Announcing the Seven Locations on Oxford’s Holiday House Tour

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On Sunday, December 3rd from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, as part of Oxford’s “Christmas on the Creek” weekend of activities, Oxford Community Center presents the Holiday House Tour.  This year there are seven homes, featuring the highly anticipated, historic, Bonfield Manor and its adjacent Counting House owned by Marianne Haug and Andres Rigo. In 1767 Samuel Chamberlaine, Sr. of “Plaindealing”deeded 950 acres of arable land and 350 acres of woodland to his youngest surviving son Samuel Chamberlaine, Jr. The land spanned from the Tred Avon River in Oxford along Boone Creek and the Choptank to Clora’s Point and Island Creek and included additional lands in other Talbot County areas such as Peck’s Point.The present owners bought the property in 1996.

The Counting House was built in 1772 as the office (downstairs) and sleeping quarters (upstairs) of the plantation overseer. It is said to be the oldest building on the property. Early maps show an inlet that ends on the side of the house. Plantation records mention that hogs of tobacco were loaded on barges here, counted and shipped out from Boone Creek onto the ships anchored in the Choptank. Workers would assemble on the porch of the Counting House waiting for barges, instructions and pay. Thus, the outside chimney to keep warm or cook as needed. Several of the original, colonial features remain such as the two fireplaces, the brick floor on the ground floor and selected clapboard siding. A brick above the original porch fireplace indicates the year of construction – 1772.

710 South Morris

The next house on the tour is 710 S. Morris Street, owned by Margaret and Ray Munsch. In 1960 Carroll S. Brinsfield, Jr. and his wife Ruth purchased what is now 708–712 South Morris Street from the Harrison family. They subsequently divided the property into three lots, retaining the center lot and building a house on it in 1967. In 1981 their son, also named Carroll,and his wife Debbie purchased the house from his father. The current homeowners purchased it from Carroll and Debbie in 2007.

Moving on to 704 S. Morris Street owned by Kathleen and Megan Hauck, is now a five bedroom, five bath open, inviting residence with an amazing Tred Avon River view from almost any room. Construction took place during 2015 and 2016. Both sides of the drive leading up to the house are lined with dozens of holly trees. Just in front of the porch,Kathleen’s perennial garden is color-filled – in season, of course. On the waterside, a screened-in porch,a lap pool, a deck, a sandy beach and a firepit/BBQ invite warm weather activity.

202 North Morris Street–The Parsons House is owned by Beth Trujillo. This house was built circa 1880 and named after the family named Parsons who lived there. It was renovated in 2004 by former Oxford resident and renowned architect George Pillorge. The current interior design was done by Oxford resident Suzanne Hanks Litty. Antiques throughout the downstairs date from the 1780s; some are from Hale Manor, England. A French boardroom table is used as a dining room table. There are two antique Italian chairs in the living room. Other items to notice are paintings by favorite artists – Oxford artists Howard and Diane Lapp are both represented. Also throughout the house are paintings done by the homeowner’s brother.Don’t miss the landscaped side yard and pool!

207B North Morris Street owned by Marjorie and Jim Robfogel is next on the tour. Although built in 2000, this is a traditional long, narrow Oxford house with tall two-over-two windows. From the entryway it is apparent this is the home of racing and cruising sailors. The front hall houses trophies won by the owners and her parents and a model of the Chesapeake Bay Log canoe Island Blossom which was built for her grandfather in 1892. The small reading room displays half-hull models of the owners’ various boats through the years and some memorabilia from races that they participated in. In the dining area are mementos from the family farm outside Oxford—two paintings of the farm, one from the late 1800s and one by John Moll in the 1960’s. The hall also has a print of the farm by another Oxford native, David Lockhart. The living room with its maritime art opens out onto the sun porch on the Tred Avon River and affords a daily view of the Oxford sailing scene. The waterfront bedroom displays family photos and paintings by Rochester artists.

The sixth house on the tour is located at 200 The Strand–A Historic Captain’s House is owned by Lelde and Heinrich Schmitz. This historic captain’s house dates back to the second half of the 19th Century. Originally it consisted of a symmetric façade with a centered entry facing the river, and inside chimneys running up each gable wall. The house had many owners. It acquired the name Chaminade (a female French pianist and composer, 1857-1944) in the 1980s. Over one and a half centuries, this simple 4-room building turned into a whimsical, larger home of Victorian style, as several additions were built in five phases. The oldest rooms display original wood flooring, original glass windows and low ceilings. The furnishings contain antique German dowry chests, cupboards, and a secretary, all from the 17th and 18th century. The owners enjoy collecting boat models and art. Art works from all over the world also include local artists.

302 East Strand

Last but not least is the 302 E. Strand house is owned by Julie and Brian Wells. “United We Strand” formerly known as “Fairview,” is a home built approximately 1877. In 1872 the property was leased for 99 years from Thomas B. Stewart and Charles F. Stewart to John B. Tull. We believe John Tull built his home on this property in 1877 following the size and styles of similar homes on Front Street, now known as The Strand. Located on the property is a WWII Plane Spotting Station. For more information on the plane spotting station see “Recollections and Recipes,” p. 60. The Spotting Station was relocated to the backyard and is currently used as a garden shed. This home was significantly damaged by Hurricane Isabel. The previous owner began restoration immediately in 2003. The high-water mark is still visible in the garage. The house received a whole new look outside and lots of interior upgrades. This restoration was completed by the new owners, the Wells family, in 2017.

Tickets are $30 can be purchase at the OCC or online at oxfordcc.org. For more information, please contact the Oxford Community Center at 410-226-5904 or email oxfordcc@verizon.net.

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