Take a tour of local homes during Women's Club House and Garden Tour
As one of its many efforts to impact the community, the Women’s Club of Hagerstown provides safe, affordable housing for low-income women in the area.
How fitting then, that the club raises money for its efforts through a tour showcasing homes of individuals who support the club and its mission.
The 11th Women’s Club House and Garden Tour will take place Saturday, June 15, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at nine locations around Hagerstown and the surrounding area including one stop each in Keedysville, Williamsport, Knoxville and Myersville, Md. Tickets cost $25 in advance and $30 the day of the tour.
Kelly Vance, a member of the Women’s Club and of the House and Garden Tour committee, said the event takes place every three years and features art, antiques, historic memorabilia and more. The tour is self-guided, with maps and information regarding each site provided at the first stop. Homes can be visited in any order, and docents are stationed at each house to offer information and answer questions.
“We have an array of homes that will be on display, inside and out,” Vance said. “We’ve tried to choose something for everybody. Every home is different. Some people might relate to a traditional home, a country home, a modern home. So we have an array of every different kind.”
One of the homes on the tour is that of artist Mary Ann Moore. Vance described the home on Hagerstown’s North End as being “fun and artful with a contemporary vibe.”
“It’s eclectic, with a lot of different things,” she said. “(Moore) repurposes metal, and uses it in a lot of unusual ways.”
The tour includes several historic homes, including the home of the Women’s Club on Prospect Street in Hagerstown. The 1838 federal-style home is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places and has gardens which are tended by Crossroads Garden Club. In addition to serving as home for women who live in roughly ten upstairs apartments, the building has other spaces which are rented out for occasions like weddings and business meetings.
Valentia Farm, a stone house on Poffenberger Road owned by Mary and Rod Flowers, includes two summer homes that were once used as slaves’ quarters. Another historic home on the tour is Cool Hollow House on Old National Pike, owned by Tom Freeman and Ben Tinsley.
“The home was built in 1823 and they purchased it in 2015,” Vance said. “They have completely restored it inside and out.”
On the other end of the spectrum is a Keedysville house that was built in 2014 by Patsy and Rick MacInnes.
“They built their dream retirement home, with a carriage house to keep their old cars in. It is a two-story country farmhouse with a wraparound porch and views of Fox’s Gap,” Vance said.
Vance said the House and Garden Tour has been a successful fundraiser for the Women’s Club over the years.
“People like to go into other people’s homes. They like to look around and see how somebody else did something. They look at the details and get ideas about what they can do with their own homes,” she said.
Founded in 1921, the Women’s Club is in its 98th year and its 225-plus active members are looking forward to a 100th anniversary celebration. The main goal of the club, Vance said, is to promote the welfare and education of women. Members host luncheons, a book club, groups for mahjong, card games, hiking, pickleball and other social activities, and often partners with area churches on community outreach projects. The clubs hosts activities to raise funds for area organizations including the Community Free Clinic, Girls Inc. of Washington County and Holly Place.
“We assist with food pantries. We always have something going on,” Vance said. “We are all about preserving the community and putting back into things that help women.”
Top photo: Cool Hollow House on Old National Pike in Hagerstown is one of the nine homes on display at the Women’s Club’s 11th House and Garden Tour. (Submitted photo)