The Greenbrier Historical Society has announced its 2015 Tour of Historic Homes and Gardens to be held the weekend of June 12-14. With a theme of “Levels of Legacy,” this weekend of activities will highlight a historic farm, several historic houses, and a unique church built by Meadow River Lumber Company.
The weekend of events begins Friday, June 12, with a gala held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Swift Level, a historic farm lovingly preserved by Jennifer “Tootie” Jones, where guests will sample meats grown on the farm as well as other food from the Greenbrier Valley. Music by Strum Sum will entertain and pasture tours will be offered.
On Saturday, June 13, a lovely mix of houses in various stages of preservation will be offered from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Swift Level will again be available for touring and guests will notice the new purpose of the house as the centerpiece of a working farm where people interested in and learning about farming are entertained and locally grown meats are served along with other Greenbrier Valley produce.
The home of Jim and Margaret Shuler has been recently restored with modern conveniences added. Guests will be amazed at the woodwork attributed to Conrad Burgess and brick work by John Dunn in this circa 1822 beauty. Still in the process of moving in, the owners will have several examples of their antique clock collection already in place.
The home of Glen and Carol Jewell, which may have been built as early as 1750-1769 and be the oldest house in Lewisburg, has had a meticulous renovation in cooperation with the State Historic Preservation Office and the Lewisburg Historic Landmarks Commission. The preservation of the legacy of this house and its time period was extremely important to the Jewells who included a fireplace surround in the renovation which dates to 1750. It came from Mrs. Jewell’s family farm in northeastern North Carolina, and was recently on display at the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts in Winston-Salem, NC.
Dr. Doug and Sue Tuckwiller McKinney have recently located in their home full time from Bridgeport. Nestled in some of the most beautiful farm land in the area at the base of Muddy Creek Mountain, and among the homes of other Tuckwiller descendants, the house is a beautiful blend of its 1888 legacy and modern updates. Mrs. McKinney’s antique doll and teddy bear collections are right at home as are the original paintings of each of the nine grandchildren at the age of two. Visitors will never want to leave the screened-in porch from which there are some of the best views in Greenbrier County.
The former manse of the Old Stone Presbyterian Church is located on land acquired by the Rev. Benjamin Grigsby from Abraham Huptonstall and he built the original stone house 1796. It has had later additions of wood. The current owners are Dr. David and Melissa Hunt. The Greenbrier River Trail runs behind the house and the back patio has wonderful mountain views.
The large Victorian House owned by George Lemon is a preservation project waiting to happen. Visitors will see the pristine Victorian bones of this un-furnished house and have the rare opportunity to see the first level of the preservation process.
On Sunday afternoon, visitors are invited to follow old Route 60 to Rainelle where they will be treated to a tour of the Rainelle United Methodist Church. Dedicated in 1914 and built of native West Virginia chestnut, harvested before the disease which caused “wormy chestnut,” it is a beautiful example of early 20th century church architecture. Following the tour of the church, guests will be treated to a gospel concert at 3 p.m. by Ethel Caffie-Austin who has been called West Virginia’s “First Lady of Gospel Music.” Lunch is also available at the church by a separate ticket.
Sponsors for the Home Tour event include Bella, the Corner Gourmet; Edith’s Store, Watt’s Roost Winery, The Bakery, B-Sweet, The General Lewis Inn, Food & Friends, The 19th Hole/TLP, Ronceverte Feed Store and more.
For more information, please call the Greenbrier Historical Society at 304-645-3398. Tickets, available at the North House Museum and the Greenbrier Convention and Visitors Bureau, are $50 for the Gala on Friday evening, $30 for the Homes Tour on Saturday, and $10 for the Church Tour and Concert on Sunday afternoon. A combination ticket can be purchased for $80. The lunch at the church is a separately ticketed event and tickets are available for $10. Both the Gala and church lunch tickets must be purchased in advance and by Monday, June 8. Saturday Home Tour tickets and Sunday Church Tour and Concert tickets may be purchased at the door.