The cottage-style home — the Calhoun-Cope-White House — took 15 months to restore, said Margaret Rose White, who led the 2011 renovation with her mother, Rosebud White, and will be one of five locations spotlighted “In and Around Main” during the Etowah Valley Historical Society Tour of Homes on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 3 and 4.
Situated around a central hallway featuring original pocket doors, White refinished the original hardwood floors, reused fixtures from the home and has filled the room with restored pieces.
“I’ve used a lot of antiques that were here, as well as antiques of my own, and it’s been my project to use as much as I have and have it … refinished and bring paintings and furniture all back to life,” she said.
Each bedroom features a hand-carved poster bed, and in the kitchen is an antique melodian desk with the original keys and stool. For White, two of the standout pieces are paintings she had restored.
Above the fireplace in the living room is a portrait of White’s great-great-grandfather, Elijah M. Field.
“I had it cleaned and restored. It had rips in it,” she said, “and then this fire screen is a very old piece. It is so old that you can actually see the sun through it. You can see how it’s just worn with years.”
A painting in the kitchen ranks among White’s favorite pieces.
“It’s hunting dogs and they were actually my relative’s grandfather’s hunting dogs and it has the name, his name, on the collars. It was filthy, it was dirty,” she said of the framed art that was found in the circa 1940 carriage house at the rear of the home.
White said she hopes those visiting the residences on the tour take away an appreciation for the furniture and pieces featured in each home.
“Myself, personally, if I was coming to the tour, I would take in the antiques. I have some old pieces that you don’t see all the time,” she said. “Not all the furniture was here. Some of it belonged to me, my mother, my grandmother. … I just have wanted to save everything and use everything that I could possibly use instead of just gutting and throwing away.”
In addition to the Calhoun-Cope-White House, the self-guided tour will feature four other historic homes: the Gilreath-Edwards Home, owned by Dr. Todd and Angie Edwards, 214 W. Main St.; Strickland-Thacker Home, owned by Ray Thacker, 302 W. Main St.; Young-Kennedy-Knight, owned by Marty Knight, 310 W. Main St.; and Wofford-Marler-Phillips, owned by Leah and Ivan Phillips, 23 Etowah Drive.
Serving as the EVHS’s primary fundraiser, the tour will focus on the residences built between 1886 and 1909 in and around Main Street. EVHS Preservation Committee Chairman John Lewis said the five houses were selected based on their wide appeal.
“What we try to do is, of course, pick houses that are older, and older houses would be more than 50 years old but most of them are at least 100 years old,” he said. “And we try to pick a variety of houses, some that are really grand, big houses and some smaller so it will appeal to a larger segment of the population because everyone can’t have a great, big house and not everyone wants a big house.”
Those wishing to tour the homes may purchase tickets the day of the tour at the 1903 Bartow County Gold-domed Courthouse, 115 W. Cherokee Ave., Cartersville, for $15 or $12 each for groups of 10 or more. Tours will operate from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4, and while parking is available at the courthouse, a free shuttle will operate from the courthouse.
“What we are trying to do is educate the public on what you can do if you buy a house or whatever you try to have these old homes so you can fix them up and fix them up right, and even if you don’t have an old house, you can see what other people have done,” Lewis said.
Lewis also said he hopes the tour leads participants to educate themselves on history and become involved in preserving the community.
“Even if you weren’t raised here or don’t know anything about here it’s still, it is our history. It’s what we are. If you don’t study the history you don’t know where we are going or don’t know where we’ve been so you need to keep up with it, need to know what’s going on,” he said. “Like I said, hopefully it’ll encourage someone else to get involved with it, either buying a house or getting involved with the society or doing something like that.”
For more information, call the EVHS office at 770-606-8862 or Genie Certain at 770-383-3533.