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Editorial: A truly historic tour

Rain dampened the first day of OctoberTour 2016, but the tour set a new record of sorts, nevertheless, thanks to former U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Hanford Dole.

Make no mistake: Every homeowner who opens their doors to raise awareness and money for the Historic Salisbury Foundation deserves heartfelt thanks. They go to a great deal of trouble, all for a cause that is an integral part of Salisbury’s identity.

The Hanford Dole House stood out because of Elizabeth Dole’s personal touch. The Tudor-style house where she grew up on South Fulton Street had never been on tour before, but ticket-buyers did more than get a first look at the house and family memorabilia. They also met and chatted with Dole herself, who graciously greeted every visitor.

Dole has made history, as the trophies and keepsakes around the house attested, from her work in the Reagan White House to leading the American Red Cross. In position after position, when Dole was the “first woman” to shoulder a responsibility, she proved that she could do the job as well as man — or better.

Dole continues to forge new territory. She recently partnered with actor Tom Hanks and others to launch the Hidden Heroes campaign to support military and veteran caregivers. She’s not history yet, but the history she could personally share with visitors made this tour a once-in-a-lifetime experience, rain and all.

Speaking of rain, Karen Hobson has now weathered her first OctoberTour as executive director of Historic Salisbury Foundation. The rain was so steady Saturday that she had to deliver replacement brochures in a waterproof canoe sack to keep them dry. Even so, 400 people visited the Hanford Dole House on Saturday. With a  sunny Sunday, the entire tour totaled more than 1,000 visitors over two days.

Many thanks to Historic Salisbury Foundation, its staff and volunteers for another successful tour. There will never be another quite like it.

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