2017 OctoberTour home sites announced

2017 OctoberTour home sites announced
Hambley-Wallace House (Erin Comerford Photography)
Hambley-Wallace House (Erin Comerford Photography)

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - One of the most popular annual events in Salisbury is set for another year.  The Historic Salisbury Foundation has announced the home sites that will be on display in the 2017 OctoberTour.

On October 14 and 15, 2017, Historic Salisbury Foundation offers the rare opportunity to step inside ten of Salisbury's finest private homes and two of the area's notable landmarks.

OctoberTour, now in its 42nd year, is one of the oldest annual historic home tours in the South and has featured more than 200 houses and historic properties in Salisbury and Rowan County.

"Its strong reputation and proven track record have helped establish Historic Salisbury Foundation as one of the country's leaders in historic preservation," the release says.

Ranging from a grand chateau on South Fulton Street, the landmarked Hambley-Wallace House, to a simple one-room schoolhouse for African-Americans, this year's tour promises to be one of the more interesting and informative. It features historic houses of varying sizes, complexity and architectural styles, including Chateauesque, Colonial Revival, Queen Anne, Arts and Crafts, Greek Revival, Italian Renaissance, and Romanesque.

The tour sites tell the stories of those whose lives and labors have shaped the character and the historic fabric of this community. The architecture reflects the history, literally and figuratively.

2017 OctoberTour Sites:

1902 Hambley-Wallace House – 508 South Fulton Street

This grand brick and granite residence stands as one of the country's finest examples of the Chateauesque architectural style. Built in 1902 for Egbert Barry Cornwall Hambley, a Cornish mining and civil engineer, who came to the Piedmont with entrepreneurial plans to develop gold mines and then turned to hydroelectric power. Hambley needed a residence suitable for entertaining investors—hence the majestic scale and setting of the house.

Designed by the Charlotte architectural firm of Hook and Sawyer, the two and a half story house and its grounds make extensive use of locally quarried granite. The house's notable architectural features include a steeply-pitched roof pierced with spires, pinnacles, turrets, gables, towers, and chimneys. The landscaping of the grounds was completed in 1904; the property includes a carriage house, stables and servants' quarters, also in the Chateauesque style.

Tragically, Hambley died of typhoid fever in 1906. The house was sold by Hambley's widow to John Norwood in 1917. Leo C. Wallace and his wife, Ella Belle Cohen Wallace, acquired it in 1927. It continues to be owned by members of the Wallace family. An extensive—and remarkable--rehabilitation of the house and grounds was completed in 2012.

1922 Minnie Lord Henderson House – 220 South Fulton Street

In 1918, Minnie Lord Scales Henderson, widow of Captain Richard Henderson, rented the house at 220 South Fulton Street known as the J.J. Bruner House. Mrs. Henderson purchased the property a year later and had the house torn down. In its place, she had the two-story brick house that currently stands on the property built. Intended by Mrs. Henderson to be "one of the most modern homes on the street," this 1922 house maintains its modern feel. Its low hipped roof, wide eaves with exposed rafters and wrap-around one-story porch epitomize the styling of the early 20th century Arts and Crafts movement. The linear, handcrafted oak used throughout and the diamond paned, leaded glass windows create handsome interior spaces, also in the Arts and Crafts style.

1924 Dr. F.B. Spencer House – 528 South Fulton Street

This elegant two-story brick house, built in 1924 for Dr. F.B. Spencer and his wife, Olive Abernathy Spencer, was designed by one of North Carolina's most prominent architects, Louis H. Asbury. It is a fine example of the Italian Renaissance style; it has a symmetric design with a one-story columned portico framing its entrance and is balanced by one-story wings on either side of the house. The hipped roof on the main house, the portico and the two wings are a striking green ceramic tile. The beveled glass French doors on the first floor are unusual and worth a close look. Not surprisingly, the Dr. F. B. Spencer House influenced the design of a number of houses in Salisbury, especially in Fulton Heights.

The interior spaces are as interesting as the house's exterior. The oak and pine flooring as well as the woodwork came from trees harvested on Anson County property owned by Mrs. Spencer's family. The house remained in the Spencer family until 1989.

1904-1910 T. E. Coneley House – 428 West Horah Street

This two-story stucco Queen Anne structure was built for Thomas E. Coneley, a foreman with Southern Railways, on a lot purchased in 1904 from Jethro Rumple. Rumple, noted for his 1881 history of Rowan County, lived in the house on the corner of South Fulton and West Horah Streets.

The Coneley House has a steep hip roof intersected by splayed gables. Its second story front façade features a Palladian window which is repeated at a smaller scale on the front gable. The house's asymmetric, textured exterior is common to the Queen Anne style. Its new owner has added a two-story circular screened porch with a winding stair to its rear, creating a whimsical effect when viewed from South Ellis Street.

1884 J.C. Price House – 828 West Monroe Street

This two-story brick Victorian house was built in 1884 for Joseph Charles Price (1854-1893), founder and first president of Livingstone College. In 1881, as a newly ordained minister, Price made a speaking tour through England and Europe, raising funds to relocate Livingstone College (then the Wesley Zion Institute). Livingstone moved from Concord to Salisbury in 1882.  Dr. Price was a distinguished educator and orator with a national reputation, renowned for his leadership of the African-American community.

The J. C. Price House remains in the family. Its notable features include a hand-crafted mantle and fireplace surround in the dining room designed and built by Livingstone students as a gift to Dr. Price. Today, the J. C. Price House remains the oldest and most prominent house on West Monroe Street.

1907 Lynch-Nicholson House – 624 West Monroe Street

William H. Goler, Livingstone College's second president, built this Queen Anne style home in 1906 for librarian Mary Alice Lynch and her mother Maria Lynch. Goler used college students to help build this and other nearby houses. The house's circular front porch with Romanesque arches and a center column is its most recognizable feature. Given its unique design and prominent location, the Lynch-Nicholson House acts as a gateway to the West End Neighborhood. It is the first of six properties that Livingstone College and Historic Salisbury Foundation have agreed to restore.

The Lynch-Nicholson House was a work in progress on OctoberTour last year. Its exterior was stabilized, but not painted and its interior was stripped to the studs. This year it stands fully rehabilitated for all to enjoy.

1852 Shaver-Holmes House – 719 South Fulton Street

This house is believed to have been built in 1852 as a Greek Revival cottage for Daniel Shaver. It was located at 407 Mocksville Avenue on the corner of Mocksville Avenue and Grove Street. Shaver's brother, Mayor John I. Shaver, reportedly stood on the porch and watched as Union troops under General George Stoneman marched into Salisbury on April 12, 1865. The house was remodeled in the Colonial Revival style around the turn of the century. Its prominent owners included Haden C. Holmes, first city manager of Salisbury, George A. Fisher, a wealthy merchant and Buick distributor, and Dr. Benjamin Whitehead McKenzie, a leading surgeon in Salisbury. The house was saved from demolition in 1987 when Historic Salisbury Foundation acquired it as a Revolving Fund property. It was moved to its present site on South Fulton Street and purchased by Mrs. Mary Katherine Kluttz who restored the house in 1989.

1916 Dr. J.W. Zimmerman House – 221 West Thomas Street

Dr. J.W. Zimmerman, a successful Salisbury dentist, built this two-story brick veneer and wood shingled house in 1916. Like other Foursquare houses across West Thomas Street, this house is basically a rectangular box with a hipped roof and a central dormer. That said, the Zimmerman House differs markedly from the typical Foursquares because of its distinct combination of materials and its entrance portico. The first story exterior is brick while second story and dormer are shingled, though the shingles are painted to match the brick. A wood trim visually separates the stories and is painted white for contrast as are the eaves. The entrance portico has massive, tapered brick piers with arched openings, capped with granite. The overall effect comes close to that of an early Prairie style house.

1918 J.M. McCanless House – 206 West Thomas Street

This two-story brick Colonial Revival house was built in 1918 by J.M. McCanless, a successful businessman and son of Napoleon Bonaparte McCanless. The house remained in the family until 1984 when McCanless' daughter Claire Dawson died, though her husband Clayton lived there until the 90s. The house's rectangular shape, its symmetry and its hipped roof are typical of the Foursquare houses that predominate on West Thomas Street, though the J. M. McCanless House is distinguished by its Colonial style detailing. The granite window sills and lintels and brick quoining add visual interest to the house and are repeated on the two-story garage in back of the house.

In the 1920's, Mrs. Agnes Weant taught kindergarten for the children of nearby neighbors in the upstairs room of the garage. Today, that room is an elaborately decorated 'man cave.' The interior of the house retains much of its original woodwork with the staircase being of particular interest.

1908 Neely School – 225 Neelytown Road, China Grove

The Neely School was built around 1908 by Julius Neely, a minister and farmer, and his wife, Katie Stokes McKenzie Neely. It is believed to be the oldest one-room, African-American schoolhouse surviving in Rowan County. It served more than 1,400 African-American children in grades 1 through 7 until it closed in 1948. Mr. Neely built the one-room school from lumber sawn from his own trees and not much in the way of purchased materials. There were no interior finishes and a simple white wash on the exterior. The vacant school had been vandalized over the years and time had taken its toll on the building.

In 2011, the Historic Neely School Foundation was founded by the Neely's grandchildren to restore the school. The renovation, completed in 2015, retained as much of the original fabric of the building as possible while stabilizing its structure. This architecturally simple but elegant schoolhouse is well worth the short drive to visit.

1892 Bell Tower – 225 West Innes Street

The Bell Tower, perhaps Salisbury's most iconic landmark, was saved from demolition by the persistent—and sometimes heated--efforts of the newly formed Historic Salisbury Foundation. Built in 1892, the Bell Tower was a part of the Romanesque style First Presbyterian Church which was demolished in 1972 to allow for commercial development of the site. With the Bell Tower remaining, HSF formalized an agreement to preserve and repair it in late 1974. The Bell Tower fell into disrepair again, leading to another funding campaign for repairs in 1991.

As the situation was about to repeat itself a third time, the Blanche and Julian Robertson Family Foundation signed an option to purchase the 3.5-acre block containing the Bell Tower from the First Presbyterian Church. The purchase was completed in 2016 and the Robertson Foundation immediately took steps to stabilize and repair the Bell Tower. It was a complex project given the Bell Tower's structural problems and its poor overall condition. With the work complete, the Bell Tower's future is secure. And, its bell, cast in 1858, rang for the first time in many years this past New Year's Eve.

1820 Dr. Josephus W. Hall House – 226 South Jackson Street

The Dr. Josephus W. Hall House along with its detached kitchen and spacious grounds is owned by Historic Salisbury Foundation and stands as the centerpiece of the historic West Square Neighborhood. Originally constructed as classrooms for the Salisbury Female Academy, Maxwell Chambers acquired the two-story Federal style frame house for his residence in 1825. In 1859, Dr. Josephus Hall purchased the house and began to transform it into the grand Southern residence that stands today. Dr. Hall added the front porches with their ornamental cast iron railings as well as the arched gateway leading into the property. The Foundation purchased the house from Dr. Hall's great granddaughter in 1972 and has opened it to the public ever since.

The Hall House has anchored every OctoberTour since the first in 1976. Tour goers never tire of its traditional Southern charm and its beautiful setting.

Other Tour Activities:

On Thursday Night, October 12th, the annual Patrons' Party will launch the weekend of festivities. This year's party, "A Night at Magnolia Mansion," will be at the home of Shari and Bill Graham. Friday's OctoberTour Luncheon will feature a talk by Susan Sides, president of the Foundation's board of trustees, on the influence of E.B.C. Hambley on Salisbury and the surrounding area. As always, tour sponsors and patrons can enjoy refreshments and drinks on the Patrons' Porch both days of the tour.

The Hall House grounds and adjacent Bank Street will feature food, beer and wine, crafts, live musical entertainment, and activities for the entire family Saturday and Sunday during tour hours. Plein Air artists will be painting throughout historic West Square and will display their work at the Artists Reception from 5-7pm Saturday on the Hall House lawn. Tickets are not required for this portion of the weekend's activities.

2017 Presenting Sponsors:

Historic Salisbury Foundation is pleased to announce Shari and Bill Graham & Mona Lisa and Lee Wallace as presenting sponsors for OctoberTour 2017. The Foundation is grateful to the Graham and Wallace families as well as to all of our sponsors, for their support of this year's tour.

For detailed tour information, sponsorship opportunities, photos of the sites and to purchase tickets, visit www.OctoberTour.com.

Historic Salisbury Foundation, Inc., founded in 1972, is a private, non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve, protect and revitalize the historic fabric of Salisbury and Rowan County.

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