Visitors enjoy Tour of Homes

Published 6:00 am Monday, November 20, 2006

The Lawrence County Tour of Homes Saturday was an enjoyablereturn for some and a new experience for others as hundreds visitedthe county’s historic sites and grand homes.

“I’ve loved them all through the years,” said Monticello’s LoisRussell, who was guiding her daughter and granddaughter along thetour route.

“Mom has loved it so much she said we had to come to see it,”said Elizabeth Bellande, who recently returned to Monticello afterliving in Virginia for 30 years.

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The annual Lawrence County Tour of Homes and Historic Placesfeatured several new highlights this year along with favorites,such as residents’ homes ranging from the 1890s to 1996.

Fay Finch said she was surprised and delighted at the number oftourists who visited her home. Her daughters, Christi Moss ofSiloam Springs, Ark., and Holly Finch of Chandler, Ariz., returnedhome earlier last week to help her prepare and conduct guided toursthrough the home.

Saturday’s tour marked a special milestone moment for the Finchfamily. Several years ago, the home, built in 1890, was nearlydestroyed by fire – on the same day it was to be featured on thetour of homes, said Holly Finch.

“This is a special day for us,” she said. “It’s a return.”

Glenda Thornhill and Ira Nell Foster, both of Brookhaven, saidit was a good tour.

“We go to all these tours,” Thornhill said. “We wouldn’t missit. The houses are just lovely.”

Visitors to the A.H. Longino house were treated to a time warp,according to Wren Jones, of Silver Creek.

“I walked inside and it was like going back in time,” she said.”I love it. It’s so picturesque.”

Volunteers at the Longino House used an old blacksmith forge andhand-powered pottery wheel to create items using the old methods.Charlie Morgan and George Magee labored at the forge creating achisel from rebar while Jackson School District art teacher JamesJackson, a native of Lawrence County, crafted pots, bowls and vaseson the pottery wheel.

Teenager Carrie Jones said watching Jackson turn clay intopieces of art was her favorite part of the tour.

“I take art lessons and I normally paint, so this isinteresting,” she said.

Carrie Jones declined Jackson’s offer to try her own hand at thepotter’s wheel.

“I don’t want to get it on my clothes,” she said with alaugh.