old homes tour

The homes and gardens of the historic seaside village of Beaufort will open doors and swing back their gates for the 59th annual Old Homes & Gardens Tour on June 28-29. The annual tour, a fundraiser for the Beaufort Historical Association, features 13 of Beaufort’s beautiful private homes, 10 glorious gardens and multiple local churches and artists’ studios throughout the town.

The houses on the tour include: the home of Debbie & Johnny Watkins, 101 Broad St.; the home of Joan & Prentiss Baker, 104 Gallants Lane; the home of Sandy Grotheer, 212 Ann St.; the home of Patricia and Tony Rodriguez, 207 Moore St.; the home of Gail & Steve Bishop, Dill House c. 1895, 131 Craven St.; the home of Ann & Dexter Matthews, Susie E. Moore House c. 1908, 606 Ann St.; the home of Mary & John Phillips, 206 Marsh St.; the home of Fritzie & Jamie Green, 811 Ann St.; the home of Kathie & Robert Terwilliger, 815 Ann St.; the home of Bobby & Phil Lane, 812 Ann St.; the home of Christine & Stephen Klein, 907 Ann St.; the home of Will Madison & Steven Kicklighter, Marianna Willis House, c. 1872, 1007 Ann St.; and the home of Ruth & Steve Puckett, 104 Fulford St.

“This year, especially after Hurricane Florence, those who live here are passionate about welcoming back our visitors,” noted Patricia Suggs, executive director of the BHA. “Even though we’ve suffered so much damage and so many of us aren’t even back in our homes, we are very resilient. Our visitors are what help us realize what a special place it is that we get to call home, and we’re proud to open our doors and share with them.”

Tickets for the Old Homes Tour are $20 and are on sale now at the Beaufort Historic Site as well as online at www.beaufothistoricsite.org.

From small cottages to beautiful waterfront homes and quaint gardens, this year’s tour will also feature many new accompanying events, including a musical concert, the annual Kick Off party, a Literary Luncheon at the Coral Bay Club and a closing Jazz Brunch featuring a New Orleans interior designer. These events were added to compliment the tour and to offer guest more events to enjoy while visiting the town of Beaufort for the Old Homes Tour.

Last year was the first try at the new events according to Suggs.

“The events last year were extremely popular and all were sold out well in advance,” she said. “Visitors loved the emphasis on history, literature and Southern design, which we are bringing back again this year with our renowned speakers. Part of the fun of bringing in guests of this caliber is not only seeing how much attendees loved them, but also how much they love the small town of Beaufort and the surrounding area.”

Starting off the events for the Old Homes Tour is the annual Kickoff Party on Saturday, June 8 featuring great food, art by featured artist Jim Carson and the fourth annual Bartenders Challenge. Join the Beaufort Historical Association in thanking the homeowners and sponsors at this social event, tickets are $35.

The Literary Luncheon at the Coral Bay Club in Atlantic Beach, held on Wednesday, June 27, will feature New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan Henry, the author of 15 novels, including the historical fiction, “Becoming Mrs. Lewis - The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis.” Her latest Southern fiction novel, “The Favorite Daughter,” is coming out June 4, just a few weeks before the luncheon. Tickets are $40 and are limited, so be sure to reserve early!

A free evening choir concert at Purvis Chapel will takes place at 7pm on Thursday, June 27 paying tribute to Old Homes Tour Honorary Chairs Joyce and Fred McCune.

Wrapping up the Old Homes Tour events will be a closing Jazz Brunch at 11am on Sunday, June 30 at the private home of Deborah and Charles Llewellyn. Tickets for this special brunch are $85 and feature a presentation by New Orleans interior designer Robert LeLeux with his latest book, “Southern Style Now,” along with catering provided by Scarborough Fare.

Robert Leleux is a well know designer and founder of the Southern Style Now festival in Charleston. He is a former editor of Domino Magazine and Lonny Magazine and has written essays and articles for The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine and The Huffington Post. In his new book, he showcases the fresh take on interiors from the next generations of Southern decorators which, according to one review, combine family heirlooms with flea market finds, antiques with IKEA and grandmother’s silver with flashing neon signs. He explains how these talented rising stars are redefining the county’s most tradition-minded territory.

Recently voted the best small town in the South by “Southern Living Magazine,” visitors will see firsthand why Beaufort is the small seaport town with the big Southern heart.

Tickets for the Old Homes Tour and accompanying events are on sale now and can be purchased at the Beaufort Historic Site Welcome Center, 130 Turner St. in downtown Beaufort, by calling 252-728-5225 or visiting www.beauforthistoricsite.org.

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