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Every nook and cranny filled with holiday cheer on Renfrew Museum and house tour

December 08, 2012|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — Whether it was for the love of seeing historic stone houses or to marvel at breathtaking Christmas decor, hundreds visited the Stone House Tour and More at Renfrew Museum and Park on Saturday.

For a $10 tour ticket, visitors were given a glimpse of Christmas in 1818 as they toured the Renfrew Museum House, two private homes on Welty Road — the McCracken House and the Damazo House — and the Oller House, home of the Waynesboro Historical Society.

“It’s history come to life,” Linda King of Waynesboro said as she walked out of the Renfrew Museum House.

Darlene Weddle of Waynesboro said she would go through the home again and again.

“We have something here in town that we need to keep and enjoy,” she said. “It’s just beautiful. It’s better this year than I think I’ve ever seen it. It’s magic.”

The 1812 stone house was decorated by Barbara McCracken, who also decorated her home that was part of Saturday’s tour.

Every nook and cranny of Renfrew Museum House was filled with holiday cheer achieved through the careful placement of greens, twinkling lights or a splash of red.

Dade Royer, executive director of Renfrew Museum and Park, said the event is a fundraiser for Renfrew.

In addition to raising funds for the nonprofit organization, it’s also about sharing the home with the community, he said.

“It’s the community and the surrounding region’s community and park, and we like to open it up for people to come in and enjoy it,” Royer said.

Just a short walk from Renfrew are the McCracken House and Damazo House.

Both homes were part of a 78-acre working farm. The McCracken house was the main house and the Damazo house was the tenant home for the cook and the farmhand.

Dick and Barbara McCracken bought their home on Welty Road in April 2009.

It is a lot of work decorating her home and Renfrew, but Barbara McCracken said it’s something she enjoys doing.

“It is a fundraiser for Renfrew and I serve on the (Renfrew) board,” McCracken said. “And I think people have driven by this house and were so curious. This just lent itself to open it up to the community, and people have thanked us over and over again to be able to come in, and that’s what we want to do.”

The circa-1792 house has a well in the kitchen that is fed by a spring running through the basement of the house. In addition, there are seven fireplaces in the home and McCracken has 57 Christmas trees in the house, each decorated with a theme — one is decorated in red, white and blue; another is decorated with all crocheted ornaments.

“I think people don’t get an opportunity to see these places, and I think it’s just great to show the people what the old homes were like,” McCracken said.

Bonnie Damazo and her husband, Frank, purchased their circa-1812 home in 2004.

The original part of the home is 200 years old, she said. An addition was added in 1980.

“I do enjoy being a part of the tour. We’ve met so many nice people from Waynesboro that I would have never met otherwise,” Damazo said.

Joanne and Ken Timian have a bed and breakfast in Chambersburg, Pa., that was built in 1920.

“We just love all the stone houses,” Joanne Timian said.

“I’m so grateful to see that these homes are so lovingly restored and taken care of. It’s something that people can look back and see the living history,” she said as she toured the Damazo House.

This was the third and final year for the Stone House Tour and More.

Royer said Renfrew will host Christmas on the Farm in 2013.

“It’s going to be more live farm animals, a nativity scene, and we’re going to open up all the buildings on the property,” Royer said.

He said there is another farmhouse in the back of the Renfrew property that will be included in the tour.

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