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Sneak a peek

Tour offers insider views of homes, gardens

Tour offers insider views of homes, gardens

June 13, 2002|by KATE COLEMAN

katec@herald-mail.com

If you've been wondering what's inside some of those amazing Hagerstown homes, The Women's Club is opening doors to satisfy that curiosity.

The house and garden tour is a fund-raiser, the proceeds of which go toward keeping The Women's Club, on the National Register of Historic Buildings, in good repair.

One of the eight houses on this year's tour, owned by Ralph Chapin, was built in the 19th century. Another, home to the Holzapfel family, although built about 60 years ago, has been completely redone. Reason enough to satisfy your curiosity with more than a drive-by.

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The real deal

Cindy and Jim Holzapfel didn't start out to collect artworks particularly by local artists, but paintings by Les Gardner and Ben Jones grace the walls of their Fountain Head Road home, which itself could be considered a work of art.

The 2 1/2 story, cut-stone center hall colonial home has had only four owners. The Holzapfels bought the house in 1999 and have redone every room, adding a screened porch in the front of the house.

The back of the house, on Fountain Head Golf Course's 14th fairway, was intended to be the front, but street layouts have been changed since the house was built in 1939.

A previous owner was a master gardener, and the greenhouse, recently reglazed, is useful for Cindy Holzapfel's gardening projects, which include a flower and herb garden just beyond the back porch.

The Holzapfels added two bedrooms and two baths, finishing the attic level. The basement now is finished, original windows and old stone walls and fireplace complementing a wide-screen television. The pingpong table, laundry room and steam bath also are in the spacious basement.

The house is furnished with late 18th- and 19th-century antiques as well as reproductions.

The large living room, to the immediate right of the entry foyer, is bright, warmed by its soft golden yellow walls, sunshine coming through the windows at the back of the house and from doors leading to the "sunroom" and screened porch. A photographic portrait of the family of six hangs above the living room mantel, and painted portraits of Holzapfel ancestors watch over the dining room.

An elegant farmhouse

Ralph Chapin turned down three previous requests to open his home for The Women's Club's House and Garden Tour. He said "yes" this year because he recently painted the three bedrooms.

When committee members said he didn't have to show the upstairs, Chapin told them the rooms were painted. The upstairs would be seen.

Ralph Chapin and his wife, Andrea, bought the late-1800s house on the large lot on the corner of Potomac McKee avenues in 1980. The couple called their now 22-room home "Cynosure," which means "center of attention" and also is the former name for the North Star, appropriate for the lovely home in Hagerstown's North End.

Andrea Chapin died in 1992, but she still has a presence in many of the home's details. Her handiwork includes delicate stenciling, hand-crafted baskets and, on the front-door transom and side lights, shades of "macralap" - their design created by pulling fibers from the cloth.

Andrea Chapin restored an antique wicker stroller and baby carriage, using them to transport her son. That son, Ryan Chapin, married last year, and he and his wife rent the 10-room north wing of the house.

The house is filled with other antiques - many of them heirlooms from the couple's families. There are woven quilts, paintings by a great-aunt, a Russian samovar and a great-grandmother's sofa.

Old trees shade the spacious yard, and just outside town, Cynosure retains a country feeling. But the feeling is refined.

"Even though it's a farmhouse, it's elegant," Ralph Chapin says.

If you go

The House and Garden Tour sponsored by The Women's Club at Hagerstown is Saturday, June 15, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Admission is $18 for all eight stops, or $6 per single house. Cost includes tax.

Tickets will be available at The Women's Club today, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Friday, June 14, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m.

Tickets also will be available at the seven tour homes the day of the tour.

Tickets also can be purchased at the following businesses through tour day:

Books'n Things, Longmeadow Shopping Center, Hagerstown; Camillions, 17561 York Road, Hagerstown; Carol & Company, 25 W. Washington St., Hagerstown; Fahrney's Hallmark, South End Shopping Center, Hagerstown; Katie's House Inc., 7 N. Main St., Smithsburg; Rooster Vane Antiques, 2 S. High St., Funkstown; Wilson's Store, 1492 Rufus Wilson Road, Clear Spring; and Wisteria Cove, 724 Potomac Ave., Hagerstown.

A luncheon will be available at The Women's Club, 31 S. Prospect St., from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; cost is $6.50.

Those attending are asked to wear flat shoes. Smoking and taking photographs in the homes are not permitted.

The homes on display

Terrace Hills

1. The Wolford Home

13023 Lance Circle

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