Tour of Homes tomorrow

Published 10:32 am Friday, April 29, 2011

Art and Garden Bazaar also tomorrow at TFAC
Tomorrow you’ll have a chance to take a peek into some of the area’s notable homes, plus one historic church.
The Tour of Homes, presented as a fundraiser by the Green Blades Garden Club, is a self-guided driving tour on Saturday, April 30. Hours of the tour are 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The tour will include six properties: Green Gait Farm, Jacksons Grove Church, Spring Valley Farm, Still Point Farm, Tandem Trail and The Woodlands.
Green Gait Farm
The 1920s original Craftsman-style door at Green Gait Farm, a post and beam home, opens into a large great room and kitchen. The main floor is centered around a large brick fireplace, and the addition of a wood-burning pizza oven adds a taste of Tuscany.
The kitchen features Brazilian granite countertops and custom wild cherry cabinets from native wood along the Pacolet River, which flows through this working horse farm.
The upper level is the spacious master bedroom and bath, and the lower level offers a large family room with pool table, wet bar and woodstove. Sliding glass doors by the wet bar lead out to a brick covered patio complete with a fire pit to warm those cool summer evenings. A walk under the cedar pergola brings you to the freeform pool surrounded by rock walls, walkways and lush landscaping.
Just a short walk from the house on this 32-acre farm is the European style barn with a one-bedroom apartment above.
Jacksons Grove Church
In circa 1830, a carpenter named Mr. George Washington Wilkie from Catawba County, N.C., built the pretty white frame structure that became Jacksons Grove Church.
The church was built of selected timbers from the area and erected by craftsmen. The frame is built from heavy hand-hewn timbers and the walls are wide hand planed boards. The altar, altar rails and the pulpit are made of walnut. The windows and doors are put together with pegs.
The building’s two-door design was common in the 1800s in the Smokies and elsewhere. Generally, a two front door design allowed men to enter and sit on one side of the chapel and women and children on the other.
Spring Valley Farm
Spring Valley Farm, once known as Bluebound Farm, has many stories to tell. This 46-acre property was once the home of George Webster and his wife Dottie. The late George Webster was the well-known and beloved master of Tryon Hounds.
The farm was eventually sold and the 1830s farmhouse of 750 square feet was transformed with the help of Mill Creek post and beam designers.
Today, the 2,750-square-foot structure with 24-foot ceilings features humble materials such as wood, wrought iron and stone.
The classically beautiful master suite is a new addition as well as the huge master bath with jacuzzi and chandelier.
There are three bedrooms and five bathrooms. The gardens surrounding the home were originally designed as an English garden and play off the dramatic background of farmland. A koi pond can be heard from a covered porch off the kitchen.
The original charms of the barns remain with a total of 20 stalls and the addition of an elegantly furnished guest apartment.
Still Point Farm
In the late 1940s, Ellis Slater, an executive in the House of Seagram, decided to move from his urban New York surroundings to the countryside of Landrum. He methodically purchased several thousand acres and established Caroland Farms.
Carter Brown was employed to design Slater’s home. Brown was a transplant from Michigan, specifically, Metamora Hunt Country. He came to the area to foxhunt and designed seven homes for members of the hunt, which have become local landmarks. Still Point, finished in the early 1950s, was his last effort.
The rustic elegance of the home’s construction materials is a trait for which Carter Brown is best known. Weathered wood salvaged from old barns and rough hewn beams, reclaimed log walls and stone and brick chimneys make up the house.
Open fires play quite a role in this household, where there are a total of five fireplaces.
The dining room adjacent to the kitchen is framed in beams and painted a brick red with a floor of slate. The spiral staircase, which leads down from the second floor, ends in the great hall with balcony at one end and straw plaster ceilings rising to a peak at least 15 feet above the viewer.
A series of paddocks surround the home, making its setting more than ideal for this family of keen horse riders.
Tandem Trail
Sited on rolling acres, this Mill Creek Post and Beam Tudor-style home comes into view as you drive up the hill to the end of the cul de sac.
Dan McFerrin designed and constructed this home in 2003.  The 2,700-square-foot home has two stories. McFerrin made lavish use of natural stone with curved walkways and a curved stone wall, which goes all the way around behind the house to the two-car garage with a pine-paneled artist’s studio above.
The lower half of the house is clad in more natural stone and the upper part is clad in board and batten with shingles in the peaks.
The front porch is all stone with mullioned windows clad in wrought iron and has an unusual round-topped door in wrought-hewn wood and rusty iron hardware.
The great room has a large natural stone fireplace with a heavy wrought stone mantel. To the left in the entrance hall is the library, which has French doors to close it off.
The dining area is in the great room and looks out in all directions. There is a baby grand piano by Yamaha, which the homeowner has moved five times with her.
The kitchen is open to the rest of the room and has stainless appliances and a large Brazilian granite island in shades of brown with room to sit on the large barstools with curving wrought iron legs.
Upstairs is a loft with brown leather furniture for viewing the large screen television.
The Woodlands
Upon entering this home designed by Thomas Hollis, it is evident that a log home and barn timbers from Ninety-Six, S.C., were incorporated into this home the owners call “casual elegance.”
Across the center of the house Hollis stretched a spacious great room with a dramatic fireplace and French doors that open to a spacious terrace.
Natural light fills the house from every room. The family wanted a nice flow for entertaining, as they love to have parties and quiet dinners. With large or small parties, people can go from the great room, with its built-in wall for a bar and music center, through to the kitchen and keeping room and around to the dining room with a loft that houses their office, with great ease.
The kitchen, with its barn red walls, is laced with custom cabinets made from barn planks. The keeping room also has the barn red walls, surrounding four Windsor chairs and an antique dining table that shares its space with several wing back chairs and a fireplace. Barn timbers, both as beams and mantle, warm the kitchen with surrounding windows and door to the terrace.
The house is so strong that the owner has kept the palette of color soothing and soft. The wood floors of random width heart pine dominate the main level of the home. Overscaled upholstered pieces fill the great room and Orientals and antique pieces, acquired from the owners’ many years in Saudi and the Middle East, are spread throughout the house and add to the decidedly European atmosphere.
The dining rooms, with barn plank walls, are not about being fancy but elements of the owners’ antiques make it dressy.
The lower level is filled with treasures from the owners’ travels along with guest bedrooms and a family room designed around plush leather furniture. A French door leads to a pergola-covered terrace overlooking a pool designed by the owners. The landscaping was designed to create a number of gardens each with its own distinct personality.
Tickets, more information
In conjunction with the home tour, the Tryon Fine Arts Center, in cooperation with the Polk County Extension Center and the Town of Tryon, will sponsor the second annual Art and Garden Bazaar on April 30 on McCown Street in Tryon.
The street will be closed and more than 20 vendors will set up a variety of art, garden items and locally grown plants for sale.  Hours will be 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tickets for the home tour will also be on sale at the bazaar.
Home tour tickets will also be available at the Book Shelf, Vines & Stuff and Down to Earth Garden Center in Tryon, Accents on Main, PJ’s Fashions and Expressions Florist in Landrum and the Garden Patch and Flower Cottage in Columbus. On the day of the tour, tickets will be sold at each of the homes as well as the Park on Trade.
While this is a self-guided tour, shuttle buses will be available at the Red Fox Country Club parking lot. Parking will be available at all homes, except the Woodlands, and at Jackson Grove Church.
To tour the Woodlands you must board a bus at the Red Fox parking lot. Return shuttle buses will bring you back from the Woodlands. Buses will be also available for the other homes if desired.
For more information about the home tour, go to or call Helen Gilbert at 828-894-2491. For more information about the bazaar at the Tryon Fine Arts Center, visit
– article submitted

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