51 – Sunday’s, circa 1891-1897, Hagerstown, MD
East of Potomac Street, Broadway is bright with Victorian homes, newly restored and resplendent in their polychrome paints. Number 39 is a brick house painted a subtle pink with sparkling white trim. There is a two-story bay on the right side of the house with an unusual overhanging jerkinhead roof on the gable above it. On the left of the house is a porch with spindles and brackets at its cornice and a rail carried by turned balusters. Arbors for vines stand at either end. The windows of this house have soldier brick segmental arches with small, pierced wood panels above the sashes to fill in the curve of the arches. The sashes have single panes of glass except for the larger ones in the bay that are two-over-two.
The pastel blue front door enters a center hall. On the right is the parlor, which is furnished with Victorian loveseats, ladies’ chairs and decorated with ferns. There is a fireplace with a mantel that has been painted to resemble black marble. It has shallow, incised patterns typical of the Eastlake style, and small sections painted to resemble inlaid rose marble. The woodwork is molded with turned corner blocks, and the room is fresh and airy with four long windows.
Behind the parlor, beyond a pair of pocket doors, is the dining room with a many-leaved oak table and a piano. There is also an extravagant oak sideboard with carved faces on its doors, two small, beveled, kidney-shaped mirrors, two tiny shelves and an upper shelf supported by vase-shaped, reeded and turned pillars.
To the left of the center hall is the living room, which is decorated with 1920s overstuffed couches and chairs, still covered in their original velour upholsteries of rich reds and blues. All the walls downstairs are papered in fresh, subtle patterns and often are trimmed with wide paper borders. The floors are narrow pine, stained a warm brown; Oriental scatter rugs lie in nearly every room.
Another set of pocket doors leads from the living room to the tearoom, which is furnished with white painted wicker. An unusual Heywood and Wakefield round table with an oak top has four quarter-round wicker chairs that fit completely under the tabletop when not in use. This room also has a fireplace with a faux marble mantel even prettier than the one in the parlor.
Double doors with leaded glass panes, a new addition to the house, lead from the tearoom to the breakfast room. Beside this room is the back hall, which is entered by a door at the end of the main hall. To the right of this door stands a small, round sink with a marble surround and back splash. To its right the pantry has its original cupboards extending to the ten-foot high ceiling, and behind the pantry is the kitchen. This small room has a small set of modern cupboards topped by a counter with a sink on one side. On the other side is a stove, refrigerator and Hoosier-type cupboard. Two high shelves have been added near the ceiling for storage, and handmade braided rugs lie on the floor.
Two sets of stairs serve the house; one is narrow, enclosed and leads from the kitchen. The other is a straight stairway located on the left side of the center hall. This has a simple molded handrail and turned balusters that continue around the open hall above. There once were six bedrooms on this floor, but one has been converted into a bath, a comfortably large room whose focal point is an antique tin bathtub with an oak rim. (No, it isn’t used.)
Each of the bedrooms is furnished in a different style. One is filled with a fine collection of primitive furniture. The charming old rope bed has turned posts that are similar but clearly not a match, as though it were the first effort of an apprentice carpenter. There is a split-bottom rocker, a tall cupboard with a two-panel door caught with a simple wooden turn latch, a small blanket chest and a four-drawer dresser all covered in various shades of worn blue paint. And, for contrast, a simple slant-top desk still carries much of its original red color.
One front bedroom is furnished in period oak: bed, washstand with towel bar, dresser and wardrobe. A wide floral border around the ceiling reflects the floral prints on the bed and windows. The other front chamber is furnished in walnut: a fancy bed with burl inlay and a dresser with marble tops, a large mirror and double glove drawers on either side.
In 1874, Charles G. Lane’s will divided his estate between his two children. One property was described as …seven acres, three rods, and two perches of land… with two houses located along the road to Leitersburg; this was sold that same year to Joseph J. Hurley. In 1885, Hurley sold a parcel 160 feet by 234 feet to Jacob J. Funk for $1,400; and, four years later, Funk sold a 50 foot by 234 foot section to Cora A. Teisher for $1,000. When this same parcel was sold again in 1891 to Peter A. Witmer, it cost $1,550. When Luther M. Bovey purchased it in 1897, it had risen in value to $6,000. It was probably during this period that this ample Queen Anne style house was constructed. The Bovey family lived in the house 80 years, until the death of William Bovey in 1977. After two short ownerships, Robert Ferrino purchased the home in 1990.
Bob Ferrino had dreamed of having a bed and breakfast for many years. When he found the house on Broadway Street, then partially restored, he could see real possibilities. He bought it and plunged into the work. The results are bright and airy–a pretty, happy place. Bob can let four bedrooms, and the little sign is there beside the door: Sunday’s Bed and Breakfast–a small testament to his mother, whose name was Sunday, and to the dream that continues.
Epilogue: Bob continues to operate the bed and breakfast. While carefully preserving the historic fabric of the house, he has divided one of the upstairs chambers into two bathrooms so that each of his four guest rooms has private facilities. Little else has changed.
This article appeared in the Herald-Mail Sunday, November 7, 1993 as the 51st in the series.