Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Day in Frederick, MD

On Saturday, our Brit group visited Frederick, MD. We were meeting at Sugarloaf Mountain Winery, so I decided to drive the scenic route and enjoy the last vibrant leaves that were still clinging to the trees. Just before the brewery, I passed a small empty cottage which was surrounded by hundreds of homemade bird houses.

They were stacked outside the building, on both sides and stretched into the woods behind.

The guy who made these, Rick Keeney, had used all kinds of wood and artifacts to create them, even some vehicle plates as roofs. They were all for sale and a check could be dropped into a box by the door.
I got to the winery where a few of us were meeting and we got straight down to the tasting. I had a lovely Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve but could not be persuaded to buy a bottle.

After out tasting, we went straight to Frederick where we met with some others at Rose Hill Manor. Unfortunately we got there a little late and missed most of the house tour but we were given tickets so we could return at a later date to see what we missed.

The manor was built on land given by Thomas Jefferson to his daughter, Ann. When his wife died, he spent the rest of his life here with Ann's family.

We saw the outbuildings, including the blacksmiths and a wonderful carriage museum. We then went back into the town to have dinner, followed by a walk round the streets to try and work off our huge meals.

I was particularly keen to find the Community Bridge Mural painted by William Cochran, and as we strolled towards the canal, we came across another of his works, Earthbound, just off the main street. You had to get close up to realize it was not real, it looked so convincing. We then came to the Bridge where Cochran painted a completed concrete bridge in trompe l'oeil. 

The effect was astounding as we approached it and we twisted our heads every way to ascertain whether a painting was actually a carving.

Here are some of the paintings from the bridge. There were so many small hidden images painted within the 'stonework' that I could not photograph them all.

This bird bath looked very convincing from the other side of the canal and I heard that even some birds have been fooled and tried to land on the rim of the bird bath.

This painting, Archangel, is an anamorphic project which can only be seen correctly from a window in the adjacent art gallery. Cochran and his team started painting this bridge in 1993 and didn't finish until late 1998.

Close to the canal is the Frederick News building, also decorated with a trompe l'oeil image, but I was unable to identify who had painted it.
Frederick is a charming town and I want to return as I barely saw a fraction of it. I think some of us will go when the Christmas decorations are up.There are still art galleries, museums and craft shops to be visited. We spoke to some of the residents who adore their town and claim it as the best place to live as far as community life is concerned. During our short trip, I had no reason to disbelieve them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Hi, it's Marcellina (from Flickr)! We met last year during the St. E's tour. I stumbled upon your blog while researching info about Frederick, MD. Too funny! Love your photos and informative blog! Hope all is well. Happy Holidays!