Another great weekend to enjoy Clifton Forge VA (CFVA) and the Alleghany Highlands. Small Town USA Christmas Parade Friday December 2 at 6 PM. After the Parade enjoy Historic downtown, Stop in the Renown Jack Mason’s Tavern, Vic’s Family Restaurant, Fine DIning at Cafe’ Michel and or take in the 8 PM performance at the Historic Masonic Theatre, Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives.
Saturday make plans with friends and family to attend the Annual Women’s Club Holiday Homes Tour.
Learn more about the tour destinations below:
The Clifton Forge Woman’s Club will present its ninth Holiday Homes Tour on Saturday, December 3, from 11 A.. M. until 6 P.M. This year the Club is pleased to present homes in Clifton Forge and Covington, as well as two churches, the Historic Masonic Theatre, and the Alleghany Highlands Arts and Crafts Center. In addition, two quilt clubs will be displaying over 80 quilts at one of the churches, carolers will welcome guests to the Historic Masonic Theatre, and the Clifton Forge Woman’s Club will have a wonderful display of holiday trees and wreaths which will be offered at silent auction.
Lisa and Ricky Brown
1611 Jefferson Avenue
Clifton Forge, VA
This Shultz custom built Colonial Williamsburg brick home was built in the 1970s by Margie Kostel and her late husband, Dr. Pete Kostel, and is presently owned by Lisa and Ricky Brown. In 2015 the Browns extensively remodeled the interior of this home with a new custom built Shaker style kitchen, and added beautiful new hickory hardwood floors throughout the house. They added a new glass front entry door, new stamped concrete on the patio and updated fencing around the pool in the rear of the property. The interior walls were painted, adding to the “face lift” for the inside and outside of the house.
This home has a majestic view of the western end of Alleghany County, giving a restful serene environment during all seasons of the year. During the holidays, the Brown’s will share with us a collection of snow babies and holiday decorations with a lodge-like Christmas tree that enhances the spirit of the holidays.
T. “Shorty” and Tammy Wolfe
622 Prospect Walk
Clifton Forge, VA
T. “Shorty” and Tammy Wolfe invite you to their home at 622 Prospect Walk. This home was constructed as far back at least as the 1920s. Shorty and Tammy purchased it in 2013 and began renovations in 2014. Recently Tammy and Shorty were recognized by the Town of Clifton Forge for the improvement made to the property. Interior renovations including virtually gutting much of the interior of the three bedroom home, adding new insulation, electrical wiring, two tiled bathrooms, a new office above the master bathroom, and a new kitchen. The wood used in the fireplace, the stairway, pantry door, and exterior crawl space is wood harvested at Douthat State Park when Whispering Pines Campground was rebuilt.
Shorty and Tammy continued their renovations on the outside of their property. Exterior renovations include new siding, a new roof, and a new carport and driveway. The driveway is made of 8-inch thick dyed black concrete stamped to resemble stone. The property includes four additional lots, including a very steep hill leading to Palace Boulevard. On this hill Shorty plans to build stairs and a bridge across the top of a storm drain that will lead to a gazebo. These exciting improvements should be complete by the time of the Home Tour.
Shorty and Tammy welcome visitors to their traditionally decorated home and to enjoy the New Age outdoor decorations as well.
Main Street Baptist Church
Corner of A Street and Main Street
Clifton Forge, VA
The Main Street Baptist Church was organized in 1895 and was the inspiration of the Rev. Cesar Perkins, a slave born in Buckingham County, Virginia. He was also a stone mason and later became a member of the House of Delegates. He purchased a small wooden building which had been used as a church from a white congregation for $13,350.00 that same year. In 1921 the wooden building was replaced with the beautiful brick church you see today at a cost of $75,000.00. The sanctuary seats 250 members, many of whom, in years past, mortgaged their homes during the depression to maintain the church and its parsonage.
The sanctuary is basically the same today as it was when the church was built, with its original choir loft and the original church bell hanging in the tower. The beautiful arched stained glass windows have been preserved through the years, along with the lovely chandeliers. Renovations made since the church was originally built include new pews, a pipe organ, and a new piano, along with a state of the art sound system. Restroom renovations have been carried out as necessary. The church has been repainted several times, inside and out.
This year the sanctuary will be beautifully and simply decorated for the season with poinsettias, holiday greenery, and a Christmas tree.
The church has been blessed to have eighteen pastors since its beginning, each of whom added his own improvements and helped to keep the church both financially solvent and successful. Throughout the years many meetings, celebrations, funerals, weddings, and conventions have been held here. Main Street Baptist Church’s current pastor, the Rev. Preston K. Tyler, and the congregation welcome you to come and visit as they celebrate “Dwelling Together in Unity” during their 121st year in the community of Clifton Forge.
Clifton Forge Baptist Church
511 McCormick Boulevard
Clifton Forge, VA
The Clifton Forge Baptist Church was organized in 1882. The current building was dedicated in 1896, with additions added in 1912 and 1937, as the congregation grew and the need arose for more space.
The many loyal members of the Clifton Forge Baptist Church have a service to prepare the decorations for the Christmas season. In the front of the sanctuary will stand an elegant 12-foot tree decorated with many ornaments handmade by members of the church to remind all attending of the birth of Jesus Christ. Garlands of greenery adorned with doves and ribbons are draped around the sanctuary.
With its woodwork painted white, the sanctuary of the Clifton Forge Baptist is considered to be one of the most beautiful in the area. The choir loft has had an organ for many years, with the original organ rebuilt in 1963. However, in 1988, a beautiful organ made especially for this church by Taylor and Booty of Swoope, Virginia, was installed. Over a year was spent in constructing this beautiful organ. The sanctuary also has a nine-foot Steinway grand piano.
A most unusual treat for guests on the day of the Holiday Homes Tour will be a display of quilts, all the work of two quilting groups in the Clifton Forge area. The Clifton Forge Library Quilters and the Creasy Quilters (they came by their name because they meet to do their quilting in the Creasy Lodge at Douthat State Park) have combined their creativity and are willing to share the results with guests on the Tour on this Saturday. Over 80 quilts will be draped over the pews in the sanctuary of the Clifton Forge Baptist Church for visitors to view the various quilt designs and intricate stitch work. Many loving hours have been spent on this project which will add a very special touch of beauty to this Tour. None of the quilts will be for sale.
Historic Masonic Theatre
510 Main Street
Clifton Forge, VA
The Historic Masonic Theatre is the oldest continuously operating theatre in Virginia closing only briefly in 1987. Organized as the Masonic Lodge and Opera House , the Theatre is an elegant example of the work done by the turn-of-the-century architects Edward Graham Frye and Aubrey Chesterman. Frye and Chesterman designed some of the most imposing buildings in Virginia including Roanoke’s City Hall, Virginia’s State Capitol wings, Lynchburg’s Academy of Music, Lynchburg’s Aviary, and the Clifton Forge Presbyterian Church.
The Neoclassical three-story brick building features a hip roof with parapet and heavy metal cornice. Inside is an ornate two-story auditorium with balcony and box seats on either side of the stage, as well as the beautifully detailed third-story WestRock Ballroom, originally the Masonic meeting room, complete with ceremonial dais, wood floors, and large plaster cornice. The Masonic Underground Lounge and Café once housed a furniture store. The renovated Historic Masonic Theatre includes the Annex with first floor Lobby and the late 1800s brick wall with the original Roberts & Tinsley painted sign, and the second floor conference room with skylight.
Opening its doors in 1906, the Masonic Theatre and Opera House presented plays, operettas , and musicals that had premiered on Broadway, as well as ongoing vaudeville shows. Local newspapers report on a few of the most notable: The Sultan of Sulu, The Servant in the House, The Missouri Girl, The Hustlers, The Cat and the Fiddle, The Wanderer (complete with eighteen sheep on stage). After 1908, silent films were added to the entertainment lineup, and in 1929, the Masonic added the increasingly popular “talkies” and filled the red plush seats most nights.
From the 1930s until 1987, the Masonic (renamed the Stonewall Theatre in 1967 by its new owner, Irwin Cohen) was the place for entertainment in the Alleghany Highlands. The list of movies local residents saw at the Theatre reads like a history of Hollywood during its heyday- Shirley Temple and John Wayne and Elvis, Frankenstein and Captains Courageous, Gone With the Wind, Singing in the Rain, Spanky and Our Gang, To Kill a Mockingbird. Live appearances by cowboy greats like Tex Ritter, Lash Larue, and Cowboy Bob Steele- and even one by a presidential candidate, William Jennings Bryan in 1908 are remembered with detailed enthusiasm by those who lived then. More recent appearances by the world famous Count Basie Orchestra and the Bill Pinkney’s Original Drifters solidify the Masonic’s reputation for fine entertainment.
The Masonic Theatre Foundation was formed in 2009 and undertook a $6.5 million renovation with painstaking attention to detail to ensure that the historic beauty of the building remained intact. On July 1, 2016, the doors of the Theatre opened once again to the public.
For the Holiday Homes Tour, the Historic Masonic Theatre will be decked out in seasonal decorations throughout the building and visitors will be welcomed in the Lobby by costumed carolers. We encourage all to share in the joy of the season and look forward to visitors touring each floor and discovering the details specific to each of the four floors including the box seats, the arched windows, the restored chandeliers, the studio wainscoting, , and the dressing rooms.
This year the Masonic Theatre will be the site for a silent auction of decorated trees and wreaths. Bids may be placed on one or more of the items, and winners will be announced on Sunday, December 4, 2016. Don’t forget to visit the silent auction and place a bid on one or more of the items for sale. Funds raised the silent auction will be used to benefit the Clifton Forge Woman’s Club and the Historic Masonic Theatre.
Stewart and Jaime Hale
440 West Riverside Street
The home at 440 West Riverside Street was built in 1876 as a family dwelling. From 1929 until 1957 it served as parsonage for Granbury United Methodist Church. In 1957 the Dresslers acquired this home and reared three children here. The Hales bought the house in 2015. This beautiful home has four bedrooms and three baths. It still has the lovely pine floors and crown molding. The Hales have made a few updates while making every effort to retain the original authenticity of this historical home. This renovation is still a work in progress.
This home was featured in the Virginian Review in 2015 when the Hale’s nephew and son, who are avid metal detecting enthusiasts, found a class ring near the home. The television station, WDBJ7 in Roanoke, featured a full story on television, and the ring was returned to the original owner of the ring. Their metal detecting efforts have also uncovered Civil War belt buckles, toy cars from the late 1800s, and old coins.
For the holidays, the home will be decorated with two live Christmas trees and several smaller trees. The front porch will also be decorated with trees and wreaths for the holidays. This house has a personality of its own and must be experienced for yourself. The entire home will be open for guests to enjoy.
Lynda and Pat Loving
The Fudge House
620 West Parklin Drive
The historic Fudge house was originally a log cabin built in 1797-1798. The current owners, Pat and Lynda Loving purchased this house from the descendants of the Fudge family in 1991. The house and the land had been in the Fudge family for nearly 200 years, from 1795 until 1991. It is on both the National and the Virginia Historical Registries. The history of the house is extensive and is best communicated on the Tour from the docents posted in each room. Christmas décor will be Victorian, in keeping with the style of the home.
Over time the Fudge House has undergone many changes both inside and out. First modifications came in 1822 when the original log cabin took on a colonial style appearance. Additions in 1864 changed the home’s interior to accommodate a family member who had lost a leg in the Battle at Manassas. Other major changes in the home came in 1890 with the addition of a hip roof replacing the gable roof windows and with expansions giving the house a Victorian look. In 1913 the house was “modernized” with changes that included electrical wiring, plumbing, and connecting the house with the kitchen, which had previously been a separate building. Although the kitchen has been updated, the historical integrity of the house remains intact.
Currently the Fudge House has three floors, two floors for living, and a very large third floor attic which has been partially finished. It has three large porches: front porch, east side porch, and a back porch. While very little has been done to change the basic floor plan or exterior of the house since the Lovings purchased the house, many other improvements were necessary. These include the replacement of all electrical wiring and plumbing, closet installations, floor replacement and stabilization, plaster repair, copper roof installation, porch repair, stripping and refinishing all woodwork such as molding and doors, and floors. The outside siding was replaced with bald cypress siding and the fireplace kitchen was rebuilt when the kitchen upgraded. Many other repairs have been accomplished but are too numerous to list.
Alleghany Highlands Arts and Crafts Center
439 East Ridgeway Street
Clifton Forge, Virginia
In 1984 the Alleghany Highlands Arts and Crafts Center opened its doors in the heart of Clifton Forge’s business district. The site was originally the Virginia Western Power Company founded by Ambrose Ford. Originally two adjoining buildings the upper left façade is still marked by a cartouche identifying it under that name. Ford’s daughter-in-law, Bernice Ford, said that when she came to Clifton Forge as a bride in the mid 1920s, her husband, Kent, had his office on the second floor where the Art Center offices are now.
Today the second floor also houses three classroom spaces, a fine art lending library, and space where art videos may be viewed by the public. With the help of a challenge grant by the Alleghany Foundation, in the early 1990s, an elevator was added, making the second floor truly accessible for a variety of programming. Over the Center’s years of service to the community the Alleghany Foundation grants have been instrumental in other important building improvements as well.
In the 1950s , many electric companies, including VEPCO, had a home demonstration kitchen, staffed by a home economist, where popular educational programs were presented to the public. Most of the area is intact, complete with the original cabinets, sink, and dishwasher. The “window” over the sink is of special note – it shows a landscape painted by Elizabeth Smith – a prominent art educator. Today additional cabinets and freezer space help maintain the room’s role as a hospitality center. It also serves as a work space where Center volunteers receive and process work by the more than 300 juried artists and crafts people.
The Center sponsors an annual Artist in Residency for high school students and teachers, and collaborates with the community festivals and activities. This year there will be a holiday exhibit including Fx2 Regional Photography exhibit as well as “glittery glowy surprise” for December visitors. The AHACC welcomes local visitors as well as visitors from across the country and around the world each year. We hope you will join us this year for refreshments during the Clifton Forge Woman’s Holiday Homes Tour.
The Tour is scheduled from 11 A.M. until 6 P.M.
Tickets are $15.00 again this year and may be purchased in advance from any member of the Clifton Forge Woman’s Club, or at the Alleghany Highlands Arts and Crafts Center, the Club Car, Country Garden Florist in Clifton Forge, and the Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce, the Main Street Shoppe, Anything and Everything, and the Vintage Boutique in Covington. Tickets may also be purchased the day of the Tour at any of the locations on the Tour.
All proceeds from the Tour will be donated to the many charitable organizations in the Highlands that the Clifton Forge Woman’s Club supports such as Clifton Forge Area Food Pantry, The Historic Masonic Theatre, The C & O Historical Society, including the Heritage Center, the Christmas Mother program, the After Prom party at the YMCA.
Enjoy last year’s 2015 Holiday Tour Slide Show Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuxNVCXEpOU&t=8s