"Taylorsville is one of Bartow County's best kept secrets and people have no clue [of its] history," Gray said. "I feel like I didn't know it and when [I researched and visited the homes] I said, 'Oh man, this is the foundation of Bartow County.' ... We just felt like Bartow County citizens would be mesmerized by the beauty and the history that's involved [with] these homes and there's a lot of people who don't even know where Taylorsville is. That blows me away. [It is an example of] the richness of Bartow County."
Sponsored by the Euharlee Historical Society, the tour is a fundraiser for the organization, which strives to promote and preserve Euharlee's heritage. For its first tour of homes, the group selected Taylorsville because the structures are closer together. Next year's event will focus on homes in Euharlee, which will be more spread out, requiring a shuttle for participants.
The Taylorsville offering on Dec. 12 will feature seven structures: John W. Akin Lodge No. 537, Madden Street; the Shaw-Rhodes-Collum-Cheek home, 45 Madden St.; the Dorsey-Goodwin home, 48 Madden St.; the Trippe-Strickland-Ross home, referred to as "Magnolia Place," 24 Main St.; Trippe-Costlow-Harris home, 84 Main St.; Parker-McKelvey-Woods-Satcher home, 77 Main St.; and Taylorsville Baptist Church, 19 Church St.
During the tour, participants will discover the history and architectural details of each decorated structure. Dating back to 1854, the venues are unique in their construction and are filled with interesting stories. A prime example of this is the residence at 77 Main St., which has been owned by Jesse and Helen Satcher since 1989.
Built in the early 1900s, the home still boasts its original pine floors, hand-operated door bell on the front door and rope-operated windows. When the couple restored the built-in mirrors above the mantels, they discovered the markings, '1905 by Pittsburg Glass, Atlanta, Georgia.' The finding confirmed what the Satchers' had originally thought concerning the date of the home's construction.
In her family since the 1950s, Helen Satcher said she loves her home's sense of history.
"[During the tour], I'd really like for people to see the old homes and really see what it's like to walk on floors that's 100 years old and see walls that have been here all that time and that have seen and have weathered storms," she said. "It's just important to me, and I hope that people that come in my [house during the] tour of homes will enjoy seeing it."
Like Helen Satcher, Gray hopes that individuals who partake in the tour will be further informed about Taylorsville's past and role in shaping Bartow County.
"Taylorsville has contributed to the growth of Bartow County because lots of farmers, doctors and dentists have come out of that area. It's a wealth of knowledge that nobody knows about," Gray said. "When I went in those houses -- I was there on Saturday [Nov. 27] doing some preliminary work -- my mouth was just open. [I asked] 'What, this house is 1898 and your family has lived here since 1910?' I couldn't believe that."
Tickets for the tour cost $10 and can be purchased by calling 770-607-2017. Attendees also can obtain tickets on the day of the event at the John W. Akin Masonic Lodge, where refreshments will be available and transportation will shuttle people to the designated structures free of charge.