Beaufort — Saturday, under a brilliant blue sky and cool coastal breeze, was a good day to take a stroll through downtown and observe the houses, gardens and artwork on display for the Beaufort Historical Association’s Old Homes Tour & More.
BHA Executive Director Patricia Suggs said the tour, which started Friday, was going off without a hitch and the crowds were huge.
“The people are from all over. They love it,” she said. “It’s just amazing how many of them love the town and the houses and all we are doing for the preservation of the town. They recognized all the hard work of the homeowners who have put on this event.”
This year, changes have been made to the event, which has been running for 58 years. There were two author-themed events Wednesday and new homes have been added to the tour. The buildings provided a mixture of old and new structures.
In total, 13 houses, 10 gardens, nine artists and five historic places dotted the Old Homes Tour map for attendees to visit.
One of the new homes on the tour this year was the Boone Home, owned by Judy and Tom Boone.
The house at 105 Gallants Landing overlooks Gallants Channel and the Grayden Paul drawbridge, but the items inside the home were the center of attention Saturday.
Mr. Boone manages Boones Antiques in Wilson, and the home was full of antique trinkets, ranging from furniture pieces to the rugs on the floor.
As soon as guests enter the three-story home, they’re greeted by a warm, inviting living room full of antique furniture.
There is a coffee table, circa 1850s from Romania, a 1680s oyster wood chest and a French apothecary cabinet.
Attached to the open living room are a kitchen and dining room with more antiques.
Displayed on the table is a 48-piece porcelain dining set from the 1890s. The dining room table is made of old heart pine.
Another house on the tour was the David Williams House, also known as the Conch House, at 301 Broad St.
The house is owned by Amy Wilson and David Spence.
The lot was purchased in 1883 by Mr. Williams, who immediately built the home for his young bride.
The outside of the home has a quaint cottage atmosphere, while the inside boasts modern features.
The house is full of color and local artwork, and a portion of the home is rented out for Airbnb for visitors to enjoy.
Ms. Wilson said they tried to stay as local as possible when decorating the home, with themes centered on nautical and whimsy.
She said she enjoyed having her home on the tour because it gives her a chance to get some work done around the house.
“It was really motivating for us to tidy up, to put up the clutter and put away things we don’t need,” Ms. Wilson said. “We had a painter paint the east side of the house, and it looked so good we decided to paint the rest.”
The owners’ hard work was noticed by those who attended the tour, including Diane Lynch and Joan Braswell of Cape Carteret.
Ms. Lynch said they have participated in the tour before.
“It’s good we get to come back again.”
She said the Conch House was one of the first houses they stopped at on the tour.
“I like it. It’s cool,” she said.
Ms. Braswell liked the Airbnb space, as well.
“It’s a great place to rent in Beaufort,” she said.
The prominent gardens were also a highlight of the tour.
The garden of Lynn Eury, at 106 Pollock St., had bright and colorful plants. Fragrances from the flowers filled the air as the breeze danced around the garden.
The space is filled with all types of plants, including daisies, petunias, zinnias and more.
Mr. Eury said this was the best his daises had ever looked.
He also said the space was not a garden, but more of an outdoor living space.
“It’s a place to sit, cook and dine,” he said, noting he throws different social engagements in the garden and has the space to accommodate both an intimate group of people or a large crowd.
“We spend a lot of time out here,” he said.
The Old Homes Tour & More ended today with a champagne brunch.
Contact Megan Soult at 252-726-7081, ext. 228; email email@example.com; or follow on Twitter @meganCCNT.