Wimbrow - Assateague Rd

Berlin natives and homeowners Maury and Susan Ayres Wimbrow will open their “Virginia Cottage,” nestled in a moss-covered pine forest fronting Assateague Road, for this year’s 10th Annual Sand Castle Home Tour, the year’s major fundraiser for the Art League of Ocean City. 

A replica of the 18th-century Brush-Everard House in Colonial Williamsburg the Wimbrow’s home has been lovingly restored with eight-inch pine floors, antique hand-cut nails, English hardware and box doorknobs custom made by Ball and Ball of Exon, PA. A “ball and chain” front gate and boxwood-lined walkway opens to a moss-covered resting area to greet visitors at the front of the home and an authentically reproduced period “smokehouse” will be open for viewing in back.

A Williamsburg paint palette enriches interior rooms, which feature a treasured handmade grandfather clock, oil paintings, Colonial reproduction furnishings and antique flatware, stemware and other family heirlooms. The hunt-themed living room is filled with prints and original paintings, Ayres family antique swords, and a large collection of books and photos. The second floor master bedroom is decorated in blue and white featuring Chinese porcelain, a Chippendale desk from the 1800s, and the beds of Penelope and Oliver, the couple’s rescued greyhounds.

The kitchen is fashioned after an English butler’s pantry and off that room a large screened porch offers comfortable lounging with the table set to enjoy brunch and invite gazing over the backyard privet maze. 

The Wimbrow home was originally on the 2009 home tour.  Ayres says, “It was very humbling to be asked again and to hear that our quaint little cottage was very popular [in 2009].” She added excitedly that she will be onsite to greet visitors and that “someone will be painting in the front moss gardens, also reproductions of Williamsburg colonial gardens” to add an additional element of charm to a tour under the Art League’s banner.

The Sand Castle Home Tour runs for two days, Thursday, September 18 and Friday, September 19, from 9:30 to 4:00 both days. Featuring homes of all sizes and styles in Ocean City, West Ocean City and Berlin, the tour is themed “Looking Back – Moving Forward” in honor of the 10-year anniversary of this popular event, which will feature five homes that were highlights of previous tours, and six new homes never seen before on the home tour, for a total of 11 homes.

Tickets are $30 each and include a tour book with detailed information on all the homes, driving directions, and special offers by tour sponsors and advertisers.  The book serves as the entrance ticket to the 11 homes on the tour.

The tour is limited to the first 1,000 people so be sure to reserve in advance by ordering online at www.artleagueofoceancity.org or calling 410-524-9433.

There are also still a few spots left to join the Art League for a night to remember and to recognize the growth of art in Ocean City by attending this year’s tour kickoff cocktail party to honor tour homeowners and raise funds for the Art League.

Held amid a beautiful setting at the home of Jay and Cheryl Taustin on Wednesday, September 10, 2014, from 6-8 p.m., it will feature heavy hors d’oeuvres from Watermen’s in Crisfield, MD, an oyster bar, wine and beer, desserts by Touch of Italy, Ocean City, live music by Michelle and Kathy from Full Circle, decorations courtesy of Ish Boutique and Coastal Tented Events, and a very special surprise display by T.E.A.M. Productions.

In addition, guests can purchase tickets to win a special “one night only” raffle basket filled with items and gift certificates for area services and restaurants valued at over $3,000 that will be awarded that night. Dress is resort casual. Tickets are $75 per person (includes food and drinks) and can be reserved by calling the Art League at 410-524-9433. Space is limited and reservations must be made no later than Thursday, Sept. 4.