Home tours to highlight wide array of holiday decor, architectural charm
by Marie Nesmith
Nov 27, 2011 | 3885 views | 0 0 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dana Costlow secures an ornament on one of the trees in her circa 1830 home that she has decorated for Christmas in Euharlee: A Tour of Historic Homes.
SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
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With holiday festivities in full swing, participants of upcoming home tours are putting the finishing touches on their decorations this week. Along with providing attendees with decor ideas, Christmas Tour of Homes -- Cartersville 2011 and Christmas in Euharlee: A Tour of Historic Homes will highlight the featured buildings' history and architectural beauty.

Christmas Tour of Homes -- Cartersville

For Lola Thomas, the first weekend of December is the perfect time to offer a tour of homes event.

"People like home tours in general and they particularly love houses decked out for the holidays. So they get lots of good ideas themselves," said Thomas, executive director for the event's organizer, AIDS Alliance of Northwest Georgia. "It gets them in the Christmas spirit. This tour, we have early in December and I think that's important because it gets people in the Christmas mood if they aren't already.

"I think the beauty of this tour is that we have a little bit of everything. We have larger, older homes that are magnificent. We have bungalows. We have new construction homes. We have lofts. It really is something for everyone. Sometimes you go on a tour and maybe you think, 'Well, that's lovely but I can't relate that to my own house somehow.' But on our tour, we feel like you can. You can admire the things that are in some of the homes that maybe you can't duplicate but there are a lot of things that you can duplicate. So people love to come and get ideas, especially related to Christmas."

Set for Dec. 3 and 4 from 1 to 6 p.m., Christmas Tour of Homes -- Cartersville will feature 13 traditional and loft dwellings. The six traditional homes that will be highlighted are 217 W. Cherokee Ave., home of Jim Macht; 501 West Ave., Mike and Heather Ellington; 616 West Ave., Terry and Stacey Pelfrey; 218 Leake St., Mal and Gail Underwood; 215 S. Bartow St., Leslie McCrary; and 225 S. Bartow St., Debbie Hughes. The offering also will showcase seven residences at the Lofts at Integrity Plaza, 148 W. Main St. -- No. 200, home of Darla McAfee; No. 201, Ann Wheeler; No. 202, Bobby Joe Womack and Shirley Martin; No. 209, Teresa Peters; No. 211, Margo Hatch; No. 213, Paige Miller; and No. 215, Ronnie and Jennie Buck Smith.

Christmas Tour of Homes -- Cartersville will serve as a fundraiser for the AIDS Alliance of Northwest Georgia. Based in Cartersville, the AIDS Alliance assists 110 HIV/AIDS clients, ranging in age from 12 to 70, in 10 northwest Georgia counties. With the nonprofit trying to raise at least 10 percent of its annual budget locally, benefits like the upcoming home tour are integral to its operations.

"We offer many different services," Thomas said. "As we all know prevention of HIV is crucial. We put a lot of effort into our prevention work, including educational classes among youth and adults. We also offer services to people who live with HIV and AIDS, including a housing program, transportation to doctors' appointments and support groups.

"So our services, because we're in a rural area, have to be broader. In metro areas, you may see organizations that specialize in one area, such as housing. But in our case, we're the only AIDS organization so we have to provide a broader array of services. And we greatly appreciate the community's support in helping us to do that by our fundraising efforts."

Tickets for the tour cost $20 and can be purchased in advance at four Cartersville locations: Moore's Gourmet Market, 227 Fite St.; Periwinkle, 22 E. Church St.; AIDS Alliance, 1 Friendship Plaza, 3rd Floor; and Mission Tire, 121 S. Gilmer St.

Attendees also can obtain tickets during tour hours at the featured homes or at the Train Depot in downtown Cartersville, 1 Friendship Plaza, where refreshments will be available and buses will shuttle people to the residences free of charge.

For more information, call the AIDS Alliance at 770-606-0953.

Christmas in Euharlee: A Tour of Historic Homes

In hosting Christmas in Euharlee: A Tour of Historic Homes, Wanda Cagle Gray and her fellow members of the Euharlee Historical Society are delighted to introduce people to the richness of the town's historic past.

"There's lots of beauty here directly related to history," said Gray, chairman of the EHS' historical tour of homes committee. "So [we want to emphasize] the historical aspect of course but along with it, the beautiful surroundings. Even the countryside out here is just breathtaking. If people would just come here [they would see].

"When I was a little girl I thought it was forever, so far away, but the more you come to Euharlee, the closer it gets to Cartersville. It's just hidden. So many people I talk to on a daily basis, they've lived in Bartow County for 20 years and they've never been to Euharlee and I'm going, 'What?' We want people in Bartow County of course to come to this to get into the history of Bartow and to view these beautiful homes and landscapes."

On Dec. 4 from 1 to 5 p.m., Christmas in Euharlee: A Tour of Historic Homes will feature four residences and two historic sites: Ragsdale-Owens House, 833 Euharlee Road; Nelson-Carden House, 1302 Euharlee Road; Gilliam-Ross-Martin House, 550 Hardin Bridge Road; Lowry-Costlow House, 1337 Euharlee Road; Euharlee Presbyterian Church, 61 Covered Bridge Road; and The Granary, which will be hosting the Euharlee Festival of Trees, 114 Covered Bridge Road.

During the tour, participants will discover the history and architectural details of each decorated structure. Dating back to the 1800s, the venues are unique in their construction and are filled with interesting stories. Among those featured is the Lowry-Costlow House, which is thought to be the oldest residence in Euharlee. Built in about 1830, the house was used in the early 1900s by Dr. Tanner Lowry for his residence and medical practice.

"I was in Tanner Lowry's house [last week], which is the Costlow House," Gray said. "That front room, which is now the kitchen was his doctor's office. ... I told Dana [then] -- Dana Costlow -- I said, 'Dana, I'm standing on history. I'm standing where [Dr.] Lowry doctored people."

Sponsored by the Euharlee Historical Society, the tour's proceeds will benefit the organization's Mary Ellen Taff Scholarship Fund.

Tickets, costing $10, can be purchased Dec. 4 at The Commissary, 112 Covered Bridge Road, and in advance at the Euharlee History Museum, 118 Covered Bridge Road, Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Dec. 4, the tour will begin at The Commissary, where refreshments offered by the Hoe'n in Euharlee Garden Club and free shuttles will be available.

For more information, call 770-607-2017.