Historic homes and Gardens will be on full display next weekend.This is a chance to get tours of homes that were built as early as the 1800’s.
The traditional Saturday tour of historic homes is always the anchor of the Greenbrier Historical Society’s Home Tour Weekend and 2017 is no different. Its position, in between the elegant gala at the home of Angus Peyton on Friday, June 9 from 5-7 and the afternoon tea and recognition of Medal of Freedom winner Katherine Coleman Johnson on Sunday, June 11 at 2 and again at 4 p.m., allows visitors to enjoy very special houses in the Greenbrier Valley.
Waiting for visitors on Saturday, June 10 from 10-5 p.m. on the banks of the Greenbrier River at Caldwell is Elmhurst. Owner Alicia Kuhn has brought an airy elegance to this venerable old charmer of a house. Kuhn is obviously no stranger to challenges and this huge house did not daunt her. Even flood waters in June, 2016 did not keep her from moving forward.
Elmhurst has seen its share of adversity. Built in 1824 as a tavern by John Dunn with mantels carved by Conrad Burgess, it first served as a stage coach stop at the toll bridge crossing the Greenbrier River. Private parties were held here for guests from what is now “The Greenbrier” and was then “the White Sulphur Springs resort” including a very famous one given in honor of President Martin Van Buren. While everyone is welcome to visit during the Home Tour, only men were invited to the Van Buren party! The belles at White Sulphur were very much annoyed to have their eligible beaus taken away for an afternoon. During the Civil War, fighting took place in this area, and only the illness of a family member is said to have saved Elmhurst while all its outbuildings were burned.
Visitors are invited to look out over the Greenbrier grounds from the porch and imagine the scene in as it might have been in years past. Visitors are also invited to explore the Art Colony Shops, located in the historic Alabama Row cottages which are among the oldest structures, having been built in the 1830s. Together, the President’s Cottage Museum and the Alabama Row cottages are the most authentic remaining portion of the famed antebellum resort then known as White Sulphur Springs. It is planned to have an additional historic cottage open for viewing depending on bookings at the time.
Tickets are available at the North House Museum and the Greenbrier Convention and Visitors Bureau in Lewisburg; City Hall in White Sulphur Springs and from GHS board members. Gala tickets are $60; tour tickets are $30; and tea tickets are $20. A special value weekend package of tickets to all three events is available for $100. While home tour tickets will be available at each house on the day of the tour, gala and tea tickets must be purchased by June 2. Please call 304-645-3398 for more information.