This major fundraising event for the Museums of Old York, the annual Decorator Show House, opened this weekend and runs through August 13. This is the 22nd Show House, and it’s a bit different from previous ones in that it is not a Shingle cottage on the coast but rather a former colonial tavern turned homestead in York Village. Very appropriate both for York and for Old York (as we used to call this 100+ year-old museum/preservation organization), which stewards 9 colonial structures.
The house that has been referred to as the Emerson House since its acquisition by a family of that name after the American Revolution began its life as the Woodbridge Tavern around 1719. It has been adapted and expanded in quite a dramatic fashion over the centuries, but you can still see the tavern origins in the house’s front rooms. I went to the preview party the other night and particularly liked the front paneled parlor, decked out in black-and-tan. Above that room is a “bedchamber” with an eighteenth (or early nineteenth-?) century stenciled floor which you can see peeking out from under its protective floor-covering.
A few pictures of the exterior: one from circa 1880, when the house was situated (like all old houses) right on the main road; it was moved back after the turn of the century and also considerably expanded, so much so that it almost resembles a Colonial Revival house rather than a Colonial one. The others I took last week. The doorknocker decorates a particularly beautiful tavern door with original hinges, which you can only see from the interior (and I wasn’t allowed to photograph!)