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Blowing Rock Home Tour coming soon

By Sherrie Norris (

Article Published: Jul. 1, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Blowing Rock Home Tour coming soon


One of Blowing Rock's most anticipated events of the year returns later this month as St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church hosts its 52nd annual Tour of Homes.

On Friday, July 23, from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., the historic village will be bursting at the seams, as hundreds of patrons return for their chance to get an up close and personal glimpse into some of Blowing Rock's most fascinating private abodes.

Sponsored by the women of the church with help from the entire membership, this highly successful all-volunteer event raises more than $60,000 each year for as many as 25 area charities. In addition to the actual home tours, a variety of other fund raising activities are taking place during the day on the church grounds.

(See below.)
Featured on this year's tour are four properties --
Stonehenge, Golden Hill, Green Gates, and Katydid - each as unique as its name and location.


Stonehenge is the new Wonderland Trail home of Patsy and Ronny Turner, constructed on the site of the old Maid's Quarters for the historic Mayview Hotel. Incorporated into the new approach wall are ancient stone steps and other stones discovered on the property during construction.

Added touches to the interior that give this modern showplace a look of yesteryear include antique beams, mushroom cypress, wormy chestnut, reclaimed hemlock and antique lighting fixtures.

Golden Hill

When Ed Springs and Bo Henderson, principals of Edward H. Springs Interior Design in Charlotte, gutted and partially demolished a '70s contemporary dwelling and built their "new" home around it, the talented duo came up with a true masterpiece. Reminiscent of an old English Manor House, the Mayview home is complete with magnificent gardens, beauty, charm and warmth.

Green Gates

What began as a studio for a local artist with several additions and updates through the years, the older Mayview home of Owen and Jon Brady has captured a unique personality all its own. During a four-year ownership of the property, the couple has successfully combined modern conveniences with old-fashioned charm. |

A painstaking renovation project included transforming the artist's studio - with its soaring two-story ceiling - into an amazing great room and central focus of this beautifully decorated residence.

Katy Thompson Smith and Philip Smith did it right, for sure.From the street, this new (1-year old) home has all the personality of a story-book cottage. In fact, Katy's instructions to her architect were to incorporate into the design peaked roof lines and angles to give the house lots of "nooks and crannies." Katy has decorated the house with taste and flair, and filled the three-story "cottage" with pretty printed fabrics and many antiques.

The Tour of Homes begins at St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Parish at the corner of Main and Chestnut in Blowing Rock.

Free parking and a shuttle service to town will be provided from The Hayes Performing Arts Center (321 Bypass), leaving every 20 minutes between 8:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. The last return shuttle leaves from behind Rumple Presbyterian Church at 4:30 p.m.

Private cars provide transportation to the four tour destinations, leaving from the front churchyard. The last car will leave the church at 2 p.m., and the houses will close at 4:30 p.m. sharp.

As is part of this long-standing custom, box lunches that include sandwich or salad, dessert and drink will be available for $10 each at the Parish Hall, this year having been donated by Bistro Roca.

A food tent will feature homemade desserts and breads, along with coffee and water, which can be purchased from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

The Golden Needle (church seamstress group) will be selling handmade items under the needlecraft tent on the front lawn of the church.

The silent auction, also beneath the tents on church lawn, will feature quality items donated by local merchants and parishioners.

Note cards illustrating photos of flower arrangements in last year's tour homes will be available for purchase under the "Note Card" tent on the front lawn.

Docents will be in the sanctuary until 4 p.m. to share the history of St. Mary of the Hills.
Tickets, at $25 each, are available at St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church, the Blowing Rock Visitor's Center, or at the church the day of the tour.

Another long-standing home tour tradition is the patron's party, scheduled for Thursday evening, July 22, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $150 per person, and the party is limited to 150 attendees.

For more information, call the church office at (828) 295-7323.

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