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Germantown Historical Society to Host Wine & Cheese Fundraiser at Redwall Mansion

October 5, 2016

The Germantown Historical Society will host a wine and cheese fundraiser at the Redwall mansion on Friday, October 14, from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm. The mansion is located between Germantown and Boyds, just off Clopper Road at 18505 Crossview Road. The proceeds will benefit the GHS Historic Germantown Bank Building restoration project. The 1922 Bank with a walk-in vault will become a museum of local history and of the history of banking, after restoration.

   The Redwall Mansion, is a magical place, taking you back to the days of Camelot in jolly old England. You are first greeted by a sword in a stone marking the entrance, and rounding the corner, you see a fire-breathing dragon, then you come upon this magnificent brick and timber Tudor Style mansion with a tower and a cloister walkway connecting the main mansion to the carriage house. 

   This enchanting place, referred to by locals as the “Boyds Castle,” was designed by Maryland’s first licensed female architect, Katherine Cutler (later Katherine Cutler Ficken) and was built in 1942. The mansion and connected carriage house with its upstairs ballroom has been restored while retaining most of its original details by the current owners Bob and Welmoed Sisson.

   Katherine Cutler designed the estate on commission in 1940 as a working farm for Clara Hyatt, a wealthy eccentric widow. Miss Cutler designed everything, including the manor mansion, dairy barn, farm structures, and even a watering system for the fields. Masterful at integrating functionality into design, Katherine Cutler planned the farm as a production line that a sole woman could run during the war. The residence survives today nestled in the middle of the Vistas Development, a large housing development. With its fanciful architecture and red brick exterior, the current owners dubbed it Redwall, after the red-stone abbey of the popular children's book.

   The Martin Family Band will provide musical entertainment. The Martin Family Band has an unmistakable signature sound that draws on the traditions of Old Time Appalachian string band music, dance music of Ireland and Colonial music.

   There will also be a Silent Auction in the Ballroom.

   Architect Jillian Storms, will give a talk about the house architect, Katherine Cutler Ficken. Storms both organized the research and curated the “Early Women of Architecture in Maryland” exhibit, in which Katherine Cutler Ficken is featured as the first woman accredited as an architect in Maryland.

   Storms has served as Chair of the Women in Architecture Committee of the American Institute of Architects, Baltimore Chapter, as President of the Baltimore Architecture Foundation, and as co-chair of the Friends of Maryland Olmsted Parks & Landscapes’ Inventory and Research Committee.

   Tickets for the event are $45 each, or $80 per couple when registered in advanced. Tickets are $50 at the door. You may make reservations by sending a check or money order with your name, address, and email to: The Germantown Historical Society, P.O. Box 475, Germantown, MD 20875. You can discover more about the Germantown Historical Society at: http://www.germantownmdhistory.org and on Facebook and more about Redwall.

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