St. Martin’s Church Plans Museum Day Opening

BERLIN — Historic St. Martin’s Church will be open Wednesday, May 18 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in celebration of International Museum Day and on Saturday, June 4 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for an open house.

Additional open houses are in the planning for selected Saturdays through October.

With its Flemish bond brick walls and the glazed checkerboard pattern on the south wall, it’s easy to see the church was built in colonial times. Rubbed brick borders highlight the church’s windows and doors and the roof features what are called “kicked waves” and “cove cornices”. If you go inside, you’ll see the massive principal rafter of its historic king-post framing system.

The St. Martin’s Church Foundation, a group of community leaders determined to preserve this gem of architecture, is working hard to promote events at the church to help raise awareness of its historic value and its funding needs.

Executive committee members include Sherrie Beckstead, President; Theresa Bruner, Vice President; Susan Mariner, Secretary; William E. Esham III, Treasurer; and Executive Board members Alberta Harrison and Sean Rayne. The group, along with Board member Cindi Wilde are currently working with D3Corp to create a website designed to highlight the church and its events.

Although most of the building and grounds restoration is complete, ongoing preservation continues. An educational and events program is part of the foundation’s agenda. To help with awareness of St. Martin’s, the Worcester County Historical Society awarded the foundation a grant to fund a tri-fold brochure that will describe the church and events, which will be open to the public. The brochure will be distributed through the region later in 2011.

Beckstead together with master goldsmith Steve Clarke, has designed a key pendant, which is a replica of the key to the doors of Saint Martin’s. The copyrighted key will be available in sterling silver and 18 karat gold for those who want to purchase this keepsake in support of the historic church.

Since its restoration, open houses, weddings, musical and arts events and lectures have taken place at St. Martin’s. Coming soon will be the hosting of “historic weddings” within the chapel. Couples who love history and the Eastern Shore region will especially appreciate the opportunity to be united in Worcester’s beautiful little chapel set among towering pines. Working with the foundation on the creation of “Eastern Shore Historic Weddings” has become a collaborative effort involving several historic properties and hotels in the region.

If you’d like to help the St. Martin’s Church Foundation and its work or simply learn more about the church, contact Beckstead at 410-430-2142 or e-mail at [email protected].