Church Street, Snow Hill, Maryland

This 1890 Queen Anne mansion in Snow Hill, Maryland is officially known as the Governor John Walter Smith house. A better name for it might be The Christmas House.

Even the National Register for Historic Places notes that "the house was clearly built with entertainment in mind."

In addition to its multiple stocking-ready fireplaces and glamorous garland-worthy staircase, it's full of stained glass ornaments.

Even the circular back garden is planted with winter interest in mind.

The front porch extends the width of the first floor.

 It ends in curves at each end -- perfect for wide swings...

 or Christmas trees and puppies.

Once through the vestibule to the entrance hall, you can better appreciate the beautiful stained glass windows and the gingerbread fretwork over the adjoining rooms and reception alcove.

The parlor is to the left. It was originally used by the ladies of the house.

The reception room is to the right, where the gentlemen retreated with their cigars.

Going back into the entrance hall...

past the corner fireplace...

gives you access to the grand dining room, with its nature-inspired stained glass windows.

The table, chairs, and buffet were designed specifically for the house and are included with the property.

Of course this room has a beautiful matching corner fireplace.

On the opposite side of the hallway is the library.

The original floorplans are hanging in here.

The breakfast room at the back of the house connects to the kitchen.

It was once part of the servants' quarters, and it still has that feel.

If it were mine, I would connect the rooms and convert the laundry alcove into a stove alcove, like this:

Besides, a cheery red kitchen just belongs in a Christmas house.

There's also a small butler's pantry and half bathroom, created by enclosing the original back porch. It  was used as a doctor's examination room when he owned the house in the 1940's. (The reception room served as the waiting room.) The house has only had four owners in its history.

The servants' staircase is back here, but let's go up the main stairs instead.

There are four large bedrooms on the second floor, each with a fireplace.

This bedroom has a connecting bathroom. The house has six bedrooms and six bathrooms.

The corner furniture in this bedroom is original to the house:

The third floor, accessed via the servants' stairs, has two bedrooms, one bathroom, and a living area.

The house is 7,170 square feet and sits on an acre and a half lot.

Now for the historical photos. This is Governor John Walter Smith (1845-1925) a successful businessman, who, after he built his mansion in 1890, served as Governor of Maryland from 1900 to 1904 and in the U.S. Senate from 1907 to 1919.

The town of Snow Hill is named after a London neighborhood. Church Street bears its name for the All Hallows Episcopal Church, built at its current site between 1748-1756.

This 1877 map shows that Governor Smith owned his land near the church well before he built his house there.

{It would have been fancier, but Mr. If It Were Mine was busy this week}

Fittingly, Snow Hill hosts a Dickens weekend along with a Christmas parade and tree lighting every year.

Snow Hill is definitely a Christmas village, just as much as Governor Smith's house is a Christmas house, from the top of the porch towers to its bustling basement:

Here's the proof:

The Old House Dreams listing is here.

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