The Tifton Heritage Foundation’s annual Christmas Candlelight Tour of Historic Homes will once again kick off Tifton’s Hometown Holidays Celebration at 6-9 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 2.
Four homes will be featured, along with the option to take a horse-drawn carriage ride from Three Graces at the Lankford Manor to view the homes. Tickets for the tour are $15 and are sold at Three Graces, 401 Love Ave.; Between Friends and Giggles Restaurant, 219 Main St.; Kate Hill Cottage, 122 Second St.; and The Floor Shoppe – Glynn Hendricks Interiors, 1010 Love Ave. The night of the event they may be purchased at City Council Chambers in City Hall at the Myon Hotel, 130 E. First St.
Three Graces at the Lankford Manor will be offering a “Come as You Are” leisurely dinner followed by a horse-drawn carriage ride to the homes on the tour. Tickets for either or both of these options must be purchased in advance by calling or visiting the Three Graces Manor, 402 N. Love Ave., (229) 238-2534. Dinner & Carriage ride is $30, Carriage Ride only is $10, plus the $15 Tour of Homes ticket.
Last year’s tour proceeds were used for a joint venture with the City of Tifton to plant hundreds of new trees within the Historic District. Support of this tour will generate generations to come through the planting of these trees.
The homes on the tour include the home of Mary Guill, 612 W. 10th St.; the home of Dr. Raymond and Mrs. Kathy Moreno, 216 W. 10th St.; the former home of Robert and Evelyn Eve., 802 N. Ridge Ave.; and the downtown apartment home of Wesley Roger Thornhill, 211 S. Main St. Apt. A (Love Avenue at First Street). The Hall of Trees will also be open the night of the tour in City Council Chambers at the Myon Hotel, 130 E. First St. Tour-goers may begin the tour at any home of their choice.
For more information about the Tifton Heritage Foundation, please contact THF President Darlene Pilcher, 386-8392, or e-mail email@example.com.
The home of Dr. Raymond and Kathy Moreno at 216 West 10th St. is an example of an English Vernacular Revival home, which has had few owners during its 110 years. R.A. and Mabel Kelley purchased the home from the widow of a doctor. The four Kelley children, Carolyn, Eleanor, Mabel ("Sissy") and Jane grew up in this home.
Later, Sissy would return to rear her two sons, Bob and James ("Jim") here.
The Morenos bought the home in the early 1990s and enjoyed having their children, Aaron, Rachel and Joshua grow up in this large home.
This red brick home has four dormers in the attic and a partial basement... one of the few in Tifton. The front walk leads people to the tile-floor front porch with wide brick and concrete rails (great for sitting) along the front of the brick home. Glass French doors with side lights welcome each into the living room. Picture molding, a fireplace, wide door moldings and heart pine floors bring history alive. Along the west side of the home are three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Legend has it steel "I" beams were used over the windows during construction to ensure a sturdy strong home.
A small sitting porch is off the formal dining room with built-in china cabinet. The kitchen, adjacent to the dining room, has been updated but maintains the charm and history of this home. The original chimney serves as an anchor for the wrap-around granite counter. The many windows in the kitchen and TV area, combined with the slope of the land, makes one feel they are living in a very tree house. Dual back steps off the kitchen leads one to the newly landscaped area and pergola.
When Kelley purchased the home, it included property to the alley on the east and to the ditch / creek to the south. Since, some of the property has been sold.
The Former home of Robert and Evelyn Eve, 802 Ridge Avenue, was originally built by Edmund Harding Tift as a spec home and is located on the northeast corner of Eighth Street and Ridge Avenue. This Queen Anne style home, circa 1900s, has always been an eye-catcher. Tift was also the builder of St. Anne's Episcopal Church (originally at Fourth Street and Central Avenue) and the Corry home on Love Avenue.
This majestic two-story home has had few owners. Judge and Mrs. Raleigh Eve were the second owners. Here they reared their only child, Robert, who later married and brought his wife, Evelyn, to his childhood home to spend their married years. Robert and Evelyn occupied the upstairs while the parents lived downstairs. Only after the older generation had passed would Robert and Evelyn claim the first floor for their home.
An inviting front porch opens to the front parlor, which has numerous windows and a fireplace, making it a perfect place to visit with guests. Heart-pine floors are reminders of the old growth trees that once covered this part of Georgia. You'll see wide door moldings with "bull's-eye" corner blocks, a two-tier mantle with original beveled mirror and tile surround in this home.
Large windows, a walk-through butler's pantry and high ceilings tell of another time when air conditioning didn't exist and people had daily hired help. As modern conveniences were invented, homeowners adapted by adding a laundry area near the back entry.
Judge Eve never learned to drive a car and was often seen walking (very straight and tall) to work. The story goes that his wife was his chauffeur when needed. Judge Eve said if he needed new shoes his wife wanted (and often got) a new car!
Robert Eve loved telling how he knew the row of tall oak trees planted down the middle of the Ridge Avenue were 'goners' (would be cut down) because "people in cars got to racing up and down the street - going 15 miles an hour - and running into those trees." The trees and median are gone but the wide street still exists in the front of the home.
The home of Mary Guill, 612 West 10th St., is a quaint 1940s cottage-style home with clapboard siding, hip and gable roof and six-over-six double-hung windows. It was purchased in 1978 by Marshall and Mary Guill from J. Frank McGill. Modillions (trim work below the front eve) were created and added by Marshall Guill. The portico entrance opens into the living and dining rooms with a view of the sunroom and out to the pergola over the back deck and on to the hidden gardens beyond. Be sure to notice the living room picture molding at the ceiling instead of the traditional crown molding, several French doors and the chandelier (made in Germany) over the dining room table; all are original to the house.
Oak floors throughout along with simple wide moldings tell of the 1940s architecture. In the efficiently designed hall are bookcases added in the 1980s to maximize the use of the under-the-staircase area while retaining the floor furnace grate. Off the hall are three bedrooms and one bathroom. The original bathroom, with pale aqua tile, is another example of architecture trends that work well even today.
Until 1995, what was once a back porch became a four-season sunroom with many windows for maximizing the view and light. The exterior house boards were retained in the sunroom to keep the story of the home's transitions alive.
The steep steps behind one French door give away the fact that the finished upstairs was not original living space. However, with the addition of a large dormer in the 1980s, the attic space became a great place for the fourth bedroom and second full bathroom.
A black and white kitchen is efficient, well done and inviting. Cabinets, whose original long doors have been replaced with shorter ones, go to the ceiling providing maximum storage. The layout of the kitchen remains as first constructed.
R.J. and Olga Lewis Richardson built the home in 1940 after purchasing the land in 1938. When the Richardson family moved to Athens, Glenn E. Moore bought the home. Moore took great pride in his yard. In 1965 Ann Bowen purchased the home and six years later sold it to Michael Wolfe, who owned it two years then sold it to J. Frank McGill.
The home of Wesley (Wes) Roger Thornhill, 211 South Main St., Apt. A (Love Avenue at First Street) is located in the 1896 Byron Building or as it was named originally, the Boatright Building, now owned by B and D Properties. This building has a patriotic flavor. Look for the eagles and stars in the exterior architecture. These eagles and stars were a sign of how patriotic the country was in the 1890s. You can also see where the columns were shipped from imprinted on the bottom of the columns, along with pineapples at the bottom of the columns, signifying hospitality.
The first story is now a restaurant while the second story has been converted into apartments of varying sizes. Mr. Thornhill's apartment is at the 'point' of this triangular building. It's efficently laid out and makes the best use of space. Tall ceilings, long two-over-two double-hung windows overlooking a city park and two exposed original brick walls add to the charm, perfect for this busy fireman and serviceman.
In the common space outside the apartments is an original and large skylight. Make time to pause in this space and have a cup of hot cider and visit with other tour-goers before or after you tour the Thornhill abode.