardens and interior in keeping with the Arts and Crafts style of the home. Extensive gardens, where there were none originally, now bloom with daffodils, hydrangeas, roses and perennials. Once inside, notice the Arts and Crafts style interior, accented by original oak millwork and original leaded glass cabinets between living and dining areas. The large dining room accommodated meals for the original owners and their children as well as two boarders who were local teachers. Today the dining room is often filled with friends and family. The current kitchen, remodeled to reflect the home’s style, was one of the boarder’s rooms and the adjacent family room housed the second boarder. The butler’s pantry/laundry room was the original kitchen. The home is filled with art created by many local artists, as well as by the owner. Feel free to visit the backyard studio. After acquiring the lot next door, Bill and his neighbor installed the small vineyard.
7510 Cooper Point Road
So what do you do on a rainy, cold November day when you are visiting the Eastern Shore for the first time? You look at property. That is how Richard and Linda Zecher came upon the property now known as Point Taken in Bozman. The Zechers started by clearing the property of a termite-infested cabin, trailer home, multiple outbuildings, a falling apart dock and numerous old tires and stuff that was piled everywhere. A year later in 2009, they broke ground on the guesthouse that they then used while building their new home. The house started with a back-of-napkin drawing that resulted in this graceful home. Point Taken has become the gathering point for their entire extended family where all enjoy the beauty of the Shore over large family meals and spectacular sunsets.
“Peter, what are we doing here? We don’t know a soul, it’s in the middle of nowhere. I’m not sure we made the right decision.” Thus spoke Virginia, my wife, some 30 years ago. We had started looking for a house in Marblehead, Massachusetts some five years before and finally, on a cold January afternoon, I realized I had fallen in love with Duxbury Point. The day after we arrived, the doorbell rang and a neighbor appeared with a bunch of flowers and a dinner invitation. That certainly wouldn’t happen in the UK. We were made to feel welcome, US style, and have since made firm friends on the Eastern Shore.Virginia measured everything and a container arrived from England full of all of our Wiltshire furniture, pictures and decorations to grace this beautiful 1936, waterfront home. There is also a flagpole which, dare I say it, has a Union Jack fluttering above when we are there. A haven for English taste. It’s heaven! P.S. St. Michaels boasts they were the town that fooled the British, but the Brits are fighting back in beautiful Bozman. Come and see for yourself!”