OctoberTour to feature 15 sites, array of architectural styles

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 16, 2013

SALISBURY — Historic Salisbury Foundation has revealed the sites for its annual OctoberTour, to be held Oct. 10-13.
Now in its 38th year, this year’s OctoberTour will offer guests an insider’s view of 15 historic properties during one of the region’s oldest and largest fall house tours.
“We strive each year to offer an OctoberTour weekend filled with sites from our vast array of architecture styles from both private homes and commercial buildings,” Chairperson Lisa Cartner said. “This year’s tour offers the visitor a variety of stylistic periods and a look at the distinctive character of Salisbury’s downtown and its historic neighborhoods.”
Over 38 years, the tour has featured more than 140 historic structures and sites throughout Salisbury — private homes, businesses and historic landmarks. The tour showcases not only the history of Salisbury, but the hard work and generosity of the historic preservation community, the foundation said in a release.
For the first time in almost 30 years, visitors will be able to visit the Fulton-Mock-Blackmer House, which was damaged in a 1984 fire and is now in the early stages of a complete restoration.
Architectural historian Davyd Foard Hood has researched the history of this historic home, which one preservationist has called “a record of the history of the North Carolina Piedmont.”
HSF Executive Director Brian Davis said this year’s OctoberTour offers a fresh perspective on historic Salisbury. In addition to West Square, the city’s first historic district, this year’s OctoberTour highlights the Brooklyn–South Square community.
“We want to reach out, showing the variety of architecture and the historic character of different neighborhoods of our city,” Davis said.
The restored Lanier-Rufty House at 213 S. Lee St., which now houses The Perfect Smoke cigar shop, is also included on this year’s tour. As winner of the 2013 HSF Preservation Award, this former residential property shows how historic properties can be given a new life, Davis said.
At the J.W. Hall House, 226 S. Jackson St., guests will also have the chance to see artifacts recovered from the century-old Grimes Mill. The historic roller mill was destroyed by fire Jan. 16. Unique artifacts include bricks inscribed with the signatures of the masons who made them, as well as demonstrations of handheld milling equipment.
Here are the 2013 OctoberTour sites:

• Wright-Hobson House (1912), 302 S Fulton St. Judge R. Lee Wright’s residence was built by one of North Carolina’s first professionally trained architects, Louise Asbury. This Neo-classical style, red brick house features a semi-circle portico with Corinthian columns, flanked by deep, one-story porches. The house retains its original slate roof and stained glass windows. Interior restoration work is in progress.

• Donald Clement Sr. House (c. 1880), 310 S. Ellis St. The frame house was constructed in the 1880s and rebuilt in 1913 by attorney L. H. Clement in the domestic Colonial Revival style. In 1919, Clement opened Salisbury Motor Company, which at one time was one of the oldest Buick dealerships in the United States. Several vintage automobiles will be on display in the driveway of the home, some of which were sold new by Salisbury Motor Company.

• Tankersley-Tatum House (c. 1902), 217 S. Ellis St. This asymmetrical Queen Anne style structure features a broad porch with Doric columns and handsome windows with ornamental bracketed lintels. The original double door and six gables offer a dramatic roofline.

• Stewart-Marsh House (c. 1869), 220 S. Ellis St. The plain, two-story frame structure is three bays wide and one bay deep, with a gabled roof and two exterior single-shouldered chimneys on each gabled end. A small, one-story gabled portico shelters the entry. One- and two-story additions have been built onto the rear of the original house over the years featuring wide wooden-board upstairs ceilings and many of the original glass windowpanes. The original woodwork and mantels remain, with some modifications made by the present owners.

• Utzman-Chambers House (c. 1815), 116 S. Jackson St. This is an excellent example of the Federal townhouse style in North Carolina. Built for Lewis Utzman, a local cabinetmaker, this home reflects the lifestyle of Salisbury’s more affluent citizens in the 1800s. Jacob Stirewalt, a master builder of the period, constructed the house, which features a unique carved staircase based on one found in Owen Biddle’s 1833 carpentry manual, “The Young Carpenter’s Assistant.” The staircase features a hand-carved and graduated “tulip & scroll” design, and curves from the first floor to the third-floor attic.

• William Huff House (c. 1892), 409 E. Bank St. One of the most eclectic dwellings in this district. the two-story, weather-boarded and frame Italianate-Victorian house was built by grocer W.H. Huff. His widow operated a boarding house here into the 1930s. Notable features include symmetrical composition, developed around a two-story projecting entrance bay and steep gable roof. Anne Lyles of HSF purchased the house in 1991; she and her family have dedicated themselves to revitalizing the Brooklyn-South Square Neighborhood.

• Sillman-Peeler-Miller House (c. 1893), 424 E. Bank St. Two-story, weather-boarded and frame, this late Italianate dwelling was built by James R. Silliman. It was a rental property for most of the 20th century until 2002, when new owners began restoration work. The house now has a restored staircase with large historic, stained glass window that once graced the front of the old Salisbury First Presbyterian Church, demolished in 1971.

• Hamill-Thompson-Kessler House (c. 1899), 321 E. Bank St. It’s an Italianate home with steep front and side gables and wraparound front porch. It was constructed on the site of a single-story weatherboard house moved to accommodate the new home. The buildings were connected by a porch until the 1920s. The larger home was converted into apartments in 1967 and back into a single family residence by HSF in 2008.

• Julian-Phillips House (c. 1895), 309 E. Bank St. This two-story frame Victorian house was built for David R. Julian, Rowan County sheriff from 1900-1906. From 1965 to 1992, the house was used as a rental property until it was purchased by HSF. The foundation sold the property in 1996, and restoration of the house began. It’s characterized by a steep gable roof with bold decorative brackets along the eaves and an asymmetrical composition. The western addition and wrap-around porch were reportedly added in 1902, giving the house its present appearance

• M.C. Rufty House (c. 1895), 310 E Bank St. An example of preservation in action, this house was purchased by HSF in 1997 and first appeared on OctoberTour™ in 2000 while restoration was in progress. The current owners have continued preservation efforts, replacing damaged siding, maintaining interior tile and plaster and adding a new roof.

• Lanier-Rufty Rental House (c. 1900), 213 S. Lee St. This 1,800-square-foot house has been preserved and repurposed to house The Perfect Smoke, an upscale cigar shop and lounge. Owner Darren W. Moody made a point of retaining as much of the building’s historic character as possible, including original wood trim, molding, mantles, doors and floors, while incorporating modern electricity, plumbing and HVAC systems. A second historic home next door is currently undergoing restoration to house a restaurant.
In addition, Historic Salisbury Foundation will open the following properties for tour:
• Fulton-Mock-Blackmer House, c. 1820, 112 S. Fulton St.
• Dr. Josephus W. Hall House, c. 1820, 226 S. Jackson St.
• Cyrus West House, c. 1839, 203 S. Main St.
• Bernhardt House, c. 1882, 305 E. Innes St.

Numerous special events take place during OctoberTour weekend. For a full listing, plus pricing and ticketing details, visit www.OctoberTour.com or visit the HSF office, 215 Depot St., Salisbury.
Autumn Train Excursions 2013: For the first time, HSF is partnering with the North Carolina Transportation Museum to offer a special combination deal for OctoberTour guests to participate in the Autumn Train Excursion to Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday, Oct. 12, or to Asheville on Sunday, Oct. 13.
The excursions take a picturesque journey through beautiful countryside, followed by a three-hour stop to allow passengers to dine and see the sights before returning to Spencer. Visit www.nctrans.org to purchase tickets for this special offer.
The Harvest Moon Patrons’ Party, Friday, Oct. 11: HSF will host The Harvest Moon, an evening of friendship and fellowship, in honor of OctoberTour sponsors and homeowners. Celebrate the start of OctoberTour 2013 with live music, dancing, signature cocktails and delicious food. Hosted by Katherine and Chad Vriesema.
OctoberTour Luncheon, Friday, Oct. 11: Learn about the history of the Fulton-Mock-Blackmer House while enjoying a meal and wine in the Fellowship Hall of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.
Living History Encampment/Civil War historical re-enactment, Saturday, Oct. 12: Step back into the past and learn about Salisbury’s and North Carolina’s Civil War history. Troops will camp, march, fire volleys, discuss war strategy, tell stories and answer questions. Also, the Old North State Field Hospital Civil War Medical Reenactors group will portray the roles of medical personnel during the conflict, honoring both Confederate and Union medical services and departments.
Advance OctoberTour tickets are $18 for HSF members (must be purchased in person at the HSF office, 215 S. Depot St., Salisbury). Non-member advance tickets are $20 per adult and $10 for children ages 6 to 10.
Advance tickets may be purchased online through www.OctoberTour.com. Starting in early September, tickets may be purchased from several local merchants in Salisbury, Spencer, China Grove and Rockwell. Locations will be announced on the website n late August. Tickets purchased on the day of the event will be $25 per person for all ages.