A mix of old and new

April 22, 2004|by ANDREA ROWLAND

The 49th annual House and Garden Tour of Berkeley and Jefferson Counties highlights notable properties in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle.

The Shenandoah-Potomac Garden Council sponsors the tour, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 24, and Sunday, April 25. Garden club volunteers will guide visitors through the homes and gardens on the tour, describing architectural features, furnishings and interesting tidbits about the site's history. Docents also provide the floral arrangements that bring a splash of spring to each interior.

"You should expect to see a lovely setting with either an historic or interesting home decorated by garden clubs of the area, whose members are also docents," said Donna Miller of Gateway Garden Club in Martinsburg. "It is beautiful."

Tickets for the entire tour cost $15 for adults and $5 for children ages 12 and younger; admission to single sites costs $5 for adults and $3 for children. Proceeds benefit beautification efforts at local properties.


The four historic and two new buildings on the tour include:

  • Harewood near Charles Town. George Washington's brother, Samuel Washington, built this native limestone mansion in 1770. Dolly and James Madison were later married there. Washington descendants live in the private home today.

  • One Park Row in Harpers Ferry. This three-story Federal-style brick home was built prior to the Civil War and served as an Armory superintendent's house and later as a temporary hospital. Deeds dating back to 1867 are on display in the newly restored Victorian Parlor, including one signed by Jefferson Davis. Both Union and Confederate forces occupied the house during the war years.

  • The Sequoia in Martinsburg. Vibrant colors adorn this 5,000-plus-square-foot home, which features a formal piano room, furnished basement with children's "fun zone," library, exercise room and game room.

  • Old Federal Building in Martinsburg. This four-story building, built around 1895, features maple floors and solid pine doors, brass hardware and wall sconces. The Romanesque Revival-style building has housed a U.S. Post Office, an Internal Revenue Service office and a federal court. The Federal Aviation Administration bought the building in 1963 and used it for records storage and as an emergency high security communications center. The deed was transferred to the Boarman Arts Centre in 2001.

  • White House Farm in Summit Point. Established by Scottish-Irish physician John McCormick in 1742, the farm boasts a stone home and stable, springhouse, wooden curing shed and more than 60 acres of pasture and woodlands. George Washington visited the farm in the mid-1700s while surveying his nearby land, and the homestead provided food, lodging and horses to Washington's troops during the Revolutionary War.

  • High Knob in Hedgesville: Finished last year, this two-story brick home was named after the original observatory tower once located on the site. The home features upper and lower porches on the east and west sides, detailed crown moldings, natural cherry cabinets, six fireplaces, built-in china hutches and a hand-crafted walnut entertainment center.
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