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OctoberTour expands past Salisbury city limits to Spencer

Click here for more photos of this year’s OctoberTour.

By Liz Moomey

SALISBURY/SPENCER — From vintage Australian tourist posters to original office doors, homes in Salisbury and Spencer were on display during the 43rd annual OctoberTour on Saturday.

The weekend-long event gives residents a chance to see various homes — some in the renovation process — and get a taste of the history of the neighboring cities. This year added homes in Spencer and concluded at Library Park.

“It’s a turn from what we usually do and I think collectively a lot of people involved with the organization feel the need and feel like it’s important to expand beyond the Salisbury city limits and start including the rest of the county,” said Brian Pfaff, a Historic Salisbury Foundation staff member. “We thought this would be a good first step in doing that. Spencer is a lovely town. There’s lots of wonderful homes here, lots of variety. You have craftsman houses sitting right next to Victorian houses.”

Rindy Watkins and her daughter Katie walked through the historic homes, discussing the touches in each.

“We’re born and raised in Salisbury and my husband is from Spencer,” Rindy Watkins said. “We see the houses all the time and you just never know what’s inside. I think it’s been fun.”

Katie Watkins toured the Burdette house at 409 4th Spencer. The home is currently going through a restoration project and is about 80 percent completed. The owners moved into the house early this year after moving from Australia, bringing along pieces from the country like plants and tourist posters from Blue Mountain.

“I would never think to do some of the art like they’re doing in there,” she said.

Rindy Watkins added she likes seeing the different owners’ tastes.

“You think in a small town like this some of the houses wouldn’t be what they are in the inside, but they are gorgeous, with the culture and everything kept up,” Watkins said. “It makes you proud that somebody can do that.”

Cheryl Goins, owner of 101 South Main Street, which includes Pottery 101 and loft, opened up her home to showcase a downtown apartment. The 1873 Hedrick Block Building apartment was featured on the tour in 2009. Visitors enjoyed the views looking onto the Innes Street and Main Street intersection while pointing out the remaining office doors.

“We were on the tour in 2009 and it’s fun. It’s really fun to open it up and let people walk through and look at it,” Goins said.

Goins said this year she wants people to start thinking more about moving to the downtown area, especially with downtown residential development in the future.

“We want people to start thinking about living downtown and we’ve always felt that way and we take people up there all the time,” she said. “They’ll ask about it or whatever and we’ll take them on a tour upstairs. Our motivation has always been to get people thinking about living downtown.”

OctoberTour continues through the weekend. Today, homes will be open noon to 5 p.m. For information about the tour, go to www.octobertour.com .


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