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Back Alley Tour and Tea plans set

By Staff | May 19, 2011

The ink is drying on the route map and garden owners are putting on their flower beds between frequent cloud bursts as final preparations are made for this year’s Shepherdstown Back Alley Tour and Tea.

Mike Austin, Shepherdstown Men’s Club President commented that “although this will be the 13th annual tour, our luck is still holding. We keep finding new and interesting aspects of this historic community to share with our visitors and property owners willing to open their gates.”

An important feature will be a rare opportunity to visit the Thomas Shepherd Grist Mill and see its overshot mill wheel (the second largest in the world) in operation. Several American Revolution-era graveyards and a number of other historic sites were also added to capture and hold people’s interest.

The tour and tea committees keep adding features to ensure that everyone has a memorable experience. Austin commented that his wife Bonnie, the tea committee chairwoman, pulls out all stops to make the tea party, which is an integral part of the tour, a memorable culinary experience. A series of ” tasting parties” are conducted by her committee to ensure that only the best recipes get used and those recipes are sent to an enormous group of volunteers to bake the cookies.

You will be able to ” get up close and personal” with bees in the demonstration apiary, part of the Urban Garden, which is another of the features that lets participants enjoy the bountiful nature of our area. Another important aspect of the tour, the Friday Painters, an informal group of artists who share the experience of painting each Friday morning in and about the Eastern Panhandle, will hold their third annual art exhibition on the first floor of the War Memorial Building – the hub of activity for the Back Alley Tour and Tea.

For more information visit SMC25443.org.