Mount Airy’s Christmas Holiday House Tour gets underway Saturday, Dec. 2, and Sunday, Dec. 3, when Mount Airy Restoration Foundation presents the 31st edition of the popular holiday event.
The tour usually features seven or eight homes, but this year, the itinerary includes 10 locations, according to Peggy Rees, Mount Airy Restoration Foundation board member.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun this year,” said Rees. “What is so wonderful about this year is that some of the homes are historically important, some are architecturally significant, some were in pretty bad shape and have been saved, and others represent a stage in someone’s life, such as newlyweds, or a family with a new baby.”
Rees announced that the public space on this year’s tour will be First Baptist Church of Mount Airy. The church’s main sanctuary and Fireside Room will be open both days of the tour, but the old sanctuary will only be open on Sunday due to a prior conflict.
“The older sanctuary has some beautiful stained glass windows,” said Rees, who added that people who want to see those should take the tour on Sunday.
Along with tour mainstays, The William Alfred Moore House at 301 Moore Avenue, where tea and cookies will be served during the hours of the tour, and The Gertrude Smith House at 708 North Main St., the 2017 tour includes the home of Nicole and Skyler Harrison at 218 North Park Avenue, the home of Elizabeth and Griff Gatewood at 145 Orchard St., the home of Alice Faye Hawks at 702 East Pine St., “The Hall on Pine” at 140 West Pine St., the home of Tonda Phillips at 238 Willow St., Suite 103, the home of Julie and Matthew Newton at 340 Robin Road, the home of Deyton and Chase Gough at 136 Valleydale Drive and First Baptist Church at 714 North Main St.
Between now and Dec. 2 when the tour begins, a series of articles will highlight some of the features of the houses on the tour, starting today with the Moore House.
William Alfred Moore House
The Moore House is the oldest known remaining building within the city of Mount Airy, built around 1862. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986, and was purchased in 1992 by the Mount Airy Restoration Foundation.
William Alfred Moore was a local merchant and industrialist who operated a store and tanyard, owned part of two local textile mills, and invested in the Yadkin Valley Railroad. Moore and his wife, Rachel, had five children, born between 1861 and 1871.
The two-story frame house, enlarged and remodeled slightly in the late 19th and 20th centuries, shows some influence from Greek Revival architecture. The rustic hexagonal summerhouse or gazebo with walls and furniture made of laurel root, is a rare surviving example of a structure popular in the Victorian Age.
In the days immediately preceding the Christmas tour, members of all three of Mount Airy’s garden clubs will decorate the Moore House with live greens, as it would commonly have been done 60 or 70 years ago, said Rees.
“Most of it will be handmade by the garden club ladies.”
Mount Airy Restoration Foundation’s 31st Christmas Holiday House Tour will be Dec. 2, from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Dec. 3 from 1 to 5 p.m. Advance tickets are $15 and will be $20 on the days of the event. Advance tickets may be purchased at Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce, 200 N. Main St, Mount Airy, and at J’s Office Supply, 208 Moore Avenue, Mount Airy.
Tickets are good for both days. Present the ticket at each house. Tours are self-guided, and the homes may be seen in any order. Wear comfortable shoes, and not wearing high heels is appreciated.
Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.