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2013 NWHC Tea

New Windsor Heritage Presents: Fifth Annual Heritage Tea
A Whimsical History of Tea
Black & Green Tea
Tea Sandwiches:
Curried Chicken Salad
Veggie Tea Triangles
Egg Delight
Fresh Fruit
Scones with Devonshire Cream
Chocolate Dipped Apricots
Atlee House Café
120 Water Street
New Windsor, MD


 Saturday, March 9, 2013, 2:30 — 4:30



A Whimsical History of Tea

The history of tea is long and complex, spreading across multiple cultures over thousands of years. Although tales exist in regards to the beginnings of tea being used as a beverage, its exact origins are unclear.

While coffee is more popular in the United States, hot brewed black tea is enjoyed by many, with formal afternoon tea usually reserved for tea houses or special occasions.

About 85% of the tea consumed in the U.S. is served cold or iced. This practice is most popular in the Southern states where ‘sweet tea’, or tea sweetened with large amounts of sugar and chilled, is the fashion.

Tea played a pivotal role in the American Revolution. The colonists lived very much as the British did and consumed large quantities of tea. They objected when the crown began to tax tea. On December 16, 1773, protestors boarded three ships in Boston harbor and dumped 342 chests of tea into the water. This event became known as ‘The Boston Tea Party’.

Maryland had its own ‘tea parties’. On October 19, 1774 the Peggy Stewart, a Maryland cargo vessel, was burned by an angry mob in Annapolis, punishing the ship's captain for ignoring a boycott on tea imports. This event became known as the ‘Annapolis Tea Party’.

In May 1774, according to local legend, the ‘Chestertown Tea Party’ took place in Chestertown. Locals boarded the brigantine Geddes and threw its cargo of tea into the Chester River, in protest against the British Tea Act.

Carroll County was represented at the Annapolis Tea Party; Dr. Charles A. Warfield of Taneytown was a lieutenant in the Continental army and was with the group which boarded the Peggy Stewart in Annapolis.

While we have no documented history of tea service in New Windsor, it is easy to imagine tea being provided at the local Dielman Inn. Opened by Louis William Dielman in 1864 and operated for roughly sixty years, the inn was known for its enjoyments. A 1910 newspaper article stated: “The courteous hospitality for which Maryland enjoys unequalled fame pervades the atmosphere and the guest who has sojourned here never misses an opportunity to return.

Contemporary newspapers tell of how guests spent their post-supper hours, but do not mention how they occupied the daylight hours. Nonetheless, croquet and iced tea in the Dielman gardens seem like a distinct possibility on a hot afternoon, as does a cup of warm tea and a game of cards on one of the porches on a cool fall day.

Whatever the history of tea service in New Windsor, the New Windsor Heritage Committee has created a new tradition with its annual Heritage Tea, where we continue to celebrate New Windsor History at the Atlee House Café.