Visitors enjoy scenes of the season during Spencer home tour

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 14, 2011

By Robin D. Johnson
Spencer Hometown Holidays Committee
SPENCER — People came from as far as Charlotte to enjoy the recent Candlelight Tour of Homes in Spencer. The cold temperatures definitely made it feel like Christmas as visitors delighted in getting a look inside the six historic homes on the tour.
According to Eric Lentz, co-chair of the Spencer Candlelight Tour, nearly 200 people attended this year’s event. The Candlelight Home Tour is sponsored by the Spencer Hometown Holidays Committee.
First on the stop was the Central United Methodist Church parsonage. Never before featured on the tour, this home was built in 1930. Current residents Pastors William and Anna Mandelstamm, who are newcomers to Spencer, agreed that they were thrilled to be on the tour. Original home details included windows, a tiled fireplace, oak floors, a light brown oak staircase and banister.
The L.L. Lefler house on South Spencer Avenue, owned by Marty Lineberger and built in 1925, is a charming cottage-style home and was filled to the brim with various Christmas trees and decorations. Those touring the home this year were invited to count the number of playful elfs featured among the festive decorations.
The Sigmon House on Fourth Street, built in 1919 to replace the original Sigmon family home after it burned, is currently owned by Steve and Jody Vail. The striking Spanish Colonial style makes it an architectural standout. Everyone touring the home really enjoyed seeing the gorgeous claw-foot bathtub which was purchased for the home in 1919. A 1906 French antique vanity and sink complemented the tub and made the bathroom feel very plush.
On South Carolina Avenue, the Puryear-Surratt house, currently owned by Jill Peterson, was a true delight. This home was a boarding house in the 1910s when the original owners, the Puryears, lived here. Puryear was an engineer at the Spencer Shops and his wife, Minnie, operated the boarding house. Visitors were impressed by the house’s second set of stairs off the kitchen and they also enjoyed the homeowner’s father, who treated guests to stories of the house’s days when it was a boarding house.
The Robert Miller House on South Baldwin Avenue, built in 1930 and now owned by Lynn Plummer, is also cottage-style and is decorated with Lynn’s own photography. The Christmas decorations were a good mix of real greenery and artificial. The homeowner was very proud to show off his new and improved kitchen.
Tommy Stoner, with lots of help from his sister Janette Yost and friend, Judy Kirk did a fantastic job of decorating the J.K. Dorsett house on Fourth Street. Visitors and neighbors gathered on the wraparound porch as they waited to enter the house. Once inside, they were impressed with all of the festive Christmas décor. The house was built in 1902 and is a modified Queen Anne. Each of the eight mantels was decorated with a varied theme. All of the fireplaces are still in working order.
After the tour, one guest summed it up when she wrote, “I so enjoyed the tour. The houses looked great, but the truly wonderful aspect was how welcoming everyone was.”
Robin D. Johnson is a freelance writer who lives in Spencer. She is as a volunteer on the Spencer Hometown Holidays Committee. She can be contacted at