Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 16, 2013

Inside the multi-level brick colonial-style home of Marshall and Jenny Murphy lies a mix of modern upgrades and a retro nod to the homes’ original unique 1950s style. The Landis couple have lived in the home since 2010 and have made it their own. The home, built in 1951 by Fred Corriher Sr. and his wife, Mary Bell, is just one of four unique homes on the Christmas Tour of Homes and Dinner, an annual fundraiser that helps maintain the China Grove Roller Mill Museum.
This year’s event will be Saturday, Dec. 7, with tours at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Tickets are $30 per person and includes transportation, a tour of the homes and a meal. Ticket holders will also have the opportunity to tour the Roller Mill and see the holiday tablescapes decorated by local artists and craftsmen. The Roller Mill is located at 308 N. Main Street, China Grove. Attendees on the tour will either choose to tour at 4 p.m. or 6 p.m.
Tickets for the tour and dinner are now on sale and are limited to the first 100 guests.
The Murphys, who are both originally from the south Rowan area, returned to Landis after 30 years of living in Texas.
The features of the home include a gourmet kitchen that once held a garage, and a wine cellar created by the previous owners.
Jenny said she likes the Williamsburg style of decorating, which incorporates lots of greenery, fresh fruits and berries.
She gets many of her ideas from magazines and her own imagination.
The home will have at least seven Christmas trees, some table top and others floor-length. The couple have saved handmade decorations from their son and have purchased other items through estate sales, Jenny said.
“She’s toned it down,” Marshall joked.
Jenny has also weaved pine cones from her own yard into her design plans. She has white painted pinecones nestled into garland that stretches across the fireplace mantle in the living room.
Her colors don’t stray too far from the traditional green and red customarily seen during the holidays, but Jenny has sprinkled a little chartreuse, silver and gold in places.
What was once a garage was renovated and made into a sunroom and gourmet kitchen by the previous owners who were also wine connoisseurs and created a wine cellar.
Garland and Kay Faw built their 5,500 square-foot log home, which is tucked in a wooded area in China Grove, more than 30 years ago. The couple have raised their four children and have seen 10 grandchildren, five great-grandchildren return for holidays and other occasions.
One of the family’s long-standing traditions is to gather on Christmas Eve for a meal then a reading of the Bible about the birth of Jesus Christ. The family has a moment of reflection about what Christ means to them, prayer and then open presents. Garland, who is a retired minister, also has a time during the holidays when the family invites area seniors for a meal. He is also the founder of Lincoln Log Homes, and designed and built his home.
The home is the third one Garland built for his family, who’ve also lived in Tennessee, but the China Grove home is where the family settled.
Homes on the tour:
The colonial-style home was built in 1951 by Fred Corriher Sr. and his wife, Mary Bell. A wine cellar and garage were added in 1982 when son, Fred Corriher Jr. and wife, Bonnie, renovated the house.
The house also features a sunroom and large outdoor space. The Murphys furnished it with antiques acquired over the last 30 years. The home is delightfully decorated with seven Christmas trees and other holiday decorations.
This two-story house was built in 1906 by O. L. Linn for his bride, Mary Corriher. Sarah Linn Drye, O.L.’s daughter, bought the home. A large family room adjoining the music room was added in the late ’60s, giving additional space for Sarah Drye’s house piano concerts and piano lessons.  More renovation followed and now the home is in it’s third generation of owners with Mary Linn and Hans Schnitger-Drye having bought it after Sarah Linn Drye’s death. The historical home contains beautiful furnishings.
Nestled in the woods in a quiet rustic setting is a 5,500 square-foot log home built in 1981 by Garland Faw. The log home features a covered wrap-around porch and an outdoor lounging area, with a 30-seat dining table. The children and grandchildren have gathered at that custom-made table for summer fun.
The 28-foot rock fireplace extends two stories. The home includes a family room, dining room, a large open master suite and newly renovated kitchen. The home will also feature Christmas decorations are throughout the house, much of will be decorated by the children and grandchildren.
This cozy Victorian Cottage was built in the early 1900s. It once housed a cleaning business, a printing business and medical practice. It originally sat on Main Street and was moved so that Belk Department store could be built.
The house features include bullseye door frames, wooden blinds, original light fixtures, an antique library table, and a metal bed from the turn of the century.
An old fashion Christmas tree completes the historical décor of this charming house.
For more information about purchasing a ticket for the Christmas Tour of Homes contact Judy Haire at 704-425-5323 or via email at
Make requests for tickets to the Historical Society of South Rowan, P.O. Box 473, China Grove, NC 28023 and include tour time preference. Tickets will be mailed.