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Architecture one of many highlights on annual Historical Houses of Worship Tour

Architecture one of many highlights on annual Historical Houses of Worship Tour

Anna Cueto, Miller House curator, has one suggestion to those participating in Historical Houses of Worship Tour: look up.

With architectural details and stained glass windows, Cueto said she likes to remind those walking along downtown Hagerstown from place to place to also look up and see what the details the town has to offer.

The Historic Houses of Worship Tour contains 13 houses of worship, plus the Miller House, all within walking distance in downtown Hagerstown. The free tour will be from 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 26.

A free brochure and map can be obtained at the Miller House or at Visit Hagerstown Visitors Center, or online at the Hagerstown Area Religious Council’s website. And participants can preregister at to save time registering that day.

Cueto said she loves the sense of community, especially with around 1,000 visitors who visit every year.

But the history lover in her also enjoys how the tour celebrates downtown Hagerstown’s architecture.

“Of course, when you think of Hagerstown you don’t think of the great cathedrals of Europe, but actually most of our churches and our synagogue were built at a point of time where there was money in town, and a lot of these elements are repeated,” she said. “We have so many beautiful rose medallion windows that you’d typically have to pay several thousand dollars to go to Rome or England to see architecture like that we have in some of our participants this year.”

That doesn’t even count the number of stained glass windows that can be found downtown.

“Each denomination has their own significance and own style,” she said. “Some are brand new and great modern works and some date back to construction in the 1890s to 1910s.”

Cueto said the churches will still be decorated for the holidays. And even though Hanukkah is over, Congregation B’Nai Abraham will still have many of its religious items out for visitors to see.

In addition to the tour, in conjunction with the Washington County Arts Council, there is a photo contest where photographers have a chance to snap a photo that might be worth $200. See sidebar below for more information.

The Miller House will host a gallery of last year’s entrants.

As for those visiting, Cueto said those participating in the tour will have the chance to see the great German immigrant influence.

The rose medallions are just one of the many examples of the influence, which she said about 10 of the churches have that can be seen from the street and inside the churches.

“I hope they find them all,” she said.

Top photo: St John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church will participate in this year's Historical Houses of Worship Tour in Hagerstown. (Herald-Mail file photo)

If you go ...

WHAT: Historic Houses of Worship Tour
WHEN: 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 26; snow date is Thursday, Dec. 27
WHERE: 13 sites (see list below)
COST: Free 
CONTACT: To register online in advance, visit
MORE: To download a map go to, or pick one up at the Miller House of Visit Washington County visitors center

Included on the tour:

• St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 601 Washington Ave.

• Washington Square United Methodist Church, 538 Washington Ave.

• First Baptist Church, 15 High St.

• St. John’s Episcopal Church, 101 S. Prospect St.

• The Presbyterian Church of Hagerstown, 20 S. Prospect St.

• Congregation B’Nai Abraham,  53 E. Baltimore St.

• Otterbein United Methodist Church, 108 E. Franklin St.

• Zion Reformed United Church of Christ, 201 N. Potomac St.

• Trinity Lutheran Church, 15 Randolph Ave. (at North Potomac Street)

• John Wesley United Methodist Church, 129 N. Potomac St.

• St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 141 S. Potomac St.

• Asbury United Methodist Church,  155 Jonathan St.

• Christ’s Reformed Church,  130 W. Franklin St.

Also featured on the tour:

• The Miller House – 135 W. Washington St. The winning photo and honorable mention photos from the 2017 Tour photo contest will be on display here.

Snap a photo for a chance at cash

The Historic Houses of Worship Tour in partnership with The Washington County Arts Council will host its annual photo contest to promote the 2019 Historic Houses of Worship Tour.

Photos should capture an image from the Historic Houses of Worship Tour Wednesday, Dec. 26 (or snow date Dec. 27).

One selected original photograph will be commissioned by the tour organizers and will be used to create posters and promotional materials for the 2019 Tour.

Contestants may enter up to three images to the contest. The winner will be announced in February 2019 and will receive $200.

Email images of the works to be considered and entry form to

Include full name, mailing address, telephone and email address.

Alternatively, artists may submit digital images by sending a CD, marked with the artist’s name, and a completed Entry Form to: Washington County Arts Council, 34 S. Potomac St. Suite 100, Hagerstown, MD 21740

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