Touring Washington’s historic homes and gardensPublished 9:52pm Thursday, April 24, 2014
Thirteen historic homes and gardens will open their doors, and gates, to the public Saturday during the Washington Area Historic Foundation’s Spring Homes and Gardens Tour.
Market Street, Main Street, Water Street, to Tenth Street, tour-goers will be able to experience a little bit of the city’s history through its homes. The self-guided tour begins at 10 a.m. and participants can start the tour at any point and visit the selected sites in any order they wish.
According to Washington Area Historic Foundation’s Dee Congleton, funds raised from the homes and gardens tour go straight back to the community, to the benefit of all.
“We put it right back in the community,” Congleton said, naming a few of the many projects homes tour proceeds have funded. “The cannon carriage for the old Civil War cannon at the Estuarium, the stabilization — windows and doors — of old City Hall, we’ve contributed towards Festival Park, the planting and fencing at Harding Square.”
This year’s homes tour will be focusing on irrigation for Harding Square and its garden at the foot of Market Street, Congleton said.
The thirteen homes and gardens on this year’s tour will be a big draw for many people — several have never been on tour before, including the most recently renovated Fire Station loft owned by Scott Campbell and Bill Sykes, which will be featured on HGTV’s “You Live in What?” television show in May.
“I think that’s one that people are going to be particularly interested in,” Congleton said.
Another of note, she said, is the T.H.B. Myers House on East Main Street, a two-story Greek Revival home built in 1833. The home is currently being renovated and Saturday’s tour will give visitors a behind the scenes look — and the before, to a subsequent after, look at the historic home.
The Washington Area Historic Foundation hosts homes tours every two to three years, simply to keep the list of proffered homes fresh, Congleton said. The tours got their start initially through the Beaufort County Arts Council in the early 1990s, but soon landed with the historic foundation, which has taken up the task of sharing pieces of Washington’s history one home and garden at a time.
Tickets for the tour are $20 in advance, $25 on the day of the tour, and can be purchased at the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce, Little Shops of Washington and Cottage Junkies. On the day of the tour, tickets will be available at the North Carolina Estuarium starting at 9 a.m.