Mount Airy to repeathistoric house tour

April 29, 1994|By Ellie Baublitz | Ellie Baublitz,Contributing Writer

When the Mount Airy Centennial Committee was trying to plan activities for the town's 100th birthday this year, one idea was a repeat of an event from a couple of years ago -- a historic house tour.

Set for May 21, the centennial tour will include 10 old houses and three churches, lunch, dinner and a play about the town.

The day will start at 11:30 a.m. with lunch until 2:30 p.m. at Calvary United Methodist Church. Lunch is $4 per person. Later, the church will serve dinner from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. for $5.50 per person.

The Centennial Players will perform "Our Town -- Mount Airy" at 2 p.m. A second show will be performed at 3 p.m., if needed. The show is included in the house tour ticket. Otherwise, tickets are $2 for the show alone.

The house tour itself will be from noon to 8 p.m. Participants can walk the tour or take a shuttle bus around town, said Cathy Deadrick, the tour's publicist.

Besides Calvary Church, the tour will include St. James Episcopal Church, which will offer choral and other music throughout the day, an exhibit on the Outreach Program and a cookbook sale.

Pine Grove Chapel will be open for meditation during the tour.

Many of the homeowners volunteered their houses for the tour. A brochure provides a sketch and historical description of each house.

"A lot of the houses are as old as the town or older, and [were] built by the forefathers who founded the town," Ms. Deadrick said. "They're even showing some houses in the middle of renovation [because] some people like to see the thick walls and things like they used to do."

The Mount Airy Garden Club will put flower arrangements in each of the houses on the day of the tour, she said.

The houses on the tour are:

* The Gehle Home, 1311 S. Main St., built in the early 1890s.

* The Moxley Home, 1201 S. Main St., built in 1926. It features a terra cotta roof, and a large balcony with brick pillars and wrought iron railings.

* The Potter Home, 805 S. Main St., built by the town's third mayor, Frank Lewis, in 1901.

* The Brown Home, 508 S. Main St., built in 1865 and home to two doctors, an insurance agent and a ceramic shop operator through the years.

* The Schnell Home, 302 Hill St., built in 1888. It is described as a "show place" with a wraparound porch and gingerbread adornments.

* The Jansen Home, 210 Park Ave., built at the turn of the century. It features a living room turret. "The Victorian turret is almost a little room on the side," said owner Lesa Jansen.

* The Zeller Home, 103 N. Main St., built in 1905 in a late Victorian style with a turret and large porch.

* The Rockwell Home, 203 N. Main St., built about 1913 by a doctor who had his medical practice there.

* The Heard Home, 311 N. Main St., an average working man's home when it was built in 1908.

* The Macey Home, 504 N. Main St., constructed over time and finished in 1938 by master builder Truman Lowman.

Walkers on the tour will be able to buy refreshments from Girl Scout Troop 468 along the Main Street route, and listen to Luke Spiros and friends in concert at 809 S. Main St. at the Spiros home.

Tickets for the tour and play are $10 in advance and $11 the day of the tour. Advance tickets are on sale at town hall, Ben Gue's Antiques and Gifts, the Country House and Great American Furniture Store. Tickets on the day of the tour will be available only at Calvary Church.

Proceeds from the tour will go toward starting a Mount Airy museum, Ms. Deadrick said. Information: Town Hall, 795-6012.

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