By Emma Castleberry
The 24th annual Montford Holiday Tour of Homes will be held on Saturday, December 7, from 1–5 p.m. This year’s tour will feature nine homes, including restored historic homes and new homes crafted in historic styles. The Montford Historic District is Asheville’s oldest and largest, with more than 600 buildings that exemplify a variety of late 19th and early 20th century styles. New construction in Montford is guided by the regulations of the Historic Resources Commission.
“Our neighborhood is filled with architectural treasures,” says Susan Murray, whose home will be featured on the tour. Murray’s house, built in 1901, has a historically traditional exterior, but the interior has undergone modern renovations. “In renovating the house, I turned to my knowledge of Asheville and the surrounding area to access craftsmen and artists for design details,” she says. “Local hardwoods, ironwork and stone were all used in finishing the interior of the home.”
The Tour of Homes is a fundraiser for the Montford Neighborhood Association, and profits support neighborhood improvements and activities such as youth programs at the Tempie Avery Montford Center and neighborhood beautification. The Association’s newest project provides incentives for neighbors to plant trees in Montford. “One of Montford’s greatest strengths and much of its considerable beauty comes from its 100-year-old tree canopy,” says Ellen Nutter, chair of the tour. “A number of these trees are coming to the end of their life cycle. The Montford Neighborhood Association is interested in renewing neighborhood trees and has instituted a matching grant whereby neighborhood residents will receive up to $150 when they plant one or two trees on their property.”
Mickey and Woody Farmer own a home on Pearson Drive that will be featured on the tour. The Farmers appreciate that their home allows plenty of comfortable opportunities for gathering guests. “We love this house because of the living space and the cottage in the back for friends to stay,” Mickey says. “It has great flow for entertaining. We love Montford because of the community and the value placed on preserving the neighborhood’s history. I enjoy working in the garden, and people walking stop and say hello and catch up on everything from politics to the weather or family. It’s a neighborhood of young and old.”
Tickets are $25. Reserve tickets online now at MontfordTour.com or in person from Sunday, December 1 through Saturday, December 7, at the Asheville Shop in the Asheville Visitors Center at 36 Montford Avenue.