Annual open house slated for Dec. 11

Published 5:23 pm Wednesday, November 30, 2016

From Octagon House Restoration Inc.

Hyde County’s Octagon House will hold its traditional Christmas Open House on Dec. 11, from 2-4 p.m.

Come, see and enjoy the festively decorated, 1857 eight-sided historic house, one of two such antebellum houses in the state.

Area musician Robert Waters will be playing the hammered dulcimer, mountain dulcimer and autoharps at the open house. The event is free, and all are welcome.

The word “dulcimer” comes from the Latin and Greek words “dulce” and “melos,” meaning “sweet tune,” and is used to refer to both the hammered dulcimer and to the mountain or Appalachian dulcimer.

Although the repertoire often overlaps, the instruments are actually quite different. The mountain dulcimer typically has four strings and is played by fretting the strings and plucking or strumming, whereas the hammered dulcimer has many strings and is played by striking the strings with wooden hammers or mallets.

The autoharp is a stringed instrument that uses a series of chord bars to produce chords, harmonies and melodies. Like the dulcimer, its use in the United States is primarily as a folk instrument.

Waters, a resident of Tyrrell County, is a professional musician who has played and toured with the National Symphony Orchestra, was a member of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra and the Triangle Brass Band of Raleigh, among other musical groups. He retired from the 440th Army National Guard Band in 2014 where he served as leader of the Liberty Brass and provided musical support for military and civilian personnel across North Carolina.

The Octagon House is located at 30868 U.S. Highway 264 near Engelhard, and is a nonprofit organization. For more information and to donate, go to the Facebook page: