Tour of Homes: Five to be visited on Friday
Tickets for the tour are $25, and will be available at the sponsoring church, St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church, by calling (828) 295-7323), or from the Blowing Rock Visitor’s Center at the Chamber of Commerce on Park Avenue by calling (828) 295-7851 during the week prior to the tour.
They may also be purchased at the church on the day of the tour.
Located at the corner of Main and Chestnut streets, the church will serve as the central location for the tour, with transportation being provided to the five homes.
The first car will leave at 9 a.m. and the last at 3 p.m.
The houses will close at 5 p.m.
All proceeds from the tour, and a previous patrons’ party, will go to support community projects and organizations such as Hospitality House, hospice, Blowing Rock Fire and Rescue and the Blowing Rock Community Library.
One of the homes featured is the following:
Susie Greene’s Home
Susie Greene is a proud lifelong resident of Blowing Rock, and for the past 30-plus years, she has lived at the intersection of Yonahlossee Road and Green Street.
She likes the convenient location and loves the old trees and the old stone wall that runs along the Green Street side of the property.
Some 22 years ago, she planted and started the development of the gardens that protrude out in the pie-shaped property.
However, three years ago she boldly started building a new house as close as physically possible to the old, and then tearing down the old one. It seems that Greene needed and wanted newer and more luxurious and conveniently organized space.
What better way to begin her retirement from Appalachian State University than with a new house.
With the help of architect Dearld West and builder Charlie Eaver, Greene developed a comfortable floor plan, giving her living and entertaining spaces on the ground floor and guest rooms and a home office, as well as ample storage space, on the second floor.
The objective was to create a new house with all of the conveniences but with the details and character of the old.
Part of the family history of this old Blowing Rock family is that Greene’s grandfather was a carpenter and helped build the Cone Manor House, and so a little inspiration was taken from it.
Although the exterior of the house is “farmhouse” style, there are details on the interior that have a little more refinement. There is an arched opening as you enter the living room from the entry hall, and then again on the entrances to the dining room and kitchen.
There is also a beautifully detailed banister and railing on the stairway.
The comfortable living room, like the rest of the house, is furnished primarily with antiques and other vintage family pieces. There is a door cabinet and ladder-back chair, both made by Greene’s grandfather.
In a corner is an unusually tall pie safe that is also a family heirloom.
But Greene’s pride and joy is a painting that hangs over the fireplace. The lovely mountain scene shows Grandfather Mountain in the distance, but it also shows the backside (gorge side) of the demolished Mayview Manor Hotel. Greene doesn’t know who the artist was, but the memorable painting was handed down in her family, and is definitely a treasure.
The master bedroom, with its bay windows, features a large and impressive antique poster bed that originally had a rope platform base for the mattress. Its height from the floor definitely requires a step stool for 5-foot Greene. The room features a collection of prints, paintings and photographs of images of Grandfather Mountain.
In a place of honor over the bed is a large signed photograph taken by the late Hugh Morton.
The master bath, like the other bath upstairs, has soft variegated green tumbled granite floors and color coordinating tiles. The tile floors and the matching tile walls set the color palette for this space, which is divided into compartments and is painted in two different shades of soft sage green.
An ample sized dining room, again furnished with family heirlooms and a farmhouse-style kitchen that has all of the modern equipment, but the character and convenience of a kitchen that has been used and loved for years, completes the first floor.
Upstairs, the two guest rooms, like the rest of the house, are furnished with family heirloom furniture. One has Greene’s grandfather’s bed, as well as a rocking chair made by the other grandfather. The other bedroom has a chest that came, many years ago, from the Ragged Garden Inn.
Not to be missed is a collection of Bob Timberlake prints.
As you leave this house that has been like a mini-museum of Blowing Rock history and a family’s life, take a minute to see and enjoy Greene’s gardens. There is the embankment garden that is in the rear of the house, that you can see from the dining room windows, the ravine garden in front of the house, and the friendship garden, which is contributed to by Greene’s many friends, that is near the entrance to the property.