The Hickory Landmark’s Society’s 22nd Annual Romance of the Home and Garden Tour in Hickory, North Carolina is Saturday, May 21, 2016, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

The Tour features Self-Guided tours of 7 homes and gardens.

Cost is $20 per person in advance, $25.00 per person day of the event. Tickets are on sale now at www.hickorylandmarks.org

Other Tickets Sales Locations: Maple Grove (542 2nd St. NE);Bottega (256 Union Square); Jenny’s Gifts and Accessories (436 Main Ave., NW);Pampered (14 23rd Ave. NE); The Sally Company (323 2nd St. NW); Village Gardens (Hwy. 127 North at 19th Ave. NW) and Watson’s Furniture and Mattress Outlet (1210 2nd Ave. SW).

The Sites:
1. Mount Zion Baptist Church, Christ Lutheran Church (former) (1926) 410 Second Avenue, SE
Erected and dedicated in 1926 as Christ Lutheran Church, the present Mount Zion Baptist Church is a small,(5,136 square foot) late Gothic Revival, brick-veneered building. Its cross-shaped plan features a three-stage central bell tower on the north façade and a transept near the south end.

 The intact interior features a lancet-arched recessed altar, ceiling lamps with Gothic motifs, and dark-stained pews embellished at their ends with round arches. The church contains many beautiful stained glass windows. The original church was designed by local architect Q.E. Herman and built by the construction firm of Moser and Bumgarner. Herman designed a number of churches in the area in the early 1900s and was contracted to design new schools for the Catawba County school system in the 1920s and 30s. This was the second house of worship in Hickory of the Christ Lutheran Church congregation. It remained in use until a new building was constructed in 1971 just west of this site. In 1978 the Mount Zion Baptist Church acquired the building, and it was rededicated as Mount Zion Baptist Church in 1979. The church, along with its Parsonage, Fellowship Hall and lot are currently for sale.

2. Nicholson-Abernethy House (1922), 206 Fifth Street, SE, Brian and Wendy Summers.
Built just within the stone entrance piers of the Kenworth subdivision in 1922, the Nicholson-Abernethy House is a handsome, one-story, gable-fronted bungalow. The brick-veneered dwelling is characterized by a gabled front porch, half-timbered and stuccoed gable ends, and a wraparound terrace that extends from the porch. Dr. W.H. Nicholson, a retired physician, was associated with the business and financial community in Hickory for some twenty-five years.

Abernethy HouseA past president of the Hickory Chamber of Commerce, Nicholson was secretary and treasurer of the Southern Desk Company and a director of both the First National Bank and the First Building and Loan Association. He was also secretary and manager of the Hickory Land and Development Company and supervised the development of the Kenworth subdivision where he built this house. A Florida architect designed this impressive bungalow as a summer home for Dr. Nicholson and his wife. It was erected by the Henry Cline Construction Company, and the woodwork was purchased from the Hickory Manufacturing Company. On April 26, 1929, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Glenn Abernethy purchased this house. Mr. Abernethy managed his father’s business, the Abernethy Transfer and Storage Company. The Abernethys owned this house until February 28, 1994 when it was sold outside of the family.

The Summers have owned the house for only a few years, purchasing it following a period of neglect and damage. Beginning to bring the house back to its original splendor involved a great deal of structural and system repair and replacement. They have been careful about retaining original features and replacing with like materials. The interior features boxed beams in the parlor and dining room, large French doors, a wooden plate shelf, and both glazed tile and wooden mantels. The only structural alteration is an expansion of the kitchen and one bathroom. The Abernethys had turned a vacant upstairs into two bedrooms with baths and closets which remain largely as finished, with 1950’s wood panels and interesting built-ins.

3. The Del-Mark Building (1940), 7th 14th Street SW, The Frank Fox Family.
The Del-Mark Building, a landmark in the West Hickory-Westmont neighborhood, was built in 1940, according to a building permit announced in the Hickory Daily Record on September 11 of that year. M&M Hosiery Mills began operations at this time.

Del-Mark BuildingAccounts from local residents indicate that this building likely housed the Morgan Candy Company. Marks indicating hot vats of candy can be seen in the reception area which was at that time the loading area of the building. Knowles and Mary Youngblood were owners of this building in partnership with Charles T. and Grace Morrison. In 1950, the building was purchased by J.J. Dell and W.B. Walker. Del-Mark, Inc. specialized in transfer labels and logos for the hosiery industry. Del-Mark expanded their operations, and sold the building to Charles W. Thornburg owner of Leathermark. In 2012, the William Frank Fox family acquired the building.

Located in a designated revitalization zone, the Del-Mark Building currently houses Green Sheep Studio, Solafina Decorative Fabric Studio in conjunction with The Charles Stewart Company, and Dirtball Fashions.

A one-story, gable-roof building, with a daylight basement, stepped front parapet and paired six-over-six double-hung sash windows, the rehabilitation of this landmark occurred under the leadership of Joe Fox. Original windows, pine floors, exposed beams, sliding double basement doors, restored building signage are elements of interest. The eclectic tenant mixture adds to the present-day use of this landmark.

4. Sinclair Home and Garden (1956), 556 11th Ave. Circle NW,Bob and Carolyn Sinclair.
This classic mid-century modern was built in 1956 for Alex C. Boisseau, manager of the newly opened General Electric plant, and his wife Mary. Designed by Beemer Harrell (1924-2007), who had recently moved to Hickory, the house was one of his first local designs and one of the largest of his career at just over 3000 square feet. Working with Boisseau, Harrell designed a comfortable family home, incorporating the amenities of the GE Home of the Future, in which one could “live better electrically.”

Sinclair Home & GardenThe 6 volt switches and GE registers remain in the home along with two master switches from which all of the lights in the house can be operated at once. Believed to have been built by Crouch Lumber Company, the house was originally designed with a flat roof which has been altered at some point. In the 1980s a deck was enclosed to create a sunroom.

GE opened the Hickory plant in 1956 and it was a memorable event. Ronald Reagan was the host of an episodic drama series that GE sponsored on television Sunday evenings. He also served as “Corporate Ambassador” for General Electric Company, touring the company plants and research facilities around the nation. Reagan attended the ceremonial opening of the plant in Hickory. He is believed to have attended the after party at the Boisseau home and stayed overnight.

Bob and Carolyn Sinclair purchased the house in 2005, impressed with the open floor plan that made it perfect for entertaining. While carefully maintaining the original features of the home, they have added their own flavor to the décor. Family furniture joins works by local artists to make a comfortable setting for family and friends. Bob’s collection of masks can be seen throughout the house. Upstairs are the kitchen, sun room, combination dining area and living room, the master bedroom and guest room. Downstairs is the domain of the Sinclair daughters, with their bedrooms and a playroom. Typical of mid-century modern design, generous windows throughout the house invite you outside. The landscaping around the house includes mature trees and a newer 40 tree understory added by the Sinclairs. They have also added a gazebo and yard art that includes several metal sculptures by Bob’s brother Dick Sinclair.

5. Sills Home and Garden (1951),,1050 13th Avenue, NW, Ernie and Cindy Sills.
The Sills house, built in 1951, sits on the remaining four acres of the forty-acre farm Rock Acres. As you amble around the garden, take time to admire the exterior architecture of the house. The plan was chosen by Ernie Sills’ mother, Lillian, from a magazine and she worked with a local architect to alter it to her specifications. Still rare in Hickory, the California Ranch style house originated in San Diego in 1932. It was the design of Cliff May who published books of his plans.

Sills Home & GardenThe style is long, narrow and low to the ground, asymmetrical and features a plethora of windows. Interior of the ranch is usually open and informal. One of Mrs. Sills’s alterations was the inclusion of a basement which had to be blasted out of solid rock using dynamite. In 2006-07 Ernie and Cindy added a shop/art studio on the south side of the garage, a breakfast room off the kitchen and a dressing room/closet off the master bedroom.

Beds of loropetalum, nandina and ornamental grasses on either side of the drive welcome the visitor. Laurel furniture that belonged to Mr. Sills’ parents creates a cozy seating area on the front porch. As you round the house to the right, the incline slopes down two wooded acres to a creek and provides the perfect setting for azaleas, both cultivated and wild, and rhododendron. A shaded bench is the design and handy work of Mr. Sills.

Camellias line the house and lead the way to clusters of various shade-loving plants, including iris, periwinkle and hosta. A yellow bell hedge screens part of the property. The sunny terrace is colorful with annuals in pots and baskets. The terrace side of the house features a two-level yard divided by a rock retaining wall. A dominant feature is the remote-control fountain. Just west of the drive is an enormous magnolia which is 45 to 50 years young.

6. Stackhouse/Cook Home (ca. 1963),,2035 11th St. Ct. NW, Nevin Stackhouse and Cameron Cook
Built ca. 1963 and contemporary in design, the architect and builder of the Stackhouse/Cook house are as yet unknown. The open floor plan allows a view of multiple levels upon entry into the house. The vaulted two-level living room has floor to ceiling windows to take advantage of the view created by the sloping wooded lot.

Stackhouse:Cook HomeThere is a family room to one side and sunken conversation area to the other. This home was on the first Hickory Landmarks Society Home Tour in 1970 when it was the home of David and Nancy Zagaroli. The house was only seven years old at the time. They had been in it four years and done major work, including adding three spacious decks to the house. A 1970’s addition to the house includes a master suite on the lower level.

The house was recently purchased by Nevin Stackhouse and Cameron Cook. A major project involved reducing the size of the pantry to open up the kitchen. They have painted the walls a clean white to showcase art and filled the house with mid-century modern furnishings. Nevin likes to choose additions to the décor based on uniqueness.

7. Chateau Extraordinaire 120 39th Avenue Drive, NW, Nancy Sessions.
Truly one of Hickory’s most unique custom built homes, Chateau Extraordinaire is a 5,500-square-foot stone and cedar-shake lodge sitting on 2.5 acres. Stunning master craftsmanship is displayed throughout with cedar beams, coffered ceilings, beautiful hardwood floors, a luxury master suite with fireplace, sitting room and private balcony and a gourmet kitchen with high-end appliances. The lower level has marble floors, a second kitchen and a wine cellar. The backyard oasis features a pool and spa with outdoor cook space and brick oven.

Chateau ExtraordinaireBuilt on the footprint of a 1950s ranch house, a remodel became a two year rebuild. Debra and Scott Whitson, unable to locate a home that was quite unique enough, remodeled the house to suit their tastes. They added two garages, a patio and pool, raised the ceiling and finished the basement. All was complete in October 2011.

The furnishings are a mixture of reclaimed and handmade. Eight species of wood were used for the floor and trim. Walls are covered with eco-friendly Venetian plaster. Retrofitted salvage pieces include every interior door in the house. A local artisan crafted custom made railings and counter tops. Perhaps the most unique features are the bathtub in the master bath and soaking tub on the patio created from an industrial boiler tank.

The 2016 Romance of the Home and Garden Tour will feature a morning presentation by noted herbalist and author Katherine Schlosser. With an educational background in Liberal Studies and Psychology from UNCG, Ms. Schlosser has forged a career out of her interest in botany.

Schlosser home & GardenShe serves as Chair of the NC Plant Conservation Board (Raleigh) and is a member of the Board of Directors of Friends of Sauratown Mountains, Friends of Plant Conservation. She also chairs the Native Herb Conservation Committee. Her awards and recognitions include the Foster Award for Excellence in Herbal Literature and the President’s Award from the NC Native Plant Society.

Katherine Schlosser

Author of The Essential Guide to Growing and Cooking With Herbs, Ms. Schlosser is an expert on native plants. She has conducted sustainability studies on medicinal plant materials in Western North Carolina and founded the Triad Chapter of the NC Native Plant Society. Ms. Schlosser contributes regularly to The Herbarist and writes a monthly column on native plants for the Greensboro News & Record. Her presentation will be “Landscaping with North Carolina Native Plants,” which will look at the wide variety of colors, shapes and textures available among North Carolina native plants (trees, shrubs, vines and wildflowers).

The location of Schlosser’s speech is Maple Grove, 542 2nd St. NE, Hickory.

Sponsors: Catawba Valley Medical Center;;Hilton Garden Inn;;Hickory Sheet Metal Co., Inc.;;Van Johnson Painting and Repairs; Graystone Eye;;Turf Pro, Inc.;;Sowers and Webber of Wells Fargo Advisors; It’s My Party; CertaPro Painters and Allegra Print and Imaging.

For more information call (828)322-4731 or e-mail info@hickorylandmarks.org.

Hickory Landmarks Society is a funded affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba Valley.