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Historic and new homes on Urbanna Christmas House Tours

The holidays are almost here again and it’s time to experience the “wonderful life” of historic Urbanna with its annual Christmas House Tour on Saturday, December 6, and another tour on Sunday, December 7. 

The stops on Saturday’s tour include Rosegill Plantation, The Farmhouse at Remlik Hall Farm, Cottage at Poynt Quarter (the home of Chic Silver), The Pierce House, Molly’s Way, the new Middlesex Art Guild Gallery, Historic Middlesex County Courthouse (Woman’s Club building), James Mill Scottish Factor Store (Old Tobacco Warehouse), and Urbanna United Methodist Church.

A special feature this year includes a designer showcase of decorated rooms at Rosegill, Urbanna’s plantation home from the 1600s. Local decorators and designers have each selected rooms to feature and showcase their special style and flair and will offer items to be ordered or purchased.

Hours for the tour are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine, with free parking and shuttle buses leaving regularly from Urbanna United Methodist Church parking lot.

The tour is sponsored by the Urbanna Beautification Committee and the Urbanna Business Association along with the Town of Urbanna. Proceeds will be used toward several beautification projects in progress such as new sidewalks, lamp posts, landscaping and benches. 

On Sunday, December 7, enjoy the new “It’s A Wonderful Life—Christmas In Historic Urbanna” tour from noon to 4 p.m. featuring Rosegill Plantation and Lansdowne, which will feature two of Urbanna’s most historic homes. Enjoy the featured designers and the individual rooms they have decorated at Rosegill and shop for favorite items. At Lansdowne, experience the feel and refinement of colonial times during the holidays. Both homes will feature musical entertainment and light refreshments.

Tickets for the Urbanna Christmas House Tour on Saturday remain $20 in advance and $25 the day of the tour, and can be purchased at the following locations in Urbanna: Cyndy’s Bynn, R.S. Bristow Store, Papeterie, Make Thyme, The Wild Bunch Flowers and Hampton House in Richmond. Call the Town of Urbanna at 804-758-2613 or Mary Ellen Cardwell at 758-4501 for more information. 

Tickets for the “It’s A Wonderful Life—Christmas In Historic Urbanna” tour on Sunday are $10 and can be purchased in advance at the above locations or at the door at Lans-downe or Rosegill on the day of the tour. Parking is available on the street in town and on the grounds at Rosegill. Shuttle buses will not be available for Sunday’s tour.

Each week one or two stops on the tours will be featured in the Southside Sentinel.

imageThe Pierce House

This traditional “Urbanna Cottage” style house on Rappahannock Avenue was built in 1940 by Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Pierce, prominent local merchants who raised two daughters and spent their married life here. The contractor, Sidney Muir, was a well known builder in the area. Mae Pierce’s brother, Calvin Butler, supplied the lumber from his sawmill. The Pierces made several additions over the years, while retaining the original charm.

The home is now the residence of Jewel and Jim Ray who purchased the property from the estate in 2000. Since then a downstairs powder room has been added, existing bathrooms renovated, the kitchen re-done and the English Garden added off the patio. The walnut and pine furnishings were made by Shamburgers, a well known furniture maker in Richmond during the early and mid 1900’s.

imageMolly’s Way

When their architect suggested that Woody and Peg Davis read “Creating the Not So Big House” by Sarah Susanka before beginning their retirement home, they never expected to find the perfect plan on page 171. And their architect agreed that the plan by Eric Moser would accommodate both their family heirlooms and lifestyle. 

The traditional-style house has an updated floor plan for the way people live today, but retains those details that make the difference. One unique feature is the “away room”—a quiet retreat space. A number of pieces of furniture predating the Civil War were made in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, and in Craven and Lenoir County, North Carolina.The Davises, collectors both by design and happenstance, rotate some of their collections with the seasons, while others have garnered a permanent place. This home has been designed for easy living and furnished for comfort.

posted 11.19.2008

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