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Urbanna Christmas Tour set for Dec. 4

The annual Urbanna Christmas Tour will be Saturday, December 5, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with some locations open again on Sunday, December 6, from noon to 4:30 p.m.

The 2009 tour will again feature a “designer showcase” home, “Walesa” just outside of Urbanna on Old Virginia Street. This fabulous home overlooking beautiful Robinson’s Creek has never been open to the public before.

Featured designers at Walesa will include Annie Rooney, Mathews; Brad Stephens, Irvington; Chesapeake & Crescent, Kilmarnock; Cyndy’s Bynn, Urbanna; Garden Club, Urbanna; Interior  Innovations, White Stone; Lewis Trimble, Kilmarnock; Make Thyme, Urbanna; Rolling Road Antiques, Urbanna; Snug Harbor Interiors, Mathews; and West End Antiques Mall, Richmond.

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The Old Tobacco Warehouse
Also on the tour is the Historic Middlesex Courthouse (Woman’s Club), Old Tobacco Warehouse (Urbanna Visitor’s Center), and Lansdowne. All three are on Virginia Street.

Built in 1766, the Old Tobacco Warehouse is one of the oldest surviving mercantile structures in America associated with the sale of tobacco.  Before the emergence of the Scottish factors, tobacco and other crops were shipped directly from the large plantations to England in exchange for goods on the return voyage.  The Scots established stores where the tobacco was exchanged immediately for cash and credit with which to purchase imported goods for sale.

Today, the Old Tobacco Warehouse serves as the Town of Urbanna Visitor’s Center.  On display within this historic building is the historic John Mitchell’s Map, and visitors will be able to view hand-made model boats.

The Mitchell Map was used as a primary map source during the Treaty of Paris (1783) for defining the boundaries of the newly independent United States. It was in this context that John Mitchell made his map. His purpose was to present to the British public an image of all of the colonies so that the true scale and extent of the French threat could be exposed. He completed his first draft in 1750.

Be sure to stop by the Tobacco Warehouse and enter a ballot to guess the name and purpose of the unusual tool found there. Numerous prizes (gift certificates with local merchants) will be awarded to the winners.

Shuttle buses will be taking tour guests from Urbanna United Methodist Church directly to the tour sites.

Parking will not be permitted at Walesa and entry to the property will be restricted to shuttle buses only. Free parking will be available at the church along with boxed lunches, free hot cider and cookies. The church also will have its annual bake sale.

Tickets are $15 and available in advance at the following Urbanna locations: Bristow’s Store, Cyndy’s Bynn, Papeterie, Make Thyme and The Wild Bunch; and in Richmond at the Hampton House on Grove and Libby.

Tickets are also available the day of the tour only at Urbanna United Methodist Church.

The annual tour is sponsored by the Urbanna Beautification Committee, the House Tour Committee and the Urbanna Business Association. The money from the tour is given back to the town to be used for the beautification and renovation projects, which include new sidewalks, lamp posts, landscaping and benches.

Urbanna shops will be open along with area restaurants and local motels and bed and breakfasts for the convenience of visitors.

Visitors also can come early and enjoy the lighting of the town Christmas tree and the annual Urbanna Christmas Parade on Friday, December 4.

For more information, call the Town of Urbanna at 804-758-2613.

posted 11.18.2009

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