Old and new, large and small, there will be a beautifully decorated house for everyone’s taste and style during the Christmas Homes Tour in Alderson from 1-5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 14. Four lovely church sanctuaries with trees and poinsettias as well as the Historic 1896 C&O Train Depot, a model train show in the Fellowship Hall of the Alderson Presbyterian Church, the Alderson Visitor Center, shopping and food will be available. $10 tickets are available in advance at the Visitor Center or on the day of the tour at the Depot.
Constructed in 2013 for Jim and Melinda Russell and showcasing the skills of Architect E. L. Roach II from Lewisburg and Solak Builders of White Sulphur Springs, the Russell house stands tall on the edge of a large, spring fed pond. On land once a part of The Cedars estate, it nestles into the curve of the hill. The Russells wanted to make use of the large old trees which had fallen on their property or had to be removed for the construction. A beautiful use was found as boards from those trees line many of the walls. Maple, walnut, ash, oak, poplar, and pine create a dramatic background for red and green decorations, as well as for Melinda’s hooked masterpieces. She is a gifted rug hooker who has shown her original work on the national level.
The kitchen is of particular interest with its aluminum cabinets from a company near Boston, MA. This USA company also exemplifies Melinda’s determination to “buy American” even when less expensive and more readily available items could have been imported. She was particularly fond of the metal cabinets which were popular in the kitchens of the 1940s and ‘50s; ordered her cabinets in white; and added period hardware to recall mid-century styling.
Also evoking a more modern touch, the Cape Cod cottage style house of Forrest Thomas adds the grace of its presence to a corner of Virginia Street. Recently re-modeled by Thomas Building and Repair, its painted walls gleam and its refinished floors shine. Proving that small can be gracious, this house embodies coziness. With an emphasis on the real meaning of the Christmas season, there will be numerous nativity scenes as part of the old fashioned Christmas décor. The dining room table will be set for a sumptuous dinner and a Christmas tea will be set in the dining nook. The smell of cookies from the kitchen will follow guests as they exit at the side.
Two more houses will be available for visitors to tour and will be featured in the next article. Also available for touring will be the sanctuaries of four churches. River of Life, Johnson Memorial United Methodist, Old Greenbrier Baptist, and Alderson Presbyterian will be available for quiet moments of contemplation and beauty. At the Johnson Memorial United Methodist Church, a famous local choir will be singing on the half hour from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. While there, from noon to 2 p.m., visitors can purchase a soup, sandwich, drink and dessert lunch for $6 and find lots of bargains as well as unique craft items at their Christmas Bazaar.
The Annual Model Train Show will be held from 1-5 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of the Alderson Presbyterian Church. The Historic 1896 C&O Depot will be decorated and open for touring as well as the purchase of Home Tour tickets on the day of the tour. Hand stamps for entry to the homes and a brochure with addresses and directions will be available there from 12:30 to 5 p.m.
Alderson Main Street President, Betty Thomas said, “We are excited to, once again, show the beauty and grace of our small town. I want to thank the homeowners and church members for allowing us to visit and the tireless Main Street members who have volunteered countless hours to help get ready. Please join us on Sunday, Dec. 14.”