Historical Society of Kent County
Little Shop and Museum Have Extended Holiday Hours
The Bordley History Center, at the corner of High and Cross Streets, has unveiled its holiday windows. This year’s windows feature a furnished doll house’s based on an historic Kent County house and sleds racing down High Street.
“We strive to make our holiday windows as posh and noticeable as those on Fifth Avenue in New York City,” said Barbara Jorgenson, who is the Historical Society’s coordinator for the windows. “We have lots of lights, but it’s all about Kent County history,” she said.
This year the south window features a scale-model of “Friends of Flowers,” a house that once stood on Rt. 290 between Chesterville and Galena. “It was built about 1800 and was in serious decline when my husband measured its rooms in 1970,” explained Patricia Seitzer, owner of the dolls’ house. “My husband, William, spent many nights during 1971 in our basement building the house exactly to scale. Then I furnished the house with period furnishings. It is very authentic, inside and out, except for the kitchen, which we decided to move inside,” said Mrs. Seitzer.
The house features six fully furnished and lighted rooms. Each room has not only furniture, but many small items like tiny candle sticks on the mantles, a toy box filled with miniature toys in the boy’s room, dishes in the cupboards and on the tables, little ice skates in the hallway, and even a chamber pot under one of the beds. There is a family of five too, each dressed in Colonial style. Look for the family’s cat and two dogs too.
The north window moves forward in Kent County history by about 100 years. It features a large photograph of horse-drawn sleighs racing down High Street. The photograph was taken almost exactly in front of the Bordley History Center, facing north towards Spring Avenue. To the north is Voshell House, which was a luxury hotel at the time of the photograph. Peoples Bank is there now. “We estimate the date of the photograph to be about 1900, but there are clues which might give a better date. For example, there are electric power lines so the photo was taken after electricity came to downtown Chestertown. And the Methodist Church, behind Voshell House, still has its original steeple,” said Ms. Jorgenson.
Both windows will be on display until at least First Friday in February. The Bordley History Center, which houses a Museum and The Little Shop, is regularly open Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. “We will have special extended hours from Black Friday through Christmas Eve, probably 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays during the Farmer’s Market and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. from Monday, December 22, to Christmas Eve,” said Ms. Jorgenson.
The Little Shop has a wide array of gift items, holiday décor, and books on local history. Of special note this year is a reprint of the 1877 Atlas of Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties with beautiful colored maps, drawings of local buildings, and genealogical information on local families. A special event highlighting the Atlas will held at the Center on Friday, December 6, at 5:30 p.m. Admission is free, and local historian Kevin Hemstock who has published the reprint of the Atlas will be available to answer questions.
The Center’s museum currently has two exhibits: artifacts from the Caulk’s Field Battlefield, including a video presentation of the Battle itself, and Maryland’s Emancipation Day. Admission to the Museum is free.
The Bordley History Center is owned and operated by the Historical Society of Kent County. The Society also owns and operates the Geddes Piper House, a house museum on Court Street in Chestertown.