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Druid's Oak offers something different

December 14, 2006|by MARLO BARNHART

HANCOCK - Looking for something a little different this Christmas?

Druid's Oak at 103 W. Main St. might be just what you've been looking for.

While the shop is mainly for French and Indian War and Revolutionary War re-enactors, there are items that anyone and everyone could use for unique Christmas gifts.

"We have rustic and historic home decor," said Neal Redmond, who owns the shop with his wife, Margie.

In addition, the shop stocks a line of prints and period Christmas music CDs.

Soaps and hand creams made with milk from goats also are available, as are candles of all shapes and varieties.

The Redmonds, who live nearby in Little Orleans, Md., lived in Crofton, Md., until about eight years ago. For seven years before that, they had supplied re-enactors of those two wars with clothing for their needs.

Mostly, the Redmonds journeyed from re-enactment to re-enactment to ply their wares as "sutlers." When gasoline prices began to soar, business went down as fewer re-enactors were journeying long distances to events.

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"I made all my own gear and saved a lot of money," he said. "Then, I started making things for friends."

When he got laid off, Neal Redmond put an ad in Muzzleloader magazine and started looking for a place to open a store.

The shop in Hancock had been a food store and tattoo parlor. The couple cleaned and remodeled, and opened the store about 18 months ago.

"It was fun putting this together," Margie Redmond said. "It's a quieter, slower pace."

When she is not in the store, she is a commander in the U.S. Navy Reserves.

"I was in the Navy when I met Neal, and went with him to Fort Frederick," Margie Redmond said.

When it came time to name the Hancock store, Neal Redmond remembered a ring of oak trees that made a perfect circle where he used to live.

A magical place by moonlight, Neal Redmond was inspired to draw an oak tree with roots exposed in ink, and added the word "Druid" to the name to commemorate the educated caste in Celtic society.

"I wanted the name to mirror my Celtic roots," he said.

Both he and Margie are dressed in period costumes whenever they are in the store.

The couple now have been married 15 years. Margie Redmond's Navy career has deployed her twice, to the Persian Gulf in 2001 and to Puerto Rico in 2002.

Although she has been back since 2003, Margie Redmond still does Navy duty in Norfolk, Va., from time to time.

The store is open Fridays and Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. For information, call 301-478-3200 or go to www.druidsoak.com.

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