Candlelight House Tour offers a peek into historic homes


Kathryn Stella says she used to walk down the street, peer at the home and just wonder what was inside.

FREDERICK, Md (WDVM) — Downtown Frederick owes some of its charm to the rows of historic homes that line the streets.

A Victorian-era townhome along South Market Street has stood for the last 151 years.

Kathryn Stella says she used to walk down the street, peer at the home and just wonder what was inside.

“Seeing these homes with such intense personality, none of them are exactly the same, it just keeps you interested. You’re always tempted to want to look in the window. Well here’s an opportunity to come in and get a chance to look around,” Stella explained.

Stella and her husband purchased the house last year, and are now among eight different families who are opening the door to their historic homes for thousands of eyes during Celebrate Frederick’s Candlelight House Tour and fundraiser.

The fundraiser has been a stable for about 30 years and funding goes towards Celebrate Frederick events like In the Streets and the Summer Concert Series, both of which are free to the public.

Some homeowners invite extra help to decorate the space for the holiday season and tour. Stella called upon garden columnist and author Marianne Willburn and greenhouse grower, Louisa Zimmermann-Roberts.

“We wanted to bring those Victorian themes of personal collections and botanical interests. The Victorian period was a huge period for exploration and bringing plants in, and also abundance and sort of the Dickensian Christmas feel,” Willburn explained.

The duo, alongside Stella, has been working all week to bring the holiday feel into the first-floor of the home.

What you can expect to see in abundance is greenery–blue spruce, boxwood and more that Zimmerman-Roberts hand-picked from local Thanksgiving Farms. You can see the greenery draped along the historic woodwork of the home’s staircase.  

The décor, in hues of gold and silver, mix in with Stella’s own art collection and antiques.

She identified one oil painting in particular that was done by her grandmother in the early 1900s during a time when female painters were only expected to use watercolors.

She hopes that visitors see the balance of both old, historic architecture and artwork blending with modern touches.

“The house blending with the modern world, while antique type of paintings and art also working with modern art. These things can mix really well and that’s something I want people to notice.”

For more information on the Candlelight House Tour visit

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