This past weekend, my sisters, my niece, and I went on the Fourth Annual Historic Mooresville Tour of Homes. There were eight homes of different periods and types, and it was a real pleasure to tour these homes and see the interior décor and restoration.
The weather was perfect – sunny and mild – and we were able to do most of the tour in a single walk. I don’t live in Mooresville, I mainly visit the shopping centers and restaurants out near the highway, but I’ve been spending more time in town lately and am just beginning to realize how many attractive vintage neighborhoods are in the area. This past summer, my sister and I visited a number of the antiques shops downtown and after this weekend’s tour, I look forward to coming back to drive around once the houses are decorated for Christmas.
At any rate, the tour was a lot of fun. In some of the houses, the owner was there to give a history and details about the renovations, the antique furniture, and previous owners. In other cases, a docent from the Mooresville Historic Preservation Commission provided a running commentary.
Some of the houses are restored almost completely accurately for their period, with some exceptions for kitchens and baths, while others are an eclectic mix of old and modern. We particularly enjoyed the William P. Johnston Home, c. 1925, which is a Mediterranean Revival style with a lovely little courtyard area, and the Gold Medallion Home, almost at the other end of the spectrum, built in 1958, and Mooresville’s first entirely-electric house. The owners have many vintage 1958 touches in the house, while still keeping it modern. We especially liked the kitchen countertops, which were laminated and finished off with chrome molding, just like those old kitchen tables of the 1950’s. The owners, Micah and Elizabeth Scrogginthorpe, also showed off their 1958 camper, an Airstream-type with an aluminum exterior and wood interior, in which they traveled on their honeymoon a few years ago.
Here’s a link to an article in the Lake Norman News section of The Charlotte Observer about the tour and photos of the houses: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2011/10/19/2692189/mooresville-tour-to-show-8-historic.html
What I really enjoyed on the tour was seeing both the history of the houses and the current owners’ own personal touches. Some displayed a serious interest in cooking, others in art or nature. Unfortunately, while I did bring my camera, I managed to leave the battery behind, charging away, so I don’t have any photos. After we completed the tours, my sisters, niece, and I went out to lunch together and got talking about our own home histories. I can remember well the houses I lived in, growing up, and later when I moved out on my own, and I’m sure each of you can think of many interesting stories to go with the history of each place where you’ve lived. You can learn so much about a person by seeing where they live – their personal photos, the things they value. I don’t have a lot of antiques in my homes – the ones I do have are each personal mementoes, gifts from my family members, belongings that once were owned by my grandparents or parents. When I go to an antiques shop, I find nowadays I’m most drawn to items from my childhood (shocking as it is to realize they’re now considered antiques!). I’m including here a photo of a desk that I was given on my fourteenth birthday. It had belonged to my great-grandmother, then my grandma, and my father refinished it for me. On the shelf above is a photo collage of my mother at three different ages, and on the right is my maternal grandma and grandpa’s wedding photo, c. 1925.
I’ve always been interested in family history and heritage for our own family. It was fun to get a glimpse of other people’s history (and the history of their houses!) for a change. You can read more about the Mooresville Historic Preservation Commission and see more photos of the homes here: http://www.historicmooresville.org/category/tour-of-homes/