Editor’s note: This is the first in a series looking at the homes and other buildings to be featured on the 2011 Christmas Tour of Homes.
The 26th annual Christmas Tour of Homes will feature everything from a rustic cabin to beautifully restored homes on Main Street, one of which was built in 1895. This year’s theme is, “Living our Heritage.”
Betty Wright, president of the Mount Airy Restoration Foundation, said the annual tour of homes is the foundation’s biggest fundraiser for the year. All of the proceeds go for the upkeep of the William Alfred Moore House at 301 Moore Ave., which is the oldest structure in Mount Airy.
The price of the tickets went from $10 last year to $15 this year, but Wright said she hasn’t heard one complaint so far.
Tickets are available now at the Moore house, the Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce and through foundation members. Tickets also will be available at each home on the days of the tour.
The tour begins next Saturday at 11 a.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. The tour ends at 5 p.m. each day. The tours are self-guided and the tickets are good for both days. Wright suggested that those touring the homes wear comfortable shoes and not high heels.
Wright said the tour started out being just old homes, but it has evolved to include different styles, including houses which are under construction and houses that have been totally renovated. The tour always includes a church each year. This year, Grace Moravian Church is featured and will be decorated in the traditional Moravian Christmas style, Wright said.
She thinks there will be a good turnout for the tour this year.
“I think we are going to have a good crowd. The parade is not competing with us this year and the weather looks to be favorable. There has been a lot of interest in the tour,” said Wright.
The homes that will be featured on the tour this year are the home of Keith and Ann Flouhouse at 127 Par Hill Lane. The home was built in the early 1930s by Libby and Robert Lovill.
The home of Heather Horton that was built in 1895 by Thomas Fawcett has been lovingly restored by Horton and her parents. She started renovating the home at 723 N. Main St. in December of 2008.
The home of Robert and Jean Preston at 411 S. Main St. also will be featured on the tour. Wright said the Prestons restored their home as well.
The Satterfield house, located at the corner of North Franklin Road and West Virginia Street, will be the future home of the Sandy Level Community Center. The home is under construction.
The home of Coby and Gina Gough in Hollyview Forrest off South Franklin Road, features a plethora of Longaberger baskets and numerous Christmas trees throughout the home.
The Joseph Coe House at Stony Knoll Vineyard near the Rockford community will be on display. The home was built in 1860 and was completely restored into a cozy cabin in 2007. The Coes will be serving mulled wine and cookies during the tour.
The Uptown Gallery, which features art by local artists and mentally challenged adults, will be on display again this year. The gallery is located at 615 N. Main St. Several Christmas trees will be on display.
The Gertrude Smith house, which is always a staple on the tour of homes, will be on the tour again this year. The home is located at 708 N. Main St. Several live trees will be on display along with elaborate mantle displays in many of the rooms.
Local garden clubs will decorate the Moore house. Tea will be served at the antebellum home during the tour, and on Saturday, the Surry Community College Chorus will sing Christmas music from 3 to 4 p.m.
The home of Coby and Gina Gough to be featured
For those who love Longaberger baskets, the home of Coby and Gina Gough will be a treat. Gina has been selling the baskets for the last 16 years and has quite the collection of baskets around her home.
The Gough home is located at 268 Pineview Drive in Hollyview Forrest off South Franklin Road. The Goughs have lived there for 10 years and have two sons, Jarrod and Spencer, who always help their mother put up the Christmas trees. Gina Gough said she takes pleasure in decorating the many trees throughout the home.
She put up one of her favorite trees, a white Christmas tree in the living room first this year. She said she has been putting that tree up for the past three or four years.
The dining room features a Christmas tree decorated with corks and grapes that she leaves up all year long. The dining room table is adorned with a red and green table setting with white chargers. Gough is a painter as well and did the faux finish on the walls in the dining room. She hopes visitors that come to her home will find ideas for their own homes while on the tour.
The Goughs’ den is decorated with her rustic tree that features red fabric and little baskets. The coffee table features two wrought-iron deer that look like they are made of antlers.
The family uses the lower level of the home as a game room. There are stockings featuring card suit symbols hanging from the mantle in that room. The Christmas tree in the game room also has small playing cards as ornaments.
In the foyer of the home, guests on the tour will be greeted by a four-foot Santa Claus figure that is standing beside a tree decorated in gold. Guests are welcome to walk up the curved staircase in the home to the second floor. She said all of the bedrooms will be decorated for Christmas. The home’s patio will be decorated for the holidays as well.
“I enjoy this. The neighbors all know that I go all out for Christmas,” said Gina Gough.
Contact Mondee Tilley at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 719-1930.