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First Middlesex Courthouse to be on house tour

The Middlesex County Woman’s Club building in Urbanna served as the county’s first courthouse and also as a church.

With the Thanksgiving holiday over, most of us are marking off the days until Christmas. Kids are home from school and friends and family are planning holiday get-togethers.

On Saturday, December 8, the Street Beautification Project of Urbanna will once again host the “Historic Urbanna Christmas House Tour” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This tour is a regional favorite with visitors, some arriving from as far away as Maryland, D.C., Northern Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Carolina and beyond. Out-of-towners book their reservations at local inns and bed and breakfasts a year in advance to make a weekend of it in Urbanna.

The weekend kicks off at 7 p.m. on Friday, December 7, with the annual Urbanna Hometown Christmas Parade, which has grown into a “don’t miss, whole-lot-of-fun” event.

There are two buildings and two homes on this year’s Christmas House Tour. The buildings are The James Mills Scottish Factor Store (Old Tobacco Warehouse) and the original Middlesex County Courthouse, also known as the Middlesex Woman’s Club building. The two homes are “Lansdowne” mansion, former home of Arthur Lee, and “The Marble House.” All four of these structures have great historical significance to Middlesex County and Virginia. 

Members of the Woman’s Club contribute hugely to the community of Urbanna and it has become a tradition during the holidays for their beautifully-decorated doors to be open so that visitors may enjoy the charm of the building inside and out. This year the club’s holiday theme is “Angels.” Club members will be displaying very special angels, which have a personal story attached to each one. Christmas ornaments and handmade crafts will be sold and hot-spiced cider and homemade cookies will be served in what is one of the most beautiful buildings in Middlesex County.

A short distance down Virginia Street, the store “Taste Gourmet” of Urbanna, next door to the Garden Club Interiors, will treat visitors with a wine tasting and special fare to accompany a gourmet assortment of wine. 

Crown Donuts of Gloucester will have its traveling donut wagon parked right in the center of town for the delight of passersby who can’t resist a homemade, straight-from-the-fryer donut and a hot cup of coffee.

Shops and restaurants will be open, Urbanna’s well-known Walking Tour may be enjoyed and, of course, all of this will be wrapped up in traditional Urbanna hospitality.

Tickets are available for $15 at Papeterie in Kilmarnock, and Cyndy’s Bynn, Bristow’s Store, Lowe Tide and Make Thyme in Urbanna. In Richmond, one may purchase tickets at Murphy’s (across from Cary Court), and Pigtails and Crewcuts. Tickets also will be available on the day of the tour for $20.

For information, please call 758-1606.

posted 11.20.2012

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